Major: English with a concentration in Creative Writing
Minor: Human Service Studies
Year of Graduation: 2018
Professional Title: Editorial Assistant at Tricycle: The Buddhist Review
In Emily DeMaioNewton’s words, “Gaining work and life experience…will benefit you and your writing.” They urge students to take advantage of opportunity, adding, “Every second of your life is ‘real life’—living the life you want to have can start now.”
Can you describe how your time at Elon has influenced your career path?
“I currently work at a magazine where I use the writing and copy-editing skills I learned at Elon daily. I’m an editorial assistant at Tricycle: The Buddhist Review. Eventually, I want to get an MFA (and perhaps a PhD in poetry) and teach poetry classes. I also do freelance writing, and Elon prepared me to come up with compelling pitches and maintain professional relationships across many organizations. I learned to value relationships with people as much as I value accomplishments and outputting work.”
“I wanted an education that went beyond book learning and involved life experiences among many fields.”
How did extracurriculars and co-curricular learning shape your career aspirations?
“I was paid for my writing before I even graduated! An essay of mine, that I worked on with my Lumen Prize mentor, was a finalist in the New York Times Modern Love college essay contest my junior year. I was also involved with Colonnades, Elon’s literary magazine, every year of my time at Elon. Senior year I was editor-in-chief, and when I brought a finished copy to my interview for my current job, my now-employer was very impressed.”
What was the most impactful English class you took at Elon University? Why?
“The most impactful English class I took at Elon was Intro to Creative Writing. During this class, I decided to drop my double major and only major in English. The class solidified my desire to be a writer and gave me confidence that I could learn to be one.”
“The class solidified my desire to be a writer and gave me confidence that I could learn to be one.”
What is an important lesson you have learned in your professional career?
“Keep up with the interests you have outside of your job. In addition to keeping you happy, they also might be useful to your career one day. For example, I’m really interested in childbirth. When, at the magazine where I work, the opportunity came up to interview a poet about her book on childbirth, I was able to take on the task and get a byline in our print magazine.”
As a recent grad, what advice would you give to seniors who are nearing their graduation?
“It’s okay not to go straight into an MFA. Gaining work and life experience before you get an MFA (if that’s what you want to do) will benefit you and your writing. Also, you’re gonna be okay.”
“Trust yourself and make decisions based on the life you want to have, not the life you think you should have.”