For many students, the thought of graduating and entering the “real” world can be intimidating. The closer graduation gets, the more thoughts of prospective careers, worries about resumes and fears about paying off student loans start to surface. A lot of students doubt whether or not their major was the right choice to ensure employment after graduation. These fears are understandable, but more often than not, that’s all they are: fears.
Chelsea Wuth graduated in 2011 with a degree in professional writing. While she was in college, she saw herself pursuing a career in the communications field. She graduated in May and by July she became the Creative Marketing Specialist for Michigan State Federal Credit Union — a career that she loves. She is definitely living out her ambition to have a career in a communications field and the skills she learned while obtaining her degree helped her achieve that.
“Every day is different! I work on print projects mostly, but I’m involved in my promotions from conception to execution,” Wuth explains,.“For example, I can identify a business need to increase the amount of money we have in certificates. I then propose to my bosses a promotion that is based upon research and personal experience in the field. I’ve learned what my target audience responds well to in certain instances and address that accordingly through my marketing pieces.” Wuth attributes the foundation that she built in her career to the writing and design skills she learned in her professional writing courses at MSU. She says that those skills helped her get started in her career and her in-the-field experience has helped her develop marketing skills.
Stephen Wright, graduated in 2013 with a degree in English, a concentration in creative writing, and specializations in screenwriting and poetry. Wright really wanted to become involved in screenwriting and film and imagined himself as a writer or a production assistant. Before Wright even obtained his degree, he landed a full-time job working as a production assistant for “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” in New York.
“On SVU, I take information that producers and agents had worked out in order to draft contracts for guest actors,” Wright says, “This means, very specifically, wording professional documents which say how much the actors will make, how many episodes they are guaranteed, what their daily bonuses might be, and what kind of special perks they might get.” Wright explains that the time management techniques he learned in college have been extremely important to understand and utilize in his field.
Jennifer Marinelli graduated in 2012 with a degree in professional writing and a minor in theatre. While in college, Marinelli wanted to pursue a career in performing arts. Within a few months of graduating, she accepted a yearlong Digital Marketing apprenticeship with Roundabout Theatre Company in New York City. Now, Marinelli is a digital content assistant for Signature Theatre, an off-Broadway theatre company in New York City.
Marinelli says, “I count myself lucky that I don’t have a typical day, but typical tasks include creating internal e-blasts, making updates to the company website and moderating our social media accounts.” The skills she learned in her classes at MSU are prominent in her career. She says that the group work she did in college prepared her for working in teams in her professional life.
No matter what your major is or what your career ambitions may be, there will always be some level of fear before you get your foot in the door of your career. These alums prove that with a little hard work and a lot of drive, the real world is nothing to be afraid of.
Rachel Mann is a senior studying professional writing and English with concentrations in creative writing and editing and publishing. She currently writes and edits for three different magazines. She is an aspiring author, a Johnny Depp fanatic, a lover of ‘80s comedies and a green thumb in her garden.