I'm an editor for a press release wire service. What's that, you ask? Our company distributes press releases for companies large (like Exxon & Apple) and small (start-ups, independent retail shops, etc.), any company that wants to send an announcement to thousands of reporters, newspapers, websites, investors, analysts or bloggers. I don't get to write the releases, just proofread for errors, format and send. I work directly with investor relations executives and directors of marketing and communications, and can advise them on how best to use the wire distributions we offer and how to fix problems with their text. A majority of my work is technical formatting, and learning how to use our proprietary software can take months.
Undergrad degree: Philosophy
Favorite class in college: East & Southern Asian Comparative Religion
Changing majors: I majored in philosophy and minored in English, mostly because my mom told me English was a useless degree, so I tried to pick something even MORE useless.
College to career: Simply having a degree seems to be the key, it doesn't seem to matter what, at least where liberal arts degrees are concerned. My main ticket to my career was all the internships and work experience I gathered during college. That's what seemed to have impressed at my interview, not the specifics of what classes I took.
Career influences: I started off wanting to be a book editor in the publishing industry, because I loved reading and thought I wanted to write. I got an internship at a little local publisher, and then worked for several years as the assistant to a literary agent. I helped edit and write manuscripts and book proposals, but decided that I needed to get a full time job and didn't want to move to NYC to start a career at the bottom of the publishing heap. The starting salary for an editorial assistant in NY was quite a turnoff. So I applied to everything I could find that needed an editor, and finally got hired at Business Wire. It's not the creative writing/editing/bookish job I envisioned for myself, but it is editorial work that I'm good at, don't have to take home with me, and pays the bills so I can live the rest of my life comfortably. It was a realistic choice, rather than an ambitious one.
- Business Wire ( Website )