After years of jumping through endless hoops in grade school, college seemed like another four years of even bigger hoops. With no career direction I hyper-visualized my life of tedious hoop hopping: a mediocre job where I would become the next poor-man’s Liz Lemon or Paula Deen and find happiness in food. Of course, unlike TV stars, I’d probably get my sorry potbelly wedged in a hoop for eternity.
Unwilling to walk around with a hoola-hoop wedged in rolls of sagging grief, I opted to embody a childhood heroine, Nancy Drew. First modeling her keenness, I became enamored with marketing. Adding her fearlessness to the equation, I wrote a business proposal to the owner of a small local restaurant, ChesDel, offering to design a website and manage a Facebook and Twitter page.
Receiving the go-ahead, I set out to learn how to use Dreamweaver and put a month’s worth of marketing lessons to use, which a year later proved to be a huge success. While I felt like a modern Nancy Drew and marketing guru, I still found myself wanting. Though I could see mazes of diverse career paths in communications, the Walt Whitman style trail I desired was harder to forge.
Declaring my major as English with a concentration in Professional Writing was a small step towards my unknown bliss, though at the time I even asked the age ol'question of 'what to do with an English major?'.
By summer 2012, I was invited to apply for a paid internship at the University of Delaware's Information Technologies office by one of my professor, whom is also IT's Communications Manager. This turned out to foster my many interests in marketing, design, technology, writing, and editing. Around this time I started to realize the limitless opportunities for professional development in academic environments, especially in the broad area of communications.
Fall 2012, I started working at the Office of Communications and Marketing (OCM) at UD writing for UDaily, the University's online news source. However, something was still unfulfilling. But what could be missing? The challenge. Of course. A paved, sceneless trail is less appealing than an overgrown, forge-your-way type of path. So I began networking around the office looking for opportunities in web design, technical writing, and print publication.
Viola. By the end of the semester I joined OCM's College of Engineering (COE) communications team doing all three! My trail was looking pretty satisfying. A month in, the Communications Manager for the COE offered me paid part-time work. As a starving college student and Jane of many trades, this was a defining moment.
Over the past few months my reputation around these offices has developed beyond flattery--to respect and equality amongst the people I work with. In this environment, I've never felt more like Nancy Drew.