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East Carolina University News Service

Class of 2002

“At the time I graduated, I had only a vague idea of what I wanted to do with my English degree; possibly something in the book publishing industry. But it has equipped me well for a winding career path that has included news reporting, freelance magazine writing, and a stint with the family business that involved, among many other things, writing brokerage listings and social media posts. I have found my way back into a university setting, working at East Carolina University News Services, where I write copy about campus news, research, and events, as well as pitching story ideas to the media and assisting reporters with producing those stories. Long story short, the critical thinking and editing skills I learned in my English classes at UNC have prepared me to handle every challenge I have faced in my career. I spend most days learning about the work of others and boiling their stories down to the most understandable and interesting 500-1,000 words I can manage. One day it might be cutting edge medical research, the next a musician visiting campus for a concert. The confidence to do that, no matter the subject, came from practice, in the form of writing papers about literature, under the guidance of my Tar Heel professors. I’m also expected to produce copy that’s clean and ready to go, and to review and edit that of my coworkers, so the focus on grammar and wordsmithing has proven invaluable as well. The ability to write cleanly and clearly is important in so many fields and all too rare. Though I didn’t know exactly where my career would lead (and maybe still don’t), it has provided the foundation for everything I’ve been able to accomplish.”