English majors aren’t given a lot of promise for their careers. Between snide comments about your future waitressing job, pressure from professors to turn to teaching, and the myriad “useless majors” lists English finds itself on in a tech-savvy job market, it’s a rough world for an aspiring writer. So when a friend told me she knew someone, who knew someone, who was looking for an editorial intern, I immediately submitted my resume and writing samples. My friend put in a good word for me, and days later, I had the job! It was a good mix of networking and my own hard work.
The business at which I interned, Campus Calm, was a company dedicated to helping college students with perfectionism. The founder, Maria Pascucci, was only eight years older than me, and this became an important aspect to our relationship.
After months of proofreading and blog writing, we began working on a book: The College Student’s 10-Step Blueprint to Stop Stressing & Create a Happy, Purposeful Life. My job was to proofread, expound on an article I had written a few months before, and create a couple of fun quizzes at the end of each chapter. I was writing everyday, and it felt great! When the work was done, Maria and I met for sushi, and she handed me three copies of the finished book. The feeling I got when I saw my name in print was unreal! I was published at 21 years old! The experience proved invaluable as such an noteworthy accomplishment helped me stand out among my peers.
Upon graduation, the professional relationship I had with Maria became something more of a friendship. I would drive to her house in the city, and over lunch outside, we would spend the afternoon brainstorming ideas for her next big project. She would clue me in on the ins, outs, and struggles she faced as a business owner, (which became very useful to me) and I would confide in her about my woes as a recent college grad. (What recent college grad doesn’t have a few woes?) I knew I wanted to write, but I wasn’t sure how to go about making it my career.
Then one afternoon, as we sat on the floor of her bright blue and orange office, it occurred to me that I wanted a job like hers. I wanted to own my own business. After telling her of my plan, she immediately got to work helping me pick a name, design a web site, and file for a DBA. Within a month, my freelance writing business was launched!
Having had my business, 100 Pink Pens, for nearly a year now, Maria and I remain good friends both professionally and personally. She is always willing to provide me with advice when I need it, and I continue to help her in any way that I can. After all, she’s the reason I got my start! I was able to follow my dream of owning my own business and making a living as a writer all because of my college internship!
Don’t abandon your passion just because you’re unsure whether you can make a living doing it. Start with finding the right college to help cultivate your talent, work hard, and always be ready to say “yes” to an opportunity. You never know which one might just make your career.