I stumbled upon Stacie Scherman’s July 31 post the other day in the Grand Rapids Business Journal and I was delighted to see someone else have the experience I’ve had when telling folks my background.
Yes, I have an English degree. I also triple majored in college with English, theater and film/media studies. That fact always bewilders people when I do something other than writing for an income. Somehow it surprises folks that a writer could also be good at marketing, content creation or management.
I’m here to confirm, as Scherman so eloquently does in her piece, that all of that is possible. And no, it isn’t a stretch.
As a writer I’m well versed in storytelling, I can compose a narrative from start to finish and keep readers engaged. I am passionate about it which reflects in my work, especially if it has to do with the arts and I’m especially grumpy or excited about the show.
As a performer, I know how to speak to others. I am comfortable in front of crowds and am fairly good and riffing when things go wrong. People generally enjoy hearing from me whether it’s business or just running into someone at the coffee shop. I can read a room as well and adapt what I’m saying to fit the atmosphere.
As a media nerd, I know how technology and our various media work together. I have experience in local television, know basic video and photo editing and always have a recorder handy in case I have to run to an interview. In the business realm, I’m crucial to helping a company understand why something is or isn’t working and implementing new strategies.
All of those things are true and yet, without a business degree, people often wonder why I exist in that world. The truth of it is because being a freelance journalist or a writer of any kind is tough. By utilizing my other skills in marketing gigs I strengthen my own ability to market myself as well as a business I know and appreciate. Because I work for myself I decide who my clients are as well as how often I get new ones or when it’s time to double down and shrink my list.
Business shouldn’t be boring, so why do people seem so steadfast that only business people work in business?
I’ve read too much boring web copy. Email writing is an art form. Horrible, pixelated digital content hurts my eyes. All of these things could be avoided if businesses hired creatives.
English and other arts based degrees aren’t restrictive. They are only as limiting as others make them. If you need something creative done the best person to do that work is a creative person. Whether they have an arts, business, science or any other kind of degree (or a degree at all) shouldn’t negate their ability to work with you.
Amanda Finn is a Chicago based freelance writer and social media manager. She loves writing about things that make life interesting.