What is your current job?
I work as an editor for The Motley Fool, which is a multimedia financial services company. Specifically, I am the editor for a few of The Fool's paid subscription services, which cover investment advice, business news and current trends, and retirement planning for everyday people.
Why did you choose this profession?
I've always been fascinated by words, writing, and storytelling — and as an editor, I get to play around with stories all day, helping people convey their ideas in a way that other people can understand. I'd majored in English and Linguistics, after all! In school, I'd informally edited for friends, and was thrilled when I got the chance to make that my career.
What more do you wish to accomplish in your professional career?
I'm deeply passionate about helping young people better access financial and media literacy information. There's no one class that teaches you everything you need to know about being an adult, but different organizations and people are picking up pieces here and there to help out. I'm aiming to be a part of that work in whatever way I can. Other than that, I'd like to keep learning wherever I go!
Tell us about a decision or change you made that turned out to be a positive career move.
I will say, I never thought I'd ever work at a company like The Motley Fool. Though I'd read pieces from their site here and there as part of my previous job, I had a lot of trouble looking for jobs outside of my own resume, so I didn't even consider the company as a possible employer. For several months, I was convinced that the only way to progress in my career would be to look for jobs nearly identical to the ones I'd already had, at the same type of company I'd already worked in. Though I'd been in the workplace for all of two seconds, I was so discouraged by reports and other articles that claimed that our job market was just too difficult, and that no one would hire me unless I already had 3-5 years of experience in their exact industry. And as such, I felt trapped in my tiny industry niche, unable to make my own career path, or take some time to explore.
Though it took me a while to push through this fear and apply for jobs with different sorts of companies, it's led me to a job I love, and a workplace challenge that has helped me grow. I was lucky enough to find a company and a team that wanted my interest and skillset (not just industry expertise), and who were comfortable training me on the job. My novice-level experience with investing can be viewed as an asset, given that we're writing to an audience of people who may not know much about financial issues. And of course, since my workmates are expert investors and analysts, I get to learn something new every day!
I don't say this because I think it's something that everyone can do. I know our job market isn't kind to people my age, who lack experience but who want to grow in a career they love. But hopefully my story points to the fact that it's getting better — and that people can step up and take a leap of faith when applying for jobs. There's so much value in trying something new.
How has Haverford influenced your professional career?
Haverford was the place that showed me the value in diversified learning. There's a common misconception among people in the workforce that you've failed if you don't have a job that directly matches your college major — or if you don't go back to school to get your master's, or your PhD. But for many people, that's not the right path for them. At its best, Haverford places a high value on a well-rounded person —someone who has varied interests and passions — and I think that's a tremendously healthy attitude to instill in students.