When Ryan MacInnis switched from a literature concentration to journalism and professional writing for his English degree, professors suggested gaining experience outside of the classroom. Unsure of where to start, he visited the Career Services and Cooperative Education Center, starting on his path to several internships and a secure job right after graduation.
“I met with Career Services associate director Priscilla March and she helped me write my first resume and find two journalism internships and one in marketing,” says MacInnis. “We met almost every week while I was a student and she took the time to ask, ‘What do you want to do with this degree?’ She always went above and beyond to make sure I got the best out of my time at the University. Students should expose themselves to new opportunities and fields early and often, they’ll all open doors.”
While at school, MacInnis balanced time covering local stories for the Chelmsford Patch online newspaper and then sports for the Boston Globe. Working with the fast-paced Globe staff gave MacInnis a direct view of the demanding and shifting responsibilities of modern journalism. He calls it one of his best experiences but wasn't absolutely sure it was the right path for him as graduation got closer. Knowing MacInnis’ writing and people skills would be helpful for a marketing department, March asked if the field appealed to him.
“I didn't think it was a career open to me but I was interested,” says MacInnis. “We found a marketing and communications internship with Teradyne and I learned about the shifts happening in marketing right now. How companies position themselves and convey their content is increasingly important and that’s an area that my English degree helps.”
MacInnis enjoyed the strategic thinking required by marketing and the writing experience or journalism but wanted to find a job that combined his strengths. Inbound marketing was the answer. At his new company, the hiring manager recognized MacInnis’ name from articles in the Globe and knew he had the communication skills and maturity to thrive in the role.
His role requires MacInnis to attract and retain clients by providing content they want in blogs, newsletters and other publication. He uses marketing skills to identify engaging topics and writing skills to create new content or increase the effectiveness of pieces written by colleagues. MacInnis has written e-books, edited copy and helped to launch a new blogging campaign to foster employee-created content for his marketing projects.
“I see myself as a writing ambassador for coworkers new to blogging or writing for marketing materials,” says MacInnis. “With their specific backgrounds and my writing skills, we can increase the impact of their communications.”