Alumni Spotlight: Amanda Harding '10
(Interview conducted by Jesse McHugh '14)
What is your current job title or the name of the graduate program you’re pursuing?
I am currently a Senior Copywriter at Cigars International.
What do you do at said job or within the program?
I write tons of copy! I write web content, I compose emails that are sent out to our subscribers, I write for our catalog, and I work on various projects that require copy as they come up. Most recently I had to write radio commercials, which is something I’ve never done before. The thing I like most about Cigars International is that they value creativity and ingenuity, so I’m never stuck just writing boring product descriptions. I can use my love of creative writing while getting paid to do it. It’s a win-win.
What was your first job like after graduation?
Right after graduation I was hired as a Content Writer at kgbdeals.com, a daily deals website similar to Groupon that was headquartered in Bethlehem. I was there for three years, writing product copy for all kinds of different items, everything from fashion to kitchen items and everything in between.
Did Moravian’s English Department influence your career path? If yes, how so?
My journey was a little different. Right out of high school I went to community college for a couple of years, then moved to Philadelphia and got a degree in Fashion Marketing. After about a year of working in the fashion industry in Manhattan, I woke up one morning and realized that I absolutely did not want to be in fashion and I absolutely did want to be a writer full-time. So within a few months I quit my job, applied to Moravian, and enrolled in the English program. I think that being an “older” student (I was 24) made me appreciate it more…and it helped that I knew exactly what I wanted to do. While my favorite classes were the creative ones, like Fiction Writing, I’d say the most useful was my Business Writing class. It’s helpful in interviews to be able to say you’ve had experience writing press releases, newsletters, and the like, even if you’ve only done it in school! I added a lot of items from my time at Moravian to my portfolio, and it helped me land the jobs I was lucky enough to get.
What skills did the English Department give you that have helped you in your career/the workplace/life? Anything else you’d like to tell current students?
The biggest thing the English Department gave me was confidence. After completing the degree program, I felt well prepared to interview for jobs in my field, and I think that confidence was a big part of what got me hired.
I would tell students not to assume that they have to move to a big city to get a full-time writing job. Sure, they’re fewer and farther between in the Lehigh Valley, but I’ve now scored two full-time, with benefits, 40-hour per week, good paying jobs. I’m married and have a house and a baby on the way, so for my family, moving is simply not an option. So don’t give up, because you can find a dream writing job right here in the Valley, if that’s what you want.
(For fun) What is your favorite work of literature?
Oh, I could never pick just one. It changes almost monthly! Lately I’ve really been into memoirs, and if we’re being honest, it’s inspiring me to write one of my own. : )
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