Context: I've been a storyteller since before I could write my stories down. I love coming up with stories and characters and have always dreamt of having my stories read by people who look forward to reading them. I haven't had much experience in the professional world of authorship or publishing and am only now, as my undergraduate career is coming to an end, beginning to find the time to explore these avenues more thoroughly. I'm extremely interested in finding ways just to get my foot in the door in the publishing and/or entertainment industry. I consider myself a muli-media writer because I'm interested in storytelling in virtually whatever written forms it may take; prose, poetry, songs, screenplays, blogging, social media, etc. I love it all.
College: I am currently coming to the end of my senior year at the University of Memphis in Memphis, TN. I'm a double major in English and Communication with concentrations in Creative Writing and Film & Video Production. I chose to double major in both English and Communication for several reasons. First, I always knew I wanted to major in English when I went to college, so that was pretty much set in stone from the beginning. I added the Comm major in my sophomore year after realizing that I could take TV Production and Screenwriting courses in the Film & Video Production concentration. Because I knew I wanted to write not only for print media but also for the screen, this seemed like the best option to get familiar with the basics of my desired career fields.
Other Education: I plan to continue my education on the graduate level but will likely be waiting one or two years before doing so. When I'm ready, I intend to study Screenwriting at either Boston University (my first choice), Loyola Marymount University, or The University of Southern California. These are my top three choices for grad school but I am researching and considering applying to a few others as well.
Activities: During my time as an undergrad, I have had the opportunity to become a member of several of my campus' student organizations as well as several nationally recognized scholarly and leadership based organizations and honor societies. Due to various factors at play including family issues, lack of personal transportation and other similar nuisances, I was not nearly as involved in these organizations as I wanted to be but I am planning on keeping the friends I've made through them close after graduation and doing what I can to make up for lost time volunteering and giving back to my community.
Job Experience: I have worked on campus as a computer lab attendant /assistant. I was responsible for overseeing and assisting students in the use of iMac computers, software, printers, etc. and also managed tasks such as reporting technical issues to tech services, keeping the printer stocked with ink and paper, and locking up the lab at the end of open lab hours. Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to take on any internships or study abroad experiences despite my great desire to do so. I do intend on taking at least one year after I graduate to gain as much work experience as possible. I'm specifically interested in gaining experience on TV or movie sets as a Production Assistant or Script Supervisor and also in editing, writing, or anything else I can do learn more about the publishing process and industry.
Soft Skills: My strongest soft skills are written communication, reading, listening, paying attention to detail, creative problem solving, being attentive and supportive of team members, exercising empathy, and being patient (which, yes, I do consider to be a skill). I'm a calm, level-headed creative thinker who works best after being giving concise instruction and then set free to work either independently or closely within a small group.
Admittedly, I have been working on my time management skills for practically my entire college career. It is something I knew I would need to work on when I graduated high school and went into college with that firmly in mind. I am proud to say that I have made great strides in this area over the last few years and my academic standing does well to show that but I know full well that I have a long way to go still. Also, I've never been much of a talker but part of my reasoning for majoring in Communication in college was to help pull myself out of my shell. Because of this, I've grown a great deal in terms of verbal communication. Still, I've got a-ways to go.
Hard Skills: My strongest hard skills are, again; writing (specifically, academic writing), working with word processors like Microsoft Word, Google Docs etc. I'm comfortable working on both Mac OS and Windows PC platforms. I am familiar with various video and music production/editing software such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro X, and FL Studio (formerly Fruity Loops), as well as other production geared software like Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop for graphic design. I have some experience with web design and content creation on the Word Press platform and a minimal knowledge of CSS coding as it pertains to the design of Word Press themes.
Other: I'm including this bit of information just in case there's someone in a similarly relatable situation who might benefit from any advice given.
The biggest hurdle I've had to learn to deal with in my life and academic career which I also expect to play a role in my career going forward is my less than stable family/home life. It's a hard thing to explain but I just don't have the type of support within my family that most people I know assume I do. I rarely talk about my family issues with my friends or teachers even when they prevent me from performing as well as I should in school because I hate having to make excuses for them. For various reasons related to this issue, I'm not financially independent enough to strike out on my own just yet but by the same token, it won't be possible (or healthy) for me to remain in my home for much longer which is why I want to start getting work as soon as I possibly can so I can save up and find a place of my own. Not to mention I'll need to start paying off student loan debt soon. At this point, my plan is basically to find a good place to work and live that will then hopefully allow me the freedom to pursue my career goals in two - three years from now. Any advice that can be offered about how to deal with all of this would be much appreciated. Thanks!