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"Two paths diverged..."


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I'm back again with more questions/anxiety about my upcoming college graduation. I'm a senior, majoring in English, and I'm graduating in June 2008.

I THINK I want to go to graduate school eventually, but I want to get some work experience before I decide to spend 2 MORE years in school.


So, after I graduate, I have the option of doing a 9-month certificate program in either editing OR paralegal studies.


Therein lies my dilemma.


I have editorial work experience (college magazine and newspaper) and I sort of think I might like to go into publishing. Maybe. But I'm thinking that I could get a paralegal certificate and be "guaranteed" a job wherever I move to (within reason).


Both programs last 9 months and cost somewhere in the area of $3,000 each. Because of financing and time constraints, I can only do one of the programs.


I'm just wondering which one makes more sense.


I guess, logically, the editing program gives me more room for flexibility in terms of careers. But I feel like, money-wise, the paralegal program would provide more job security? Then again--I have no idea what I'm talking about, lol. Ugh, my head hurts.







I just turned down an editorial internship with a local magazine publisher because I got a part-time job. When I turned it down, the head editor left me a voicemail that said, "I'm really sorry to hear that your hours of availability were shortened. If your schedule opens up in the future, please let us know--I'd love to have you on staff. I think you'd be a great addition to the team."


Well, my schedule probably isn't going to open up until March (when the next school quarter starts), and I think it'd be a good opportunity. Do you think that when I re-apply for the position, I should literally re-apply? Like, write a new cover letter/resume and everything? OR should I just e-mail her in late February and ask if she has any open positions?


Sorry, this is like five questions in one post--hopefully someone stuck it out to read the whole thing.

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Hey there:


Based on your writing skills, you seem like you're decently intelligent. I can almost guarantee that the paralegal field will bore you to tears. You are at an age where you can afford to take risks--you don't have a mortgage or kids to support. Do what interests you.


That's a GREAT sign that the head editor left you such a voicemail. Follow up with a hand-written thank you card NOW. Tell her that you were impressed by the magazine, enjoyed the interview, blah blah blah, and that you sincerely hope that your schedule will permit you to take advantage of the excellent opportunity of working for her.


When you reapply in March--and you should--you should write a new cover letter referencing your communications with her this month. Include a resume, and in the cover letter, say something like, "Enclosed please find an updated copy of my resume," something like that.




P.S. It's ok to be totally bewildered by life after graduation, you know. Somehow you'll survive. Really.

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You've been given great advice. I'd suggest studying the editorial stuff myself. Yellow Sweater gave you good advice on rectivifying the situation with the intership (should have taken it) and the job. Best of luck to you, follow your heart not your head when it comes to a career.

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You've been given great advice. I'd suggest studying the editorial stuff myself. Yellow Sweater gave you good advice on rectivifying the situation with the intership (should have taken it) and the job. Best of luck to you, follow your heart not your head when it comes to a career.



Thanks for the advice.


But there's really no situation to be "rectified" with the internship. My question was how to go about re-applying, really. The editor was extremely understanding about my situation and encouraging about the possibility for a position in the future.


As for passing on the internship--she wanted me to work 20 hours a week. I could have done 20 hours/week if I didn't have rent and tuition to pay. As it is, I needed another job. There are some instances where practicality (and logic) outweigh the heart.


Meanwhile, I've decided on the editing program. Even though it means I have to stay in Seattle for a year after graduation. I really, really want to move to Chicago so I can go into publishing. I'd love to move right after graduation, but the only editing program I've found there costs twice as much as the one here AND it's way less intensive.


So. In Seattle, I stay. A let down, but necessary.

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I think it was Donald Trump (or someone of his likes) who said that the best way to make money is to do something that you are passionate about. If you see yourself wanting to do more editing work in the future (and I assume that this would be supportive of your publishing interest), then I would go this way! True, we all work for the money, but I think it's typically unwise to select a career path purely on money. You will get burned out faster and find yourself wanting to make a change early on.


As far as the internship, my answer is yes and yes. When your schedule changes, yes do reapply for the program and go through all the correct tunnels. And also, yes, recontact those individuals who you were in touch with (including the manager who left you a message) and mention that your schedule has changed and you would like to be reconsidered for the internship and that you have already re-begun the process by submitting your application/resume. This way if there is a possibility that they would like to bring you on board without jumping all the hoops, you have made this clear. And if they prefer that you go through the process properly, you have done so and shown that you don't cheat the system or expect special treatment (although some of that would be nice!)

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