Spotlight on Humanities Alumni: Marissa Dubin

Name: Marissa Dubin
Age: 24
Occupation: Copywriter
Education (UR and additional): B.A. in English, University of Rochester, 2010
Current city/state of residence: Cambridge, MA
Community activities: Fashion trend prediction class at Mass College of Art

What resources did you use on campus that you recommend current students use?

I would recommend that students take advantage of the greater Rochester community and procure an internship for credit. My internship with Archer provided me with a window into the real world of marketing and advertising. If at all possible, try to get an on-campus job that relates to your field of interest. I must say that my position with RED not only helped me develop leadership and professional skills, but also gave me the perfect outlet for showcasing my creativity. For the record: I have brought up both of these examples during post-graduate interviews.

What did you do immediately after graduation? How did you decide to take that path?

Immediately following graduation, I wrote scores upon scores of cover letters, cold-called just about every advertising/marketing human resources department under the sun, and networked like nobody’s business. I signed up for marketing conferences, the ad club, and even passed out my business card on the subway. My best decision yet was to enroll in an advertising class at a Boston agency (which little did I know, would lead to my big break) and start compiling a body of work to shop around to employers.

For some reason, I thought I was going to land my dream job one week out of college. So when things didn’t turn out that way, I put myself in the best possible position to make it happen.

What do you do now and why did you choose this career?

Now, I am a copywriter for a flash sale website (essentially my dream job). I spend my day-to-day writing copy for our upcoming sales, concepting posts for the blog, researching trends, and being inspired by magazines, newspapers, and tumblr.

I cannot imagine myself doing anything else. Here’s a job that has me writing everyday, researching trends, and pitching new ideas. What’s not to love?

Where would you like to be in five years?

I want to be writing and in Manhattan. Right now, I am not sure if that means continuing down the path of fashion copywriting or branching out into something more editorial (magazines or newspapers). I am not sure if I can manage to make it happen five years from now, but my dream is to write for the NY Times’ Style section.

What advice do you have for current students?

Firstly, make sure to enjoy your college years to the fullest. Second, landing your first job will not be as glamorous as you imagined. It’s a process and it can take time. Do whatever you can to connect with people in your industry, whether that means attending conferences, happy hours, or informational interviews. Since I was looking to break into the creative sphere, I found myself throwing out the rulebook and applying to jobs through more creative means (like writing poems or sending boxes of candy to prospective employers). Consider getting a part-time job while looking for your “real” job. It makes you feel more productive and allows you to earn some money in the mean time. And make sure to look into professional development classes in your area because you never know who you’ll meet (that’s how I got my job now).