Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Emily Ayer

The English major landed her dream job working as art director at Southern Weddings magazine right out of Wheaton. The blog she started before she graduated was a great warm up and helped her get the job.

Work benefits: I get to work with the most amazing people. The photographers, stylists and independent vendors that I have the pleasure of collaborating with inspire me to always have a job I’m passionate about.

Secret to success: Show, don’t tell. My former professors are probably laughing right now, because “show, don’t tell” is a famous instruction given to beginning poets. But in this case, I’m relating it to the job search. I firmly believe that one of the reasons I was hired for my current job is because I started writing a wedding and lifestyle blog, Peach and Pearl, while I was still in college. When the time to apply for a job rolled around, I was able to point to months and months of posts that showed just how much I knew about weddings, and just how much I loved them. If you know what industry you want to get into, don’t wait until after you graduate! Find a way to begin participating in it in a meaningful way as soon as you can.

Value of Wheaton education: I give a lot of the credit for where I am professionally to the Filene Center. From the first semester of my freshman year, I worked with some amazing people there, and they were the ones who encouraged me to go after the internships I really wanted, including at The Knot.  Thanks to Dan Golden [former dean for work and service learning] and Elizabeth Hallowell [Filene Center associate director], I’m now known among my non-Wheaton friends as the go-to girl for a resume once over.

Proudest accomplishment: Completing my thesis. I wrote an original collection of poetry based on a lifetime of summers on a tiny island off the coast of Maine. I had the best time working with my advisor, Professor James Mulholland, and it is so gratifying to be able to look back on the entire experience and know that the project turned out even better than I had hoped.

Favorite non-work activities: Since so much of my time at work is spent on the computer (I receive about 200 e-mails a day…ugh!), I like to make real, tangible things in my free time, like headbands or stationery or cupcakes.  Some I sell in my Etsy store, but more often I just send surprise packages to my unsuspecting friends and family.  I also like to be outside, whether I’m hiking, biking or kayaking.

Community involvement: I volunteer with my church’s community garden. Most of the veggies we harvest go to food banks, but if we’re lucky, the volunteers get some, too.