Feature Stories 2016: Marissa Matton: Master of Professional Writing

Marissa Matton
Feature Stories 2016: Marissa Matton: Master of Professional Writing
Marissa Matton: Master of Professional Writing

Through coursework, internships, and a graduate assistantship, Marissa Matton '14 MA '16 has prepared for a career in web writing.

Year: Class of 2016
Degree program: Master of Professional Writing
Previous degree: BA, English '14
Hometown: Fall River, MA
Internships: Changing Lives, Changing Minds blog; Sustainability website
Next steps: Career in web writing

Writing as a natural progression from love of reading

My interest in writing was a natural progression from my love of reading. I loved storytelling, but with every English class I took, I realized it was more than that.

My favorite part of writing is the editing process—continuously tweaking a piece until it best fits its purpose. I think it’s fascinating how many parts play into a piece’s success, from genre to audience to style. What works best in one situation doesn’t hold true in every situation.

I decided to pursue my master’s degree so I could better prepare myself for a career in writing. There’s often a misconception that an English degree is limited, but my courses showed me how communication is the basis for almost everything.

Writing outside of the comfort zone 

I completed an internship as editor of Changing Lives, Changing Minds, a blog for the Changing Lives Through Literature alternative sentencing program. I was responsible for editing posts from guest bloggers. Acquiring posts wasn't always easy, and when I didn't have any submissions, I wrote my own articles.

The experience provided an opportunity to break out of my comfort zone. I was comfortable writing about literature, but criminal justice wasn’t a topic I was familiar with. As a writer, it’s important to know how to adapt and research topics so that your writing can be versatile.

I also completed an internship with the university’s Office of Campus Sustainability & Residential Initiatives. I created web pages for the office, editing existing content to make it web-friendly.

Marissa Matton at University Marketing
On the job in the University Marketing Office

Graduate assistantship with marketing professionals

As a graduate assistant on the university’s web team, I maintain web pages, updating or editing them as needed. One of my major projects has been working on features and student spotlights.

In my classes, I’d only worked with other writers. Working with the marketing group, I’ve gained experience collaborating with a variety of people including designers and web developers.

I’ve benefited greatly from my assistantship. In addition to strengthening my writing and editing skills, I’ve also discovered the career path I want to take. After graduating, I’d like to pursue a career as a web writer. Thanks to my experience, I’m confident in my abilities.

I’m thankful to Prof. Chris Eisenhart for recommending me for the job on the web team. As chair of the English department, he’s always available and willing to help, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the classes I had with him.

More information

College of Arts & Sciences: Master in Professional Writing

Blog: Changing Lives, Changing Minds