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Jennifer Englert-Copeland, Freelance Grant Writer

By Kate Mackay

What can you do with your English degree?  Travel; help people; write; make your own schedule. These are some of the things that Jennifer Englert-Copeland is grateful to be able to do with her English degree.

Jennifer Englert-Copeland graduated from Western Carolina University in 2004 with a B.A. in English literature. She began freelance writing out of Greenville, South Carolina, in January 2009, shortly after her daughter was born.  She writes grant proposals, fundraising appeals, and marketing materials for nonprofit organizations. 

Bread and butter 

Englert-Copeland's undergraduate English degree prepared her for her current career path because of the amount of writing and research it required.  "The skills involved translate well to careers in development and fundraising, especially in the area of grant writing," she added.  When asked how important writing is to her job, Englert-Copeland replied, "Writing is my bread and butter!"  After graduation, she took a low-level job at an international nonprofit organization and was able to move up to communications director in a few months because of the writing skills she developed at WCU.  Englert-Copeland started doing contract work for the nonprofit when she began freelancing.

 It's about time

Working as a freelance writer has enabled Englert-Copeland to spend precious time with her one-year-old daughter.  Freelancing provides her with a flexible and varied schedule. When asked what a typical day is like for her, she responded, "I don't know that I have a typical day really.  Because I am a freelancer, my days vary depending upon the project."

 A few words of advice

Englert-Copeland thinks that the best piece of advice she can give to students who have graduated or are graduating with an English degree is "to remain open to different avenues."  She stresses that "the sky really is the limit" in regards to what you can do with an English degree.  "Since childhood, I've always loved reading and writing.  I've also always been somewhat of 'do-gooder,' adopting one cause or another. Today, I really feel I have the best of both worlds. I continue to do what I love through writing, but I also use writing to help with causes close to my heart."

These profiles were created by the Karen Greenstone's English 303 class (spring 2009)
and edited for the web by Mary Adams's English 303 class (summer 2009).

Students in Mary Adams's English 303 class (fall 2009) wrote additional profiles.