Content Strategy, Marketing/Advertising Writing, Online and Social Communications Management
Content Strategy, Sullivan, NYC
Freelance Writer/Social Media Supervisor, Tachyon Solutions
Web Communications, Carnegie Museums
BA in English with a minor in Philosophy, Washington and Jefferson College, 2009
Carnegie Mellon's MA in Professional Writing program was not the easy choice for Mandy McManamon.
However, once she began her research, it became clear that the MAPW program was the right choice.
"As I began to really consider some of the differences, I realized that the other institution used books written by professors from CMU," says Mandy (MAPW '10).
She was also drawn to the organization of the MAPW program, which fuses writing and design.
"I really like that the MAPW is sort of a non-traditional graduate program in that we learn technical skills and work on real projects rather than a thesis or research project," she elaborates.
The combination of writing and design was particularly appealing to Mandy, whose undergraduate coursework at Washington and Jefferson College sparked her interest in design and the creative aspects of communications.
Mandy, who received her BA in English with a minor in Philosophy in 2009, cites two undergraduate courses as the basis for her current interests: Marketing and Preparing New Media (Photoshop/Movie Editing).
"In these classes I was exposed to the combination of visual and verbal means of getting a message across," she says.
A summer internship further solidified her desire to work in communications and design.
"I had a great summer internship with a marketing firm that specializes in direct marketing for colleges and universities. I learned a lot there about the way that writing and design work together," she explains.
In addition to her courses and internship, Mandy was involved in several other organizations on campus and also held a job with W&J's admissions office. Now, as an MAPW student here at CMU, she keeps just as busy.
In the fall of 2009, during Mandy's first semester in the program, she worked part-time as a copywriter at Brady Communications, a full-service marketing firm in downtown Pittsburgh. She wrote and edited material for major clients, including American Eagle and PPG, and also worked on articles for Brady's bi-monthly in-house newsletter.
She also interned at the Carnegie Museum of Art. Her major responsibilities were developing content for the museum's website and social networking pages.
In the spring of 2010, Mandy began to work as a freelance writer for Tachyon Solutions located in Wexford, PA. She developed their business-to-business social media plan. This process included researching industry trends to develop blogs that support search-engine optimization (SEO) strategy and also writing content for and monitoring the company Facebook and Twitter accounts.
For her summer internship, Mandy worked as a content strategist at Sullivan in NYC. Her main responsibilities were writing and editing copy for a variety of clients, pinpointing messaging pillars to support a brand message, adapting copy for print and web, developing copy for Sullivan's website, and monitoring their Twitter feed.
Mandy will be graduating in December of 2010. Her experiences in the MAPW program have opened her eyes to the wide range of possible careers she would prosper in.
"Honestly, I think I would be happy doing a number of things. If I had to pick one thing right now, I would like to be a Communication Planner so that I can be involved in aspects of writing, design, marketing, and PR," says Mandy.
Whatever the future holds, Mandy will be prepared. Always motivated to succeed, she partially attributes her ambition to being a student here at CMU.
"It's inspiring to be surrounded by brilliant people. That's what I feel like at CMU-I might have just walked by the person who will cure cancer or write the next best-selling novel or develop the device that surpasses the iPhone."