Emily Perez is a senior English major at Millersville University with a concentration in writing studies and a minor in theatre. She enjoys reading, writing, and anything pertaining to sports or outdoor activities. Read more about her recent summer internship below!
Walking into my internship the first day, I didn’t know what was going to be asked of me pertaining to the writing that my boss would want me to produce. Would she want me to write narrative pieces like the ones found on several different travel blogging websites or would she want me to conduct interviews? As a 20-year-old college student who has never traveled very far out of the United States, would I be able to deliver a writing style and voice that matched what a 50-year-old travel writer and expert was looking for? These were the questions that raced through my head when I sat down in front of her the first day of my internship.
After writing for my boss the first time, I found that we had different target audiences in mind which influenced the way I wrote and related to the audience through my tone and style. I had one idea of what the writing on her website should do, and she had a different one. Seeing her as my client, I realized that it didn’t matter if my voice was in it; for a company, the voice has to be unified even if it’s multiple people writing. Thus, I had to learn to be a writing chameleon. So, I learned to write as if I was a traveling expert, as if those that were already traveling were coming to me for fun and witty information. It was through this process that I learned how important it was to be able to adapt to a new writing style and voice.
Taking on the voice of my boss and her company taught me several important lessons throughout the process of my internship. First and foremost, I learned the importance of being a chameleon. In the professional writing industry, especially as a content writer, I would have to write for lots of different clients, each company having their own voice and presence. As a writer, I have to be able to adopt that voice easily and quickly to produce content that matches how that company sounds on a regular basis. This is important because when other people are viewing a company’s content, they can pick up on changes in the writing style which can, in some cases, create problems. For example, imagine each writing piece is a red apple. If one writing piece has a different feel to it, then it would be like a green apple in a line of red apples; it would stand out like sore thumb.
Another lesson learned from the process of taking on someone else’s writing style is that a client changing your writing or asking you to slightly change something is never personal and shouldn’t be taken that way. Again, the client simply wants a unified front for their content and asking for any changes is what they are trying to achieve. Hence, a writer should never take it personally, but should simply try to edit the writing to create the content that the client is looking for.
The last thing that I learned from this process, which goes along with the not taking change personally, is that as writers, we must be open to editing. Editing is a natural part of being a content writer or any type of writer. During the process, a piece can go through several edits and proofing rounds before a client approves it. So, never get upset when your writing is being edited to sound different. Again, this is so the client can achieve their voice and should be seen as a learning process and a chance to really embrace the new voice more fully.
In the end, I realized that through it all, being an English major helped me easily transition into a different type of writing style and voice. Taking tricks from my courses and learning the type of writing that different professors liked, allowed me to easily do that for my internship supervisor at Women’s Adventure Travels. After reading through my boss’s edits, I was able to find the little quirks and word usage that she tended to use in her writing that she was also looking for in the writing that I was producing for her. Overall, as writers and English majors, it is important for us to be able to transition our writing to match that of any company that we are writing for because their publication may be multiple writers, but it should be one voice.
– Emily Perez
(Title Image: John Simpson, Gabrielle Resh, Karen Loftus, Sarah Crocker, Tianna Smith, Taylor Onkst, Jacob Gould, and Emily Perez)