Alumni Profile: Jennifer Rudsit (’16)

By: Emily Church

While I enjoy talking with anyone that has graduated from Whitworth, as a graduating senior I find it relieving to hear from those who have just graduated within the past year and learn about the exciting opportunities that they have come across and get a peek into what the near future will be like.  Alumna Jennifer Rudsit offers a refreshing look into the year following graduation. She almost makes me forget my anxieties about the approaching future. Almost.

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What have you been up to since graduation?

Since graduation there have been many transitions. I’ve become quite skilled at packing and unpacking a suitcase, so if I succeed at nothing else in life, there’s always that. After I graduated this past May I had the opportunity to attend the University of Denver Publishing Institute, where I received a Certificate of Publishing. The institute was basically a four week crash course on the publishing industry, complete with editing and marketing workshops, resume and interview coaching, lectures and networking opportunities with publishing professionals, free books, and a bunch of introverted book nerds attempting to network. After that I headed home to Gig Harbor, Washington, and enjoyed some free rent (thanks parents), and after a couple stressful months of applying for jobs and shedding many a tear, I started a seasonal retail job. During my four months of retail I also picked up a couple of side jobs doing some social media/author assistant work for a local Gig Harbor writer and helping out as the Assistant Web Editor for Rock & Sling.

My most recent and exciting transition, however, happened this past week when I started an internship with Copper Canyon Press in Port Townsend, Washington. Copper Canyon is a non-profit poetry press that publishes emerging and established poets from around the world. I don’t entirely know what interning at Copper Canyon is going to look like since, you know, it’s only been a week, but based on intern life so far we will be reading manuscripts, completing projects for the staff, working with a one-on-one staff mentor, and basically just working with incredible people doing incredible things.

  1. How did you get there?

I ended up at the Denver Publishing Institute mainly because wonderful professors and friends supported me and brought opportunities and connections to my attention throughout my senior year. I first heard about publishing certificate programs during an informational interview I did my sophomore year with the Sales and Marketing Manager at Shelf Awareness in Seattle, and things like taking Literary Editing and Design, joining Rock & Sling, and attending AWP helped me know for sure I wanted to apply, and also helped me get into the program. I knew about Copper Canyon Press before going to Denver, but during the publishing institute looked more seriously into internships and entry-level positions at presses in the Seattle area. I applied in November, and here I am!

  1. How has your English degree served you since graduation?

My English degree has served me in so many ways. I mean, it’s only been eight months, but still. Besides helping me grow as a reader, writer, and human being during my time at Whitworth, it has served me in so many practical and specific ways since graduation. The work we did in Senior Portfolio gave me the skills and confidence I needed to write cover letters and apply for jobs both during and after the Denver Publishing Institute. Learning how to write for a specific audience is necessary for writing readers reports for manuscript submissions, press releases for books, and in daily work interactions. The past few days in my internship I’ve been so grateful for all the poetry classes I took as I’ve started to read manuscripts because they taught me how to read quickly and comprehensively as well as how to analyze and discuss poetry. And I already know that working with Rock & Sling – reading submissions, being pushed to form and share opinions on poems – will be helpful to me as I complete my internship. With everything happening in the world, I am grateful to have a degree that has helped me develop my analytical skills, expand my empathy, and given me tools to examine the world from different lenses. Those skills will always serve me well. Plus, all of the snarky and witty conversation that happened in the English department lounge has made me a better conversationalist.

  1. What’s the best/most fun thing that you’ve done since graduation?

Well, I got a KitchenAid mixer for Christmas, so that was pretty exciting. But besides that, I honestly have to say that this first week of my internship has been the most fun, and definitely the best thing that I’ve done since graduation. It feels so good to be working in a community of people who are engaged with the world, people who value literature and the arts and believe that poetry is vital to language and living. I know I’m exactly where I need to be right now. I have no idea what my life will look like after this internship, and I’m sure I’m going to completely freak out about that at some point, but right now that’s okay. The next transition will come.

Emily Church (’17) is an English Writing and Sociology major at Whitworth University from western Washington and dreams of one day traveling the world. She enjoys writing, reading, painting, collecting journals (not writing in them), fall leaves, summer warmth, and adventure.

Internship Spotlight: Jennifer Rudsit (’16) at She’s Charming

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Earlier this semester, Jennifer Rudsit (’16) gave us a snapshot of her internship. Here she is again, looking back on her spring semester as a blogger for She’s Charming:

Hello, again! I’m back, having finished my internship. She’s Charming, a blog centered on holistic living for women, was created by Katie Palmer and Dani Erickson, two Whitworth English department grads. Working with Katie and Dani was a unique and beneficial experience, because as recent grads, they understand the Whitworth experience and could give me a lot of advice about classes, internships, and post-college life.

While I’ve always known how influential other people’s writing is in my own life, it never occurred to me that words I write could possibly reach out to someone in the same way. Having my words published online was terrifying, but hearing how people connected with Katie and Dani’s posts, and even mine, reminded me how powerful words can be, and how cool it is that we have the ability to connect with people through writing.

Being a part of the She’s Charming team has also made me appreciate Spokane a lot more. Their Explore section on the blog features local coffee shops, restaurants, and stores, and exploring their recommendations has helped my displaced Western Washington heart enjoy this city in new ways. They emphasize community and investing in where you live, as opposed to passively living day to day in your city. You can’t love something until you give it a chance, and She’s Charming has laid great groundwork for anyone wanting to explore and fall in love with the major cities in the Pacific Northwest.

Thanks for reading – I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at She’s Charming, and I hope you’ll check out the blog.

Jennifer is a sophomore English writing and literature major, and theatre dance minor. In her free time she enjoys working at the HUB Info Desk, journaling, having nerdy conversations, and, of course, reading a lot of books.

Internship Spotlight: Jennifer Rudsit (’16) at She’s Charming

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Earlier this semester I began an internship at She’s Charming. She’s Charming, a blog started by two Whitworth English department grads, Katie Palmer and Dani Erickson, is a space for women to celebrate all facets of their lives, embracing the idea of holistic living. Their articles are broken up into different categories: style, explore, cook, decorate, self, and career.

As their intern, I write one post a week, switching between the different categories. It’s exciting to have a lot of freedom to write within these categories, and that freedom is helping me create a more productive brainstorming process. Working with She’s Charming has taught me a lot about how ideas can come from a variety of unexpected places. I even caved and got a Pinterest account – turns out pinning provides great inspiration!

I’m also learning a lot about using visual media to complement my writing. It’s more than just writing the article; the post must also be visually compelling and interesting to the reader. With help from Katie and Dani, I’m learning about using pictures, quotes, and more to enhance my writing, and to help my posts fit into the aesthetic they’ve created for the blog.

Since starting my internship with She’s Charming, I’ve also become more aware of the strong blogging community in Spokane. There are meet-up events for bloggers in the area to connect with each other, and a lot of resources for people who are interested in or want more information about blogging. She’s Charming also focuses a lot on promoting local locations, restaurants, and companies in the Pacific Northwest, adding a unique community feel to the blog.

Blogging is becoming an extremely popular forum for discussing current events, opinions, trends, and lifestyles, as well as creating another way for people to connect and share ideas through the internet. It’s been exciting to join this community through my internship.

If any of this sounds interesting to you, you should definitely check out She’s Charming.

Jennifer Rudsit is a sophomore English writing and literature major, and theatre dance minor. In her free time, she enjoys working at the HUB Info Desk, journaling, watching BBC television, having nerdy conversations, and, of course, reading a lot of books.