Morgan Heldman (you might remember her as Mo Smith when she was a student!) graduated from Ball State with a BA in English/CW and a minor in Literature. She currently works as a junior content specialist at Samsung Electronics, North America in Simpsonville, SC.
What does a typical week look like for you?
I work for Samsung Electronics, North America in the Help Content department. We have a standard, corporate week, Monday through Friday, 8-5 (ish), but there are times where I might have to work early, late, or on a rare weekend. I’m really fortunate to work for a company with flex scheduling and the ability to work from home when necessary, so if I do work extra, I can get that time back. I get to manage my week with my home life in mind, which was not the case before coming to Samsung.
My day to day is mainly managing support content for Samsung Apps. I spend my days checking the latest update releases, comparing them to previous versions, auditing content for updates, and reviewing SEO analytics so we can try to improve any content that under-performs. Previously, I was more hands-on in writing the content, but now that I manage it, I do technical reviews and edit content others update upon my request. There are lots of emails and check-ins to make sure deadlines are met. During a typical week, I’ll get a rushed content request from HQ and create that myself. I also read agent and customer feedback so that I can update the content to be more user-friendly or more accurate. Product testing is a part of my job as well. I get sample devices (phones, tablets, watches, headphones, charging pads, etc.) to carry and test so that if I come across any issues, I can create content for customers and support agents. Sometimes my job may actually involve playing a game on my phone to test our Game Launcher app, but that’s not often. Because Samsung is a global company, many people in my department are spread out across the nation, and several of our business partners are in other countries. I have several virtual meetings each week. Business travel is an option, but I personally try not to travel for work. I like being home with my dog and my husband.
What skills did you learn as an English major that have helped you with a job as a content writer?
All of them. Seriously. Communication, organization, critical thinking, how to research, creativity, structure, and voice/tone are all things that I use daily, and I can trace those skills back to my days in Robert Bell. Unfortunately, I’m the only one on my team with a background in English, but because of that, my background has been an asset to my team. I never intended to be a technical or content writer when I was at Ball State, but everything I learned there is still applicable in both fields. Specifically, in Cathy Day’s noveling class, I had my first introduction to SEO and blogging. I don’t blog for Samsung, but I do use blogger style constantly, and SEO is a main focus for all of us. It’s mentioned hourly.
What is the most fulfilling part of your job?
Honestly, it’s that I’m valued, and I get to use my education. Writing about technology was never a passion or a goal. In fact, working in a corporate setting was something I wanted to avoid at all costs. However, this is the third global company I’ve worked for, and for the first time, I love it because I work for great managers. They recognize what I’m good at, work to improve my weaknesses, and plan for my personal career path. Nothing is perfect, but I have dream bosses, and that makes it so much easier to deal with the day to day annoyances of the office. I’m not writing in the way I dreamed about, but I still get to do it. Writing a novel, a memoir, or a blog series is always on my mind, and I plan to get back to it, but I like knowing that I’m not getting too rusty while I’m working my day job, and I love knowing that my education wasn’t wasted even if I never write the way I planned.
Do you have advice for English majors who are trying to decide what to do after graduation?
Two things that are kind of related. The first is it’s ok if you don’t know what you want to do. Most people don’t. The second is take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way whether it seems relevant or not. You may not know what you want to do, but if you take advantage of enough opportunities, you might stumble into it. The last 6 years of my career are directly related to a random email I got from the English department secretary just before graduation. A company in Indianapolis was looking for students wanting to make a little extra money for a couple months as a chat support agent. They were not addressing anyone looking to start a career, but I did it anyway because I needed a job immediately. I swore after the first day that I’d never make it past the training week, but it went extremely well. I was promoted and asked back season after season. That experience paired with my background created a career path for me to do something I didn’t even know existed, and that’s how I got here.