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Pictured is Haleigh Kopinski, a 2015 English/Creative Writing alumna and online content provider for Dick's Sporting Goods. | Photo by Chris Rolinson

Meet Haleigh Kopinski

Job title: E-Commerce Content Coordinator
Employer: Dick's Sporting Goods
Degree earned: B.A. in Creative Writing/English with a minor in Psychology
Graduated: May 2015
College activities/internships: President, campus correspondent, staff writer and photographer for Her Campus Point Park, radio show host for the Her Campus Radio Show on WPPJ radio and business writing intern for the American Red Cross
Hometown: East Brady, Pa.
High school: Karns City High School
Now living in: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Hobbies/interests: Writing, reading, watching movies and Netflix, managing my blog site, going to concerts, discovering new places to eat in Pittsburgh and all-around adventuring
Twitter: @haleighkopinski
LinkedIn: Haleigh Kopinski

Update: Haleigh is now a social media coordinator for the Aerie brand at American Eagle Outfitters.

How did you land this position right after graduation?

I began applying for positions in February to get a head start on my career. Reading articles on how to write a resume and apply and interview for positions helped a lot. I revamped my resume with updated projects, education and skills and even added a pop of color to make it stand out. I also practiced interviewing with my roommates.

Dick's Sporting Goods is a company that really stood out to me because it is based close to home yet has a national footing. It took a few months after I had initially applied to get a response but then the interview process happened very fast. I was asked to do a phone interview, which then led to a round of in-person interviews the day before graduation. Two days after graduation, I received an offer for the position and I immediately accepted.

During your college search, what made Point Park stand out to you?

When I was on the newspaper staff at my high school, our teacher would take us to Point Park for High School Media Day to get hands-on experience with college professors and real-world media professionals. The summer following my junior year of high school I attended the week-long Media Workshop at Point Park. I stayed in the dorms, took classes, did assignments and got to meet with many professionals in the field. I loved how the classrooms were small so we were able to have a hands-on, one-on-one experience yet we were in a large learning setting Downtown.

Coming from a very small town, that week made me fall in love with the city and Point Park's urban setting. During the fall of my senior year, I decided to focus my writing a little differently so I applied to Point Park's Creative writing/English program. I was accepted and knew right then I was going to Point Park and never applied to another school.

What did you enjoy most about Point Park's Creative writing/English program?

I can honestly say what I enjoyed most were the professors. Sarah Perrier and Karen Dwyer really pushed me to do the best I could. They were very open and honest and at times hard on me, but it helped my writing in the long run. There was a lot of free rein in the program, which allowed me to take my writing to places I would not have been able to otherwise. Experimentation was very encouraged in every form, from technique and style to word choice and genre.

Also, unlike other creative writing programs I have read about, we were not required to pick a concentration and I think that really benefited me. I was able to cater my schedule and classes to the skills I wanted to improve and perfect. Without Sarah and Karen, I definitely would not be half the writer I am today. Their encouragement and room for growth in their classrooms made all of the difference.

Tell us about the work you do as an e-commerce content coordinator.

A normal day for me entails researching and writing about products related to mostly fishing and tackle, such as rods and reels, but I have also written about home decor and even stuffed animals. After I have written and edited the descriptions, I then format them into html before submitting them for final approval. This position allows me to expand my knowledge of the outdoor world while working in a professional, corporate setting.

How have your classes helped you in your current position?

My classes at Point Park have really helped me look at things from other standpoints. A lot of times in my job I find that a problem may not be resolved from an aspect I'm used to viewing things from. Often the answer is never the easiest or most obvious one. At Point Park, I learned how to think critically and adapt my writing. The topics I write about in my position at Dick's are often foreign to me. I often have to change the way I find answers and adapt to the rules and guidelines I've been given.

What are your career goals?

I would like to eventually become an editor at a publishing company while being able to write on the side. Reading, editing and critiquing the work of other writers is something I really enjoy doing. It's great to see what other people are writing about and how they are coming up with new ways to present a story. Editing helps other writers with their craft while also helping my own writing. I would love to be a part of the process to helping others become published.

Additionally, I'm really interested in creative nonfiction and short stories so my eventual goal aside from becoming an editor is to get some of my own personal work published. Any job that has me writing daily, in any form, is a huge stepping stone toward attaining these goals.

Final thoughts?

My experiences at Point Park University, both in and out of the classroom, helped me to not only gain this position but also to excel in it. Everyone goes through hard times in college and in life, but if you focus on what is important, you'll go far.

My advice to students is to take the opportunities that college offers you and find out what makes you stand out. Say hello to strangers, talk to different people and join in on class discussions. Just because you aren't a straight-A student doesn't mean you won't succeed. It's about more than grades. It's about the way you take what you have learned and experienced, whether good or bad, and benefit from it. The unique environment and surroundings, mixed with the diverse people and awesome professors, made my Point Park experience one that helped me — and will continue to help me — in the long run.

More About: Department of Literary Arts, success story, creative writing, Dick's Sporting Goods, Karns City High School, Downtown Pittsburgh, high school media day, WPPJ, alumni