This article is a part of the "My Experience with MEG" series, in which past recipients discuss how the Membership Empowerment Grant enhanced their careers.
I first learned about the Member Empowerment Grant in 2013, about six months after joining NYWICI. I had just started volunteering on the Young Professionals Committee, working with Rachel Bowie, who won a MEG award that year. I learned what the MEG was and decided that as soon as I was eligible, I would apply.
Three years later, I had my application ready to go. I wanted to use a MEG to take classes at New York University’s School of Professional Studies. I’d already been working toward a Certificate in Editing for about a year. At the time, I was working for an engineering publishing company, which was interesting, but not what I wanted to do long-term. I hoped that my coursework at NYU — copyediting and writing for magazines and websites, fact checking, developmental editing — would add a missing element to my resume and make me more desirable to the trade publishers I hoped to work for, or, alternatively, open up the possibility of freelance work.
Just a couple of weeks after I submitted my materials, I found out I’d gotten an interview. It had been a long time since I’d had a panel interview, but Judith, Janet (heads of the Scholarship & Grant committee) and all the rest of my interviewers were fantastic. We spoke about my career, what I hoped to achieve by finishing my certificate, and how I hoped to continue working with NYWICI and the Young Professionals Committee. It was terrific to get to chat with women so high up in this organization and to have all of them interested in my career, discussing my path, throwing out the odd suggestion or piece of advice.
Not long after the interview, I got the call from Judith that I’d received a grant to finish my coursework.
It still took about a year and a half to finish my courses, due to a restructuring of the program and limited offerings for the summer semesters. But I finally finished my last class in December 2017. Now, I have a Certificate in Editing from NYUSPS, as well as a new job as an acquisitions editor at an independent trade publisher. From this experience, I was able to put two new items on my resume, both of which I’m extremely proud of: I earned a professional certificate through NYUSPS — and I was awarded a Member Empowerment Grant from NYWICI. As I continue down my career path in publishing, I know that both of these experiences, from two very different but prestigious institutions, will impress future employers.
The New York Women in Communications' annual Member Empowerment Grant is for NYWICI members of at least three consecutive years who want to pursue professional development opportunities. Awards are granted for continuing education courses, conference attendance, career coaching and more. Grants are paid directly to an institution and not to recipients. Winners must be present at the NYWICI Annual Meeting held each May, and use their grant within one year.