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It Starts at State

Rachel Hicks, Class of 2016

Rachel Hicks is happy to tell her STATE story, and not only because she is quite the storyteller. The English major and Class of 2016 graduate knew that West Virginia State University was the place for her the minute she stepped foot on campus.
“I immediately felt like I was home,” says the Logan County native. “I felt an instant connection to campus, something I had yet to feel during any of my other campus tours. After I researched STATE’s English programs, I knew I’d found the right fit for me.”
With hopes of being a professional writer, Rachel’s choice of degree was not met with total enthusiasm at first, but she credits her instructors with showing her how varied a career path her English degree would provide.
“I’d been discouraged by so many around me about pursuing a degree in English that I needed a well-timed pep talk,” she says. Rachel turned to her advisor and professor, Dr. Tom Kiddie, who she says helped her every step of the way. “He shaped me as a technical writer. He was there, whether I needed help with understanding literature, a technical writing component or understanding what my career may look like post-graduation.”
And her career launched almost as soon as she crossed the graduation stage.
“Within a month of graduating, I was offered a full-time position at the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission as a communications specialist,” she says. “Three years later, I moved on to work as a senior marketing associate for a company called Signal Vine. As it turns out, my English degree has afforded me the flexibility to acquire what I feel is my dream job.”
While her career aspirations shifted slightly since she began at STATE, it was her experience on campus that helped her sharpen and hone her dream.
“My original goal when I began at STATE was to pursue a career in writing, and that’s what I get to do daily at Signal Vine: write blogs, draft e-books, and even do some public relations work. My background at STATE not only helped me expand my horizons with my career, but it helped me narrow my interests and find my passion: content writing.”
Rachel is working to take her passion for writing even further. She will soon complete her master’s degree in communication from Southern New Hampshire University. 
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