Year of Graduation: 2008
Current Position: Content Writer at BlogMutt, Lifetime Member of the International Honor Society in Psychology (Psi Chi), Social Justice Activist
Please give a brief description of your current position.
I recently transitioned from being a columnist at On Trend Magazine to joining BlogMutt as a content writer. With more than 10,000 writers across the United States, BlogMutt is one of the largest digital publishing platforms for content marketing. I am now promoted to Level 4, as well as designated as a 'Preferred Writer' for multiple clients. A Level 4 writer has access to more companies and bigger writing assignments, as well as qualifies for a higher-grade pay scale.
As a lifetime member of Psi Chi, I take on board different projects that include scientific writing, conference proposals, and publishing.
- My articles and research have been featured in publications like The International Psychologist, International Psychology Bulletin, and Encyclopedia of the History of Psychological Theories.
- I created the Hindi translation of the book "Who is a Leader? A Mindful Approach for Family & Classroom Discussions" by author Kristi Kremers (awaiting publication)
- My proposal “Culture and Gender Identity” was accepted to the 2015 International Women's Summit amongst submissions from over 10 countries.
- Together with other forum members, I peer reviewed the Doha Call to Action at the Qatar Foundation, which went on to be published in six languages.
My most recent work as a social justice activist involved being an instructor for the Refugee Youth Project based in Patterson High School in Baltimore. I started as an English instructor, and then moved into the role of dance choreographer. I developed a 6-week Bollywood summer course for classes with 25- 30 students, which became extremely popular with the children. I was also invited to be a guest lecturer on Refugees, Asylees and Immigrants at the University of Baltimore.
What skills are important in your field?
In content writing, one has to do extensive research before committing to a client. Writing requires a sound vocabulary, grammar sense and an individual style. Your work must be clear of hidden verbs, flowery language and the passive voice. It is crucial that writers also understand copyright rules and plagiarism.
In the case of scientific writing (as in psychology), literature review, networking and personal initiative is invaluable in making your presence felt. Do not wait for things to fall into your lap. Actively research opportunities to present at conferences and publish your work. Be confident and approach people, whether to pitch your research or express your interest to work with them.
Social Justice requires commitment, of both spirit and time. It goes beyond the 'acquiring hours'. Organizations, especially those supporting at-risk and vulnerable populations, depend heavily on volunteers. Keeping an open mind, balancing love with order, and crisis management are crucial skills in this field.
What are some of the rewarding and challenging parts of your position?
Facing rejection is probably one of the most depressing things writers have to contend with, after spending hours, if not months, slaving away on a project. Whether it be content writing or scientific publishing, writers have to consistently hunt clients, publication journals, newsletters, etc. But when you finally receive a "yes", it is the greatest feeling in the entire world! To see your work in print and to have that in your portfolio, adds a lot to your sense of credibility.
Vicarious traumatization is one of the main challenges of social justice. Internalizing the sufferings of the population you are working with and wanting to "save everybody" is a natural effect of this work. You have to take time to check in with your emotions and reassure yourself that you are doing your bit. The most rewarding part of my work with the Refugee Youth Project is the children themselves. Their love, the bond you foster with them is an incredible emotional rush. Then there are the lessons you learn about human resilience and the will to survive. There is never a dull moment in social justice.
What path did you follow to get to your current position?
I like to wear many different hats, and have been blessed to live in different countries: UK, USA, UAE, India and Oman. Some places where I have worked in the past include:
- Columnist at Thirty Something Magazine
- Counseling Consultancy in Dubai
- The International Council of Psychologists at the United Nations
- Oncology Counselor at Sadhana Charitable Trust India
- FEGS Intensive Psychiatric Rehabilitation Counselor
What advice/suggestions would you have for students who might be interested in your career?
One of the most beautiful gifts that we as living beings have is life. However, the opportunity to enrich our lives is both a choice and a privilege. My advice to students is to take this privilege very seriously, and fill your lives with a plethora of experiences. Fortune favors the brave. Be adventurous, be creative and push the boundaries of your comfort zone. Owing to life situations, there have been occasions, where I have had to start from scratch. While it is healing to process grief and frustration, giving in to denial and complaining is not. Adapting to your environment and creating opportunity builds not only personal resilience, but reflects in your career path and resume. To be enterprising is a skill that most employers treasure.
What activities/experiences were helpful at CSB/SJU (and elsewhere) in preparation for this career?
When it comes to writing, I wouldn't say any one particular experience prepared me. Being a bookworm meant that I always had my nose in some written material, be it mythology, history or nature. A combination of Mom's journalism, my diary writing, poetry work, and school assignments helped organize my literary sense and flair for writing.
CSBSJU gave me the chance to study abroad. As an international student, I was technically already abroad in Minnesota. Nevertheless, I wanted to experience a different culture with my fellow students, the chance to experience life in yet another country. Studying abroad in London not only exposed me to a different culture, it also gave me my first psychology research internship at University College London. As a psychology minor, this internship peaked my interest in scientific research and channeled my choice of career.
One of the other aspects of CSBSJU that really stood out to me was the college community's commitment to social justice. It inspired me to embrace my own passion for the field, whether as an interfaith speaker talking religion, as the Secretary of the Asia Club promoting diversity, or as a volunteer with Prison Ministry reaching out to incarcerated men.