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Senior aims for career in travel writing

06/18/2014

A lifelong love of reading inspired Emma Wright '15 of Halifax, Vt., to become a writer. While the field is extremely varied, a recent trip to Belize for last semester's Alternative Spring Break trip put "travel writer" at the top of her list of dream jobs.

"I have always loved reading. When I was a kid I would always have my nose stuck in some sort of book. This isn't something that has stopped as I've grown older," Wright said. "I think the thing that interests me most about English/Communications is how personal it is. You can learn so much about someone by the books they read or the poetry they write."

Going to Belize, she said, was life-changing experience. "I think it would be so amazing to be able to travel to different places and write about the things that I'm learning and seeing, and get paid to do it!"

It wasn't until her junior year that her love for her writing classes convinced Wright to concentrate on creative writing.

"I was constantly writing and doing really well in my classes," she explained. "One day it just sort of clicked that I should be focusing on what was going to make me the happiest, not what was going to make me the most money.

"I absolutely love the writing classes that I've been taking here at MCLA," Wright continued. "They've helped me grow so much as a writer."

Wright, a first-generation college student, did not begin her college career at MCLA, but at Greenfield Community College. A main factor in her decision to transfer was her lack of involvement on the other campus.

"I didn't feel that there were any opportunities for me to take advantage of," she explained. "I was going to classes every day, and that was great, but I wanted something more. By being involved in the different things that I am at MCLA, I've learned so much about myself and what I'm capable of. I've also learned that I love helping out in my community."

Wright has particularly enjoyed volunteering at a local program run by another MCLA student, Abigail Egan. Geared toward the area's at-risk high school students, the program offers activities based in community service, resume-building, and how to work as a team, among others.

"My favorite thing about MCLA is that it's a community," she said. "If I ever need something or I'm unsure of something, I know that there is someone available to help me. The fact that it's a small school really brings everyone together. I'm more than just a name on a roster and more than just a number on a page. That was something that was really important to me when I was looking into colleges."                       

College, said Wright, is about much more than simply getting an education. "It's about learning who you are, making connections, and really being a part of something."

She added, "If you're looking for a school that will really work with you on your education, and make it possible for you to make real connections, MCLA is an amazing place to do that."