Alumnus Michelle Heath graduated in 2010 and went to University of North Texas. While in high school Heath participated in art, teen leadership and worked on the newspaper staff as an editor.
What have you done after high school?
“I went to UNT, majored in Journalism and minored in photography,” Heath said. “For a year, I worked at the NT Daily (school newspaper) as the senior staff photographer and subsequently the photo editor. Then I interned for the communications department at the American Heart Association and spent a semester as a breaking news intern at the Dallas Morning News. I graduated in 2014. Almost immediately after, I started my first job after college at the Beaumont Enterprise (the largest newspaper in that area). I was a journalist there for almost two years. I left in March 2016 and moved back to the DFW. I worked a contract job at Children’s Health for a couple of months and was then recruited by a small Dallas-based consulting firm in May 2016. I became their marketing assistant, mostly creating content as well as designing collateral and marketing emails. Just last August, I was promoted to Content Manager.”
What made you want to do what you are doing now?
“My current job, I just kind of fell into,” Heath said. “Though I love(d) being a reporter, my bosses created a toxic work environment and I had to get out. What makes me stay at my current job is that I’m valued, and it doesn’t take over my entire life. I was able to start painting again this year and I even started an Etsy. My current boss supports and is interested in hearing about my life outside of work. I also have the means to travel and I get to work from home four days a week. I’d like to use this flexibility to start some sort of journalism project this year.”
What did you learn or experience in high school that affected you in college and beyond?
First impressions matter, but you can redeem yourself later,” Heath said. “I also had some great teachers. Mallett laid the foundation for my journalism knowledge. He made this dream I always had feel real and achievable (I did it!). Mr. Mason encouraged my photography and showed me that art didn’t have to be limited to one medium. Also, art made me realize that I could do more than one thing.”
Explain your job now.
“I quite possibly write about one of the most boring topics in the world,” Heath said. “I write about finance, business, and the technology that can help companies with their finance and business processes. One thing that happens when you get into journalism is that you find out that you can write about anything. You can become a quasi-expert in a subject in about a day. You can also find almost any topic interesting, especially after sitting through long city council meetings so you can hear about one bullet point on the agenda. I do a lot of research in my job. I conduct the occasional interview to write about projects my company has done. I design the content I write in an appealing format, so people will download it. There are several other tasks too, but the main purpose of my job is to generate leads by writing content that can help someone solve a problem or lead them to consider my company’s services.”
What are your plans for the future?
In the immediate future, I’d like to lose about 30 pounds,” Heath said. “I put on the “relationship weight,” falling in love takes a physical toll. In the short-term, I’d like to visit my friend in Lisbon and see other parts of Europe. Sometime this year, I’d like to start a podcast. Maybe one day, I’ll write a book. It’s hard to, ‘plan for the future.’ Sometimes things just happen. I’d like to live in a few different places, eventually marry my current partner, and just do things/be with people who make me happy.”
What is your advice to current high schoolers?
“I used to think life was a straight line — high school, college, get the dream job,” Heath said. “But life deviates and your dreams change. You also can’t expect your “dream job” to be perfect — work is work. I guess my advice is to try new things, don’t be afraid to deviate from this perceived path you’re on. You might have several different careers, several different hobbies, and most likely hundreds of projects. You never know where you might end up, take opportunities as they come. Don’t forget to travel, and read a good book whenever you have the time. Last thing, keep up with current events (more news, less celebrities) and study civics.”