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When Lene Adolfsen started looking for her first co-​​op job, she knew that she wanted to work inter­na­tion­ally and focus on writing. But exactly where and how this plan would come to fruition remained a mys­tery. At one point, she con­sid­ered pur­suing a posi­tion in pub­lishing, but ulti­mately sur­prised her­self when she accepted a co-​​op posi­tion at a Bristol, United Kingdom-​​based mar­keting and search-​​engine-​​optimization com­pany, Strategy Internet Mar­keting.

“It was unex­pected,” said Adolfsen, a third-​​year Eng­lish major with a minor in lin­guis­tics. “I thought it would be inter­esting, I never thought of going in this direc­tion with an Eng­lish degree.”

The Norway native had no problem adjusting to life back in Europe, and noted that her expe­ri­ences in the U.S. have given her a leg up in her new role. As the only Amer­ican stu­dent in her office, she was the go-​​to employee for tap­ping into that par­tic­ular per­spec­tive. “A lot of our posts go onto Amer­ican blogs,” said Adolfsen, “so they’ll ask me if some­thing looks and reads ‘Americanized.’”

Adolfsen spent most of her time at Strategy writing blog posts that help ele­vate client web­sites on the Google search totem pole. After being assigned a key­word— “garden benches,” say, or “French lingerie”—she would then con­struct an inter­esting post for online pub­li­ca­tion. On some occa­sions, she’ll get the oppor­tu­nity to write edi­to­rial posts that give her the freedom to express her cre­ative side even further.

Adolfsen is the first stu­dent from North­eastern to hold a co-​​op posi­tion at Strategy Internet Mar­keting, and has paved the way for future Eng­lish majors looking for a unique oppor­tu­nity in their field. Writing blog posts and edi­to­rials from a for­eign country, she explained, is a modern way of applying a classic human­i­ties degree, and is sophis­ti­cated yet rel­e­vant enough to appeal to a new wave of emerging writers.

“It’s an inter­esting job and I love how chal­lenging it’s been,” Adolfsen said. “I’m learning to write in a way that is so com­pletely dif­ferent from aca­d­emic writing.”

But this alter­na­tive approach to writing isn’t the only skill she has picked up during her expe­ri­ence in Eng­land. She’s also gained a greater under­standing of search-​​engine opti­miza­tion, saying, “To have this expe­ri­ence under my belt and an under­standing of how SEO and Google Ana­lytics work is really helpful because every­thing is going online now.”

– by Jordana Torres

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