DeeDee Andrews, Writer and Content Strategist, Core Online Marketing
We recently caught up with DeeDee Andrews, who now works as a Writer and Content Strategist at Core Online Marketing. DeeDee did her Master’s degree in Communications and New Media at McMaster.
You are currently working as a Writer and Content Strategist at Core Online Marketing. What is Core Online Marketing and what are some of the most exciting things that you do in your job?
Core Online Marketing is a small – but growing – company that provides comprehensive outsourced online marketing for small and mid-sized businesses. Essentially, we become the online marketing team for small businesses that would never be able to keep up with all of the intricacies and constant changes of the online space.
I love the job because I get to keep learning. And I’m doing what I love, which is writing. I’m always writing about something different here. I handle more than 10 clients – lawyers, IT companies, cleaning companies, benefits plans providers – you name it. So every day I’m learning new things about all of these diverse industries.
“I love the job because I get to keep learning. And I’m doing what I love, which is writing.”
What experiences did you gain at McMaster that were relevant to this job?
I think that the way I learned to delve into research has been very useful. I’m often left to my own devices to come up with topics and content for our clients, and so I end up doing a lot of research.
Also, since we’re a small team that works closely together at Core, I think my experiences working on assignments with other grad students helped prepare me. Working with a team can be very challenging, and it’s important to know how to work and get along with different types of people.
What made you decide to go on to do a Master’s degree?
I wanted to do a Master’s degree because it seemed like the logical next step for me after my undergrad. I liked university, and I wasn’t sure where to go with my career just yet. Maybe it was a way of putting off “real life”, but I’m glad I did it!
How did McMaster’s MA program help to build on your capacity to engage critically and to think on a higher level?
One word: Thesis. I had never before been given that type of project. My thesis (and to a lesser extent, my other papers in the program) was a project where I was expected to know everything about my topic, make new connections, and come up with something novel to say about it. Most essays and assignments in undergrad are based on regurgitating information or writing down the obvious conclusions from the research.
“The profs were fantastic, and were great at facilitating discussion among the students. I think discussing the topics with other students who were deeply engaged helped us all think on a higher level.”
I found the McMaster MA program much more challenging, which forced me to engage with the material on a more critical level.
I’d also like to mention that the profs were fantastic, and were great at facilitating discussion among the students. I think discussing the topics with other students who were deeply engaged helped us all think on a higher level.
What was the most important experience you gained at McMaster?
Taking (constructive) criticism. Whether in my personal life or my work, it’s important for me to be able to handle criticism without taking offense or getting defensive. This is particularly crucial for my job, where clients always have feedback for me.
At McMaster, the profs gave constructive criticism that I could act on and use to make my work better. I had several revisions when I was writing my thesis (of course), but I recognized that each version was an improvement from the last. I really learned to accept how valuable those pieces of advice can be.
“Even if you’re talented, you still have to work really hard to make something of it… You may be smart, but if you just cruise then you’ll be wasting your potential”.
Why did you choose McMaster?
I choose McMaster because I heard it had one of the best Communication programs out of all the universities in Ontario. So, naturally, that was where I wanted to be.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received in your life?
“Even if you’re talented, you still have to work really hard to make something of it.” I’m good at writing, but I’ve always worked hard to get better and better. You may be smart, but if you just cruise then you’ll be wasting your potential.
What advice do you have for McMaster students?
Make the most of your time at McMaster. Hang out with your friends, do your work, make friends with your profs, have fun, maybe join a club. You might be sick of hearing this, but you’ll miss it once you’re out.