Here is the fifth installment in our new series featuring stories from people who have helped shaped the Women Writers Project. WWP alumna Josephine Sloman (Encoder) speaks about her time at the WWP and her career after graduating from Northeastern.
My first introduction to the WWP was during my sophomore year. It was my first semester as an English major—I initially came to Northeastern with the intention of majoring in Psychology and Neuroscience. I was in Dr. Nicole Aljoe’s Introduction to English Studies course, and she had Dr. Julia Flanders come in to talk about the Digital Scholarship group. Coming from a scientific background, the idea of codifying and analyzing texts really resonated with me. I immediately reached out to Dr. Flanders for a one-on-one discussion and to see if there was any way for me to get involved.
My second run-in with the WWP was also during my sophomore year in Dr. Marina Leslie’s Gender, Sexuality, and the Renaissance Body course. Professor Leslie had Dr. Sarah Connell come in to present on the WWP and encoding/textual analysis in general. When Professor Leslie presented the option of doing an encoding project for our final, I jumped at the chance. It was (and still is) one of my favorite finals from college ever.
At the end of Professor Leslie’s course, I again expressed interest in becoming a part of whatever project I could in the Digital Scholarship Group (but I had my fingers crossed it would be the WWP). This time, there was an undergraduate work-study position available. The WWP took me under their wing as the first undergraduate student to become involved in the project at Northeastern, and the rest was history!
Right now, I am an Associate in Investment Services at an asset management company in the Financial District…I know, I know—first science, then English, now finance?? What can I say, I’m all over the place.
My work with the WWP has been one of the most impactful aspects of my college career when it comes to my professional experiences. When interviewing for my third co-op as a Research Assistant at Goodwin Proctor, the first thing my interviewer wanted to discuss was my work at the WWP, not my previous co-op at a different law firm; my interviewer offered me the job on the spot. When interviewing for my first position out of college, the WWP was also one of the main talking points from my interviewers, and I believe that the skills/knowledge I discussed from the WWP is what set my apart from other candidates for that position.
I was initially hired in the company as their Office Manager, but one of my first projects was creating and implementing procedures for documentation retention and organization. I fully credit Dr. Flanders’ Schema Workshop for giving me the skills to organize documents on that level. Even though I wasn’t doing any actually encoding, it gave me a high-level process to follow as I thought through a way to organize and save a huge database of information. At the beginning of this year, I was promoted, and my current position works closely with the contracts and documentation for our clients.Tweet