Where Are They Now? Jessica Andress—Entrepreneur, Editor, and College Student

Sep 02, 2019 | Posted by the IEW Blog Team


Our latest “Where Are They Now Student,” Jessica Andress, is a bit of a Renaissance gal. At her young age she has done a number of interesting things, including serving as a church organist, developing a unique business, working as an intern for Magnum Opus Magazine, and most recently, starting college. Enjoy reading her interview and learning more about Jessica’s life and experiences.

Hi, Jessica! Share a little bit about yourself and your family.

I grew up in South Carolina. I am the second oldest in a family of nine and have been homeschooled through high school. I am very close to my family and enjoy being around them.

What do you do now?

I currently live in Spartanburg, SC. I am in my freshman year of college and plan to major in music performance with a minor in communications or creative writing. I recently enjoyed working as a Magnum Opus Magazine intern, helping to edit manuscripts for the monthly newsletters and quarterly magazines. I am also a church organist for two churches and a piano accompanist. In addition to this, I raise, train, and show golden retrievers in competitions.

In what grade were you when you used IEW? What IEW courses did you take?

I started IEW in fifth grade. Over the course of my schooling, I've taken Student Writing Intensive Level B, Student Writing Intensive Continuation Course Level C*, all the Fix-It! Grammar books, The Elegant Essay, Following Narnia, and How To Write A Story by Lee Roddy.

What was your favorite part of IEW?

Since second grade I have always enjoyed writing stories whether it was a short fictional piece, a poem, or a complete novel. Unit 5 was extremely helpful for me when structuring my stories because it provided questions that really made me think about the setting I was trying to build.  

How has IEW helped you prepare for college?

IEW has been extremely helpful to me during my college application process. Most colleges and scholarships require you to write an essay, from formal to personal to persuasive. For all of these essays, I have used the key word outline to write clear, structured papers. The method not only helped me to put my topics in order, but it also allowed me to write quickly and efficiently.

Do you see any connection from your IEW training to your ability to communicate beyond writing?

I feel certain IEW has strengthened my ability to communicate beyond writing. For example, some of the IEW assignments I completed, such as interviewing a person or collecting information on a particular topic, have really given me the confidence to ask questions during class as well as participate in college group discussions. Additionally, I have been able to work more efficiently as an editing intern by collaborating with others and working in a group setting and accepting criticism on my work.

Do you have any plans for the future where writing and communicating will be needed?

I plan to work as a freelance editor and writer from home as well as to work at a publishing house where I can collaborate with other creative writers.

What one piece of advice would you give your younger self?

Never lose sight of your goal. Always strive to make your dreams a reality and never give up.

“Never lose sight of your goal.” Those are wise words for us all. Jessica, we wish you all the best as you transition into your collegiate years. It sounds like you are off to an excellent start.


* The Student Writing Intensive series was discontinued in November 2019 and replaced by the Structure and Style for Students program

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