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On this week’s edition of Writer Profiles, I chatted with Elizabeth Vinson, an ambitious English major, Psychology and History double-minor, who intends to graduate early and work in publishing post-grad. Read on to learn more about this camel’s pop-culture preferences and her internship experience!

Get To Know You/Pop Culture

Where are you from?

I am from a town called Plainfield. The one in Illinois, not New Jersey, or Connecticut. My Plainfield is a suburb of Chicago, known for trains, corn fields, banks, car repair shops, and more trains.

What shows are you into?

Television is my go-to break from the endless reading and writing I do as an English major, so this may take a minute. For binge-watching, I generally go for FRIENDS or The Big Bang Theory. They are only 30-minutes, so I can pick them up from any point in the series and just relax for a bit. I just got into Apple TV’s The Morning Show with Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, and I am super excited for season 3 of Netflix’s The Crown to release on Sunday. I will definitely be ready to binge that show over Thanksgiving break. I am also really into live television, and I have a few shows that I watch every week – The Voice, This Is Us (my absolute favorite!), and The Masked Singer. The live shows are probably my favorite though because I watch them while I FaceTime my mom as one of the ways we keep in touch and bond (and vent during commercial breaks) when we are almost 1000 miles away from each other.

What is your favorite movie?

Silver Linings Playbook with Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. 

What piece of entertainment do you wish you could erase from your mind so that you could experience it for the first time again?

I don’t know if this exactly answers your question, but I am going to give this answer anyway. I really wish that I could erase reading the Harry Potter books from my mind and then go back in time to when they first came out. It would be really amazing if I could experience growing up and reading them as they came out in real time, even if I had to endure the three-year summer between Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix. I would really love to experience that phenomenon firsthand. 

What is your favorite song?

This question is always super hard. If I had to pick, it would probably be Jonas Brothers’ “Only Human” or “Be Nice” by the Black Eyed Peas. 

What are your plans after college?

Right now, I am thinking about going to grad school. I am specifically interested in a publishing graduate program because my endgame is to work as an editor for a publishing house in New York City. Dream big, right!

Cool! I’m from NYC is there any particular reason why you want to work there?

NYC is definitely the heart of the publishing industry, and the Big 5 Publishing Houses all have offices there. It’s really the place where I can see myself flourish and succeed. Also, my aunt lives there now, so I’ve been there quite a few times and I love it more each time I go.

If money weren’t an issue, what would you be doing?

I would never give up my college education or a career, but I’d definitely be doing a lot more shopping. Maybe I would hire a designer to make clothes tailored to me and hire my own hair stylist so I wouldn’t have to do it myself. I would probably get a really fancy nice apartment in New York City, too.

Are you an early bird or night owl?

Probably a night owl because I absolutely loathe getting up early. But honestly, I also crash at midnight, so maybe an afternoon bird? 

What is your dream car?

Honestly, I am not super into cars, so I’m totally fine with a basic crossover, like the Toyota RAV4. All I really care about is the color of my future car. Toyota calls it ‘Blue Flame,’ my mom calls it ‘Candy Ball Blue,’ but it has to be this color.

What is so special about this color?

I honestly don’t know. That blue is definitely my favorite color, but I guess something about the way it is so vibrant and stands out among all the other cars makes it really appealing to me. 

What is your favorite holiday?

Christmas. The lights, the cookies, the hot chocolate, the family gatherings, everything. 

What’s a quote that you like?

From Charlotte Brontë’s novel Jane Eyre: “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent mind.” 

What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?

If my first answer wasn’t enough proof, I like watching television in my free time, but I also enjoy leisure reading and going to Target. It is also really important to me that I make time to regularly FaceTime my parents, brother, and my best friend Jen from back home. 

I am the exact same! Is there a TV or movie that you refuse to watch? If so what is it?

I refuse to watch all horror movies. Period. 

Me too! What are your pet peeves?

Slow walkers, interrupters, lateness, and when people say “silly” or “cool beans.”  

Conn-specific and Career

What pathway/center are you in?

Eye of the Mind: Interrogating the Liberal Arts 

What is your animating question?

My animating question for my pathway investigates how narratives are created and how the creation of characters influences how a narrative is constructed. I am interested in both real and fictional narratives, and what different forms a person’s story can take. I also want to connect social psychology and the psychology of personality to narratives in order to understand what makes a compelling and convincing character. As I dive deeper into the pathway, I am also finding that my interest is really focused on how women are represented in narratives, both of their own creating and those created for them by men. 

What clubs/organizations/sports are you a part of at Conn?

I just joined HerCampus this year, and I think it is a super exciting opportunity that allows me to write in a creative and relaxed way. I am an editor for Conn’s literary magazine, Cadenza. We collect student submissions of poetry, short stories, songs, and photographs and publish them in our magazine that we release every April. I also am about to start my job as a Writing Center tutor, helping students construct and develop their papers. I’m sure you can sense a theme, but I truly adore reading and writing, and these clubs each offer a different kind of writing style to explore.  

What is your favorite thing about Conn?

My favorite thing about Conn is the freedom I have to tailor my education to my interests. Through the Connections program, I can take a variety of classes that all relate to something I am passionate about rather than just taking a class to fulfill a requirement. Plus, the leaves are breathtaking in the fall as they change colors. 

Do you want to study abroad? If so, where do you want to go?

Actually, I am not going to study abroad during my time at Conn. However, I would love to travel after I graduate to England, Ireland, Italy, and France. If I had to pick anywhere to study abroad, I would definitely choose England because of its rich literary history. 

What do you wish you knew before you came to Conn?

That they have skunks.

How did you find you internship as the Managing Editor for Paperback Paris? I’m currently looking for internships and it’s so hard.

I completely understand it really is super hard. I work closely with my career advisor and she truly helped me prepare for applying for internships. There are a couple resources I use for internships, like internships.com. I also go directly to their main website for any companies that I know that I am interested in. For publishing in particular, I found two really good websites, one of which allowed me to find my internship for Paperback Paris – bookjobs.com and ed2010.com. 

What are you learning in your internship that you can take to the professional world? 

I have learned a lot of valuable communication skills. Most of my jobs requires communicating with team members and other publicists in a respectful and professional manner. I have also learned how to be flexible and open to different opportunities. I take on different responsibilities without having to rely on directions for every task. I also learned background and information about the industry, especially the publicity side of publishing. Most importantly, though, I learned that I am capable of taking on a real job in an industry that I love, and I am more confident and determined to continue learning and pursuing my career. 

Elyce Afrifa

Conn Coll '22

I was born and raised in Bronx, NY. I attended Herbert H Lehman High School where she participated in an acting club. I currently attend Connecticut College in New London, CT where I plans to major in biology and minor in theater. I am also on the Women's Rugby Team and apart of Wig and Candle the acting club here. I also am a big fan of many TV shows, Shameless, The Flash and Big Brother to name a few.
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