In this month’s staff highlight, we are exploring the power of the written word and featuring Vicky Sinnett-Smith, our resident wordsmith, marketing specialist, and world explorer. Vicky wears many hats as The Studio’s marketing specialist. She is project manager, social media expert, blogger, copywriter, marketing strategist, and client liaison. With her rich education and travel background, we asked her to talk about her experience in writing, travel, books, and all things written.

What is your background?

As an undergrad, I studied Anthropology and Spanish. I love studying people and culture and the communication aspect of different cultures and people. After college, I lived in Spain for a year and taught English because I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do career wise but knew I wanted to travel and live in another country. I’d sparked my passion for travel while studying abroad in Spain during my undergrad years. After that, I worked for a while but knew I wanted to get back into an academic program and get more education, so I applied to graduate school and enrolled in the NYU Media, Culture and Communication program. I wanted to live somewhere new again and to me living in NY and studying media and communication was another challenge and adventure I wanted to experience. After grad school, I moved back to Ventura County.

Speaking of your love of travel, how have your travel experiences influenced your life?

The thing I love about traveling is that I love to study people, different cultures and how different ways of life. It is fascinating to see how a different culture can live their daily life in such a different way than I’m accustomed to. My trips have always inspired me to think about my life about what I want to do next and pushed me to challenge myself, and it was actually on a trip that I decided to apply to grad school and started on the path that has eventually lead me to where I am today.

I wish I would have written more while I was traveling to document my experience, the people I met, and my observations. I have been to so many places where the culture and people are so different; I would love to have this collection to remember. I think being a travel writer would be a pretty amazing job.

Can you name a few places you have visited? Where would you like to go next?

I have traveled in Spain and many European countries – Portugal, Spain, Italy, Morocco, Tanzania, Zambia, India, Nepal, Colombia. I actually met my fiancé while we were both living in Spain. There are so many places I would love to visit; my answer changes every day. Today –  Thailand is where I would like to explore next.

Wow, you’ve really seen the world, what brought you to The Studio WLV?

When I moved back to Ventura County, I knew I wanted a career in communications.  I wanted to apply the theoretical knowledge I gained from my education to the real world, and I loved the idea of helping smaller businesses. The Studio was looking for a marketing professional with writing skills, and I have a lot of experience researching, writing and editing papers from grad school, so it seemed like a good fit. I actually really like researching and writing and developed those skills extensively, learning how to structure an article or paper and communicating clear messages through writing. I’ve always been into reading and writing throughout my life, so it was a natural progression for me to follow this type of career path.

How do you approach a writing project?

I always start with an outline to figure out the flow and structure of the article or blog. Once I have the structure in place, I do the research and gather all the information I can for the topic. I come up with key words and important information that comes to mind for each of the main points of the article and write EVERYTHING down. I don’t structure sentences or try to piece anything together – there is no editing in this phase, just getting all the ideas onto the page. Then I come back and utilize all the information to form sentences and start to refine the ideas. In the refining stage, I pull everything together and make sure everything flows. I am very picky about not repeating words and pay close attention to using the correct words to illustrate points. In the final phase, I re-read what I have written to make sure the message is clear – is this what I was trying to convey? I make sure to bring it back full circle to ensure the message hits the mark.

What resources and articles have helped you improve your writing and marketing?

I read a ton! I love to read all different kinds of writing. I like to read informational articles. I study the different ways that articles are written and the different tones and styles. The more I read, the more I get in the mindset to put together beautiful sentences. I am constantly reading to absorb ideas, information, and styles. I will read from various genres like academic writing, novels, interviews, even BuzzFeed – it all helps you find your voice!

Since we are talking about books, what are a few of your favorite books?

There are so many books that I love, but three come to mind immediately.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed. This book really explores self –empowerment and finding your inner strength. This book was very powerful to me when I read it, and it inspired me to stand on my own and go for it.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter is just one of those books that is a huge part of your childhood. I started reading the first book at an early age and finished the last book in college. Those books were so good for kids just to get into reading and use your imagination. They really make you love to read. Even my Grandparents got into them – what other book can span generations and really bring people together?

What is your dream project?

I think it would be really cool to see an article published in a public forum like The New York Times or something similar.

For more information about Vicky check out her about page and stay tuned for our next team highlight.