Q. Give us a brief introduction of yourself.
A. I'm Alli Neal, and I graduated from the Professional Writing program in 2011. I work for Pearson Education, INC as an Associate Project Manager. My division, Pearson Learning Solutions, works with professors to publish customized textbooks they're actually going to use, and we drive the price down to save students money.
Q. How has Champlain College led you to where you are today?
A. What got me this job was the experience I had with Champlain College Publishing. I went through three interviews, and every interviewer said that CCP was what attracted them to my resume. I was able to speak with them about real publishing experiences and difficulties. I'm probably the youngest Project Manager in the department. Most people my age are Editorial Assistants, numbering manuscripts and stocking books. This summer, I've been in charge of publishing over 50 titles for the largest and fastest growing educational publisher in the world. It's unheard of. And after publishing the BYOBiz book, this is a breeze! I'm so on top of my game, I'm picking up projects my coworkers haven't gotten to yet.
Q. Who was your biggest influence here at Champlain and what did they do to push you further?
A. All of my writing professors. Tim Brookes, Jim Ellefson, Warren Baker--take away any one of them and I wouldn't be where I am today. In short, they did everything they could, and then they let me go.
Q. From your years at Champlain, what is Champlain College to you?
A. Champlain is my favorite memory box. Canoeing and hiking with my Reading and Writing in the Wilderness class, end-of-semester readings at Jim Ellefson's house, off-campus wine and poetry workshop dinners with classmates, going to an academic conference in Montreal with Steve Wehmeyer, Kerri Noonan, and Betsy Beaulieu to promote the Secular and Sacred COR class/run around Montreal for a weekend, all of my time in Dublin....There's a lot of good stuff to remember. A lot of time spent smiling.
Q. What kind of advice would you give to incoming students, or students about to graduate and move on to the real world?
A. If you're hitting the ground running, keep running. If you're a little unsteady after you turn your tassel, give it some time, figure out where your feet are and how to get them moving, and then go. Just don't get stuck. And lastly, take it from a old tour-guide: It's really easy to make Champlain sound good. Talk it up!