Erica Levi Zelinger graduated with a BS in newspaper journalism from Syracuse University in 2001. She has spent the last 20 years as a business features writer for a daily newspaper, a features writer for a healthcare magazine, a copy editor at a large city magazine, an associate producer for a television production company, an editor for a destination marketing company, and 8+ years in roles at the Pennoni Honors College at Drexel University.
100+ "Thank you for applying but..."
- My first major blow was rejection at 18 (after completing a summer journalism program after 11th grade) from Northwestern
- I've probably applied for hundreds of internships and jobs over the last 24 years that I didn't get. I couldn't possibly remember them all!
3 Things I swore I'd finish but never did…
- Keeping a journal
- Writing a book
- Following through with an invention my husband and I had looked into patenting
3 Everyday L's of Life:
- Forgetting to enjoy the moment
- Giving my kids a hard time for little things
2 Failures that seemed like the end of the world back then but don't matter in hindsight:
- Not getting into Northwestern
- Mislabeling a source's gender in a story in my college newspaper because at the time, you didn't ask — or, at least, I didn't
- Getting laid off from two jobs
6 Regrets I have:
- Not getting more involved with college organizations
- Not knowing about fellowships or applying for them
- Wish I had taught English abroad
- Wished I'd traveled more
- Not always owning all of my mistakes
- Giving up on certain friendships
On the Bright Side
2 Memories I made when I wasn't studying/working
- Making friends
- Studying abroad in London
1 Things I've learned that will still matter in 10 years
- I will be rejected from other jobs, awards, opportunities I apply for. I will be disappointed. Not receiving those things may change the course of my path. But I will have tried.
500+ Books I've read for fun:
- Hundreds. Too many to name here, but in addition to my love of contemporary literature, I have an appreciation for historical fiction, because — while not totally true — these stories are based on others' failures, misfortunes, memories, horrors, etc., and only prove I'm not doing it wrong.
4 Things I'm proud of that you won't see on a resumé
- I'm a mom to two children and a dog.
- Been married for 15+ years
- Knowing all about the Philadelphia food scene
- I've won the office Book Bingo contest the last few years
3 Unconventional skills:
- I am amazing Googler
- Thanks to an old job in Pennsylvania tourism, I know random facts and tidbits about small towns across the state
- I'm fantastic at making to-do lists. Sometimes I check things off those lists.
2 Quirks that make me who I am:
- I am amazing Googler
- I'm fairly decent at procrastinating when I need to write an article
1+ Obstacles I have overcome:
1 Things I've done that pushed me out of my comfort zone:
3 Leaps of faith:
- Moving to Bucks County for my first job after college
- Moving to Philadelphia after ending a relationship and needing a change
- Leaving a job that seemed glamorous to some, but paid crap, for a chance to do something different
3 Life events that have made me stronger:
- Moving to a new city
- Having children