Career & Education: A Day in the Life of a VP of Content Marketing

Career and education collide in many different ways. In this column, we interview real-life individuals to understand how their career path and education worked together to get to where they are today. From the non-traditional dreamers to the ivy league students, we get to the heart of how your career dreams may or may not be directly influenced by your educational choices.

hands at laptop

First Name: Halley

Job Title: VP, Content Marketing

Industry: Fin-tech

Years in Industry: 13

Location: Portland, OR

Education/Degree: AA – Vocal Technique

Current Salary: 108,000

Amount of Student Loan Debt: 0

What are your day-to-day responsibilities and projects?: 

My daily tasks mainly consist of researching new content topics, assigning articles and projects, and managing the ongoing tasks to ensure we stay on track to meet our KPI’s. Luckily, I also get to do a lot of writing and editing, which is why I got started on the content career path.

How did you get to the role you’re in now? What was your career path?: 

I definitely didn’t take the traditional path to become a writer. I went to school for music and eventually launched a country music blog that gained traction when blogging was still popular. From there, I started writing for some smaller music publications out of Nashville and searching for ways to make money as a writer.

Enter content marketing. I loved that content marketing essentially allowed you to be a brand’s voice and help customers connect with their story. I started taking any job I could, writing blogs, articles, white papers, and social posts while still working as a music journalist. 

Eventually, I got a job as a full-time content manager and moved up from there.

How do you feel your education or previous experience prepared you for your current role?: 

Honestly, other than teaching me how to meet deadlines and think critically, my education had little to do with my career path. I went to school for vocal technique and music business. Although I always loved writing and took AP English classes in high school, my college education didn’t really prepare me for the world of journalism and writing.

What is your favorite part of your job?: 

I get excited to wake up and write every day. As you start to move up, there are a lot of other responsibilities that distract you from that, but it’s nice to come back to it at the end of the day.

What inspired you to pursue your career?: 

It was hard to give in to becoming a writer. I always thought I’d be in the music industry in some capacity. But I fell in love with writing and gave myself permission to change my mind. Content just happens to be a way to make a little more money doing what I love.

Did you have access to financial aid, FAFSA®, or any other type of aid during school?: 


If you did get financial aid, how was that experience for you?: 

I was a first-generation college student and knew nothing about FAFSA®. In fact, we didn’t even file my first year of school. It was challenging when we finally filled it out, especially since my mom had never done it herself. I ended up having to research to figure it out on my own.

Do you feel your career has paid for your education expenses?: 

Yes and no. While it’s not the career I went to school for, I feel like I’ve gotten a bit of that money back.

Looking back — is there anything you would have done differently in college?: 

Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have gone to college at all. Music school was expensive, and it didn’t realistically prepare me for what I was getting myself into. I learned so much by working hard, taking on jobs I wasn’t sure I was qualified for, and advocating for myself and my abilities.

What advice do you have for students considering a career path similar to yours?: 

Work hard. Content marketing spans so many different industries, and writing about tons of topics will help you work your way up and get more jobs. Also, don’t be afraid to change your mind and switch career paths if you find something you love more. There’s no shame in a career change.