This article is a part of the "My Experience with MEG" series, in which past recipients discuss how the Membership Empowerment Grant enhanced their careers.
I was awarded a NYWICI empowerment grant in the spring of 2013. At the time, I was in the process of developing my personal blog and felt that, without proper Photoshop skills, there was no way I could compete with other bloggers in the lifestyle space. I was also starting to utilize Photoshop more and more in my daily work as an editor for Good Housekeeping. I was building overlays for videos I was producing and editing and helping create mockups for a pending redesign, using my limited knowledge to fumble my way through the program the whole time.
When I discovered that Bri Emery of Design Love Fest was offering a course called Blogshop, a program that specifically trained bloggers and editors on the ins and outs of Photoshop, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to learn. The cost was steep, but I knew Photoshop skills were essential to evolve my career. The NYWICI Empowerment Grant seemed like an amazing entry point. I applied and was called in by members of the NYWICI board to discuss my application and pitch my case. I brought a portfolio of my work to illustrate what I was currently producing with my current Photoshop knowledge — and examples from other blogs of how my work could change with improved skills. I also brought details about the Blogshop program. It helped to have such a targeted course of action for how I wanted to learn.
One of the best emails ever was when I found out I got the grant! And Blogshop was worth the investment and more. (Here's a peek at the weekend I took the class.) In 2015, I made the transition from print to digital to work at PureWow.com and now use Photoshop daily for my career. Having those skills in my back pocket is a huge help. The Empowerment Grant was a total game-changer personally and professionally. To this day, I feel so grateful to NYWICI for making an investment that helped me grow and evolve my career.
The New York Women in Communications' annual Member Empowerment Grant is for NYWICI members of at least three consecutive years who want to pursue professional development opportunities. Awards are granted for continuing education courses, conference attendance, career coaching and more. Grants are paid directly to an institution and not to recipients. Winners must be present at the NYWICI Annual Meeting held each May, and use their grant within one year.