Alumna Adrianna Waters Receives Continuing Education Scholarship to Attend Columbia Publishing Course
- Joseph Shoulders
- Tuesday, June 1st, 2021
Alumna Adrianna Waters from Florence, Ky., will attend the Columbia Publishing Course (CPC) in fall 2021. To help fund the opportunity, Waters received a $2,500 Continuing Education Scholarship from Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society. Waters graduated from WKU in spring 2021 with a Professional Writing major and a Creative Writing minor.
CPC is an educational opportunity offered by the Columbia Journalism School for an immersive introduction to the field of publishing. There are two versions of the course, one in New York and one in Oxford, UK. Waters will attend the Oxford course, which focuses solely on book publishing. The four-week program consists of daily lectures from different people who will cover all aspects of publishing, opportunities for career development through networking and resume workshops, and mentorship on projects that practice field work.
Waters learned about CPC through exploring the WKU English Alumni Profiles and reading how Adriana Funke attended the course in 2017. Waters was immediately interested, but she thought attending would be impossible because of the cost and competition. However, Waters is determined to work in book publishing. Specifically, she hopes she can work with Children’s or Young Adult literature because she has a passion for those genres and how they can make lasting impacts on young readers. Waters understood that since the field is highly competitive, she would need more experience to enter the field. She discussed options for development with her parents, and they encouraged her to apply for CPC despite her concerns.
Waters began the application process in fall 2020, and she submitted her application on January 1. The CPC applications closed in March, but they had rolling admissions with only 70 seats. Thus, Waters wanted to submit as early as possible. To keep herself on track, she made a schedule listing what she needed to accomplish each day of winter break.
Waters started the process by thoroughly researching the course. She said, “People should not only read the program’s website. You should also look into people who have completed the program. See what experiences they have that you have. Also, what jobs do they have now, and are you interested in those careers?” Waters reached out to CPC alumni on LinkedIn to ask them questions about the course and the application. This research helped Waters decide if she wanted to attend the course and gave her insight into selecting the best information for her resume.
Waters also attended a virtual information session about CPC, which was especially helpful for writing the essays and short answers. “When writing application essays,” Waters said, “each place has something different they’re looking for.” The CPC committee wanted applicants to tell their stories to convey their career aspirations, so Waters took a more creative approach with her essays.
Once Waters was accepted into CPC, she developed a funding plan. She made a spreadsheet determining the costs of the course, travel, and other expenses compared to the money she had saved up and would make from her job at the time. For other means of funding, Waters’s options were limited because most scholarships focus on full-time or degree-seeking education. During the 2021 Sigma Tau Delta conference, Waters discussed her plans to attend CPC with a moderator. They told her to apply for the Continuing Education Scholarship, which is a competitive national scholarship that funds part-time or non-degree-seeking education opportunities. Waters received the maximum award amount of $2,500.
Waters is excited to attend CPC and to begin her career in book publishing for which she has aspired for years. She noted that CPC alumni especially note the course’s role in boosting their career through networking. Waters also looks forward to further education in a new format and environment. Waters is elated that the course is in the UK because when she studied abroad in London in 2018, she told herself that she would come back someday. “I didn’t think that opportunity would come in just two years,” she said.
Waters encourages current students to research fields they are interested in to find opportunities for development. She advised, “Talk to professors about what you want to do; they can share opportunities for scholarships, programs, and education to look into.” Waters also offered, “If anyone is interested in CPC, feel free to reach out to me. I’m more than happy to talk about the application process and my experiences there.”