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Catching Up with Alumni
Greta Mikkelsen ’10, Vice President Creative Services at Harry & David
By Sophia Lorusso (she/her), Junior English Major.
Pictured above: Greta Mikkelsen.
In the midst of her marketing career, Greta Mikkelsen enrolled at SOU and completed her BFA in Printmaking and Printing and BA in English. While pursuing these degrees, Greta not only grew as a student, but as a person. She became a better writer, reader, and observer; her communication skills flourished along with her attention span and memory.
While at SOU, Greta landed an internship with the SOU Communication Program which ultimately enhanced her editing and proofreading skills. She was also the editor of SOU’s former student-run literary magazine the West Wind Review. Being an editor of the literary magazine immersed Greta in the creative writing field and broadened her experience with page design and publishing.
“My English degree is in action – every day.”
– Greta Mikkelsen
In her current position at Harry & David as Vice President Creative Services, her diverse responsibilities include reviewing copy and design, coaching staff, approving budgets and occasionally being on photoshoot or commercial sets.
Greta uses her English major every day even with her variety of responsibilities:
“My English degree is in action every day. I manage the content and copy that my group produces; I consider it a significant part of my job to evaluate and help shape their work. I also edit and write every day. I often spend considerable time pursuing just the right word or turn of phrase, and I love doing so in collaboration with other writers.”
As the VP, Greta is responsible for a team of forty people. This big responsibility is well worth it, as she loves nurturing their talent and encouraging them to push the limits of their creativity in this professional environment. Her team at Harry & David reciprocates that support and motivates her to do her best work every day as well.
Greta is exceptionally proud of the corporate identity that she and her team team have accomplished to make the Harry & David brand more human and relatable:
“We set out to connect with customers in a more meaningful way, to become not just a gifting company, but a sharing company. It takes years to cement a new positioning in the minds of consumers, but we’ve made a good start.”
For any English majors who are interested in a similar career as Greta, she urges you to dabble in a little bit of everything reading-and-writing-wise. Exercise your reading and writing skills even with genres you don’t usually identify with. Exploring your skills can only widen your horizons.
She also says that learning the ropes of copy and design is important if you are wanting to do marketing:
“Learn how copy and design work together to communicate. Study brands and advertising and form opinions about what you like and why. The world of branding and creative is in large part subjective, so it’s important to develop your preferences and always be able to back your opinions with sound reasoning.”
SOU offers an array of course opportunities or minors that pair well with an English major through our EMDA, Business Administration, and Communication programs for students interested in graphic design, marketing, or journalism.
If you’re interested in sharing your story with the English Program blog, or if you know someone whose story we should feature, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org