My first job out of graduate school was as a marketing copywriter for The Washington Post in Washington, D.C. I fell into the position after going to a cattle call for various sales positions, which I was not interested in, but went on because it was the Post. The dozens of other people in the room and I each had to give a prepared speech. I previously taught public speaking so my spiel was well crafted, and fortunately, received. I was approached immediately about a position. When I told them I wasn’t interested in sales, the head of marketing offered me a position in his department writing copy.
As much as I was interested in marketing and advertising and studied both, I had no idea what I was doing and no practical training. A friend gave me a book about the fundamentals of copywriting and I would do exercises from it at my desk in between projects. I always loved writing and was enjoying my new job. My boss was not the most demonstrative, but he appreciated my work and whenever I would give him something to review that he liked, he would say without fail, “now that’s good copy!”. Fast forward 18 years, I am still writing and learning on the fly.