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When faced with a rocky job market, Catherine Felegi ’10 was determined to make the best of her journey as a new college graduate even if she could not land her dream job. In between applications, interviews, and full time work as an administrative assistant, Felegi used tools she had learned at Moravian to make working in a difficult economy a learning experience.
Founder and President of the Conservative Voice, a club dedicated to conservative values and activism, writer for The Comenian, member of Christian Fellowship and Karate Club, and avid volunteer both on and off campus, Felegi was an active leader as a student, and so, when challenging times called for a little creativity, Felegi sought to get more active in her community of Cranford, N. J., and explored alternative opportunities. If finding a full-time job was going to take longer than anticipated, Felegi would have to find other outlets to unleash her passion for writing.
Her first step was to bring together local writers who also desired a place to share their writing. After attempting to join a nearby writing group only to find out that it was full, Felegi helped create a new group. “We just sat down and said, ‘What are we all waiting for? We want someone to critique our writing,’” says Felegi, who now serves as the group’s public relations contact, and has formatted the group using a teaching format used in a fiction writing course she took as a student.
Throughout her four years at Moravian, Felegi dedicated herself to The Comenian, and during her senior year, she did freelance work for the Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journal. As a graduate in need of work, Felegi’s next logical step was to continue her freelance work and soon she began working as an editor for a private author and as a writer for Patch.com, and later, The Examiner. “The Examiner was not a money maker,” said Felegi. “I wasn’t doing it for the money. I wasn’t doing it because anyone else wanted me to. I did it for myself,” a mentality Felegi learned during a course she took with one of her favorite professors, Khristina Haddad.
Haddad’s Utopias, Dystopias, and Manifestos course took a turn Felegi never forgot when Haddad declared that she was not going to grade anymore assignments except the final paper. She argued that without the stress of grades, her students could release their full imaginary potential. “I was no longer doing it for somebody else or for the A. I was doing it for myself,” says Felegi, who called on that lesson to help prepare for her writing career.
Nearly a year and a half after graduating and a promising job interview that fell through, Felegi was disheartened but even more inspired to expand her writing. “So I decided keep on working on the writing and thought, ‘Let’s start a blog,’” she says. Combining her love for writing and editing with her tea obsession, http://cafelegi.wordpress.com/ was born in October 2011. Nearly 3000 blog views later, Tea Love boasts regular visitors and more than 70 followers.
After two years of freelance work and obstacles created by the relentless economy, Felegi has recently begun working for Bristol-Myers Squibb as promotional review editor. Editing pharmaceuticals materials and covering live meetings, Felegi has finally landed the full-time writing and editing job she had been searching for. Felegi says she will continue to freelance and participate in the reading group, and meanwhile, Tea Love is still alive and well.
The obstacles Felegi faced were not uncommon, but Felegi used the lessons she learned at Moravian to navigate through the rough economy she faced after graduation. “It can get discouraging,” says Felegi. “But you can’t let that stand in your way. You just have to keep on moving.”
"It can get discouraging. But you can’t let that stand in your way. You just have to keep on moving."