Meet the Staff: Courtney Guerra
More than 100 staff members work in the Division of the Humanities. We'll introduce you to our staff in this continuing series.
Senior Writer, Grants and Fellowships
Office: Walker 201A
What do you like most about your job?
As anyone who’s worked with me can tell you, I love editing—and that’s a huge part of what I do, so I consider myself pretty lucky. It’s an added bonus that I’m usually editing funding proposals, which means I get to learn all about faculty research projects. I like to joke that after doing this for almost six years, I’ve earned an honorary MA.
What was the last good book you read?
I recently (finally) finished Roxane Gay’s book of essays, Bad Feminist. She’s got a piece about being a first-time assistant professor that should be required reading for all college students.
You might work with me if you need..
...funding, and you’re a faculty member. I help identify grant and fellowship opportunities and assist with developing applications (the narrative part, at least—Peggy Collins, our Grants Manager, handles budgets, submission logistics, and a lot of other things). I’m also a contributing editor on Tableau.
Due to my aforementioned love of editing, I’m usually happy to proofread stuff for other staff members too—but that’s more of a nerdy work-related hobby and not technically part of my job description.
When you're not at work, what kinds of projects do you like to take on?
Well, since 2014 I’ve been writing a work-advice column called Dear Businesslady. It started on The Toast (a beloved website that closed up shop in June 2016), and is now on The Billfold. I’m still not entirely used to telling people about it—and for a long time I was blissfully anonymous—but I’m revealing my secret identity because I ended up writing a book! It’s called Is This Working? and you can find it on Amazon and everything. I think of it as a kind of style manual, only for career development and professional life instead of grammar and syntax.
My advice goes beyond “have a weird affinity for something, find a job that involves a lot of it”—although clearly that strategy has worked out well for me!