Your name: Malayna Evans
Your degree at UChicago: Ph.D. History of the ancient Near East
Tell us about your work. What is your current position? What do you do on a daily basis?
I run a small digital marketing firm, PWR New Media (www.pwrnewmedia.com). We work with clients on messaging, branding and maximizing their digital presence. I spend a lot of my time with clients but a fair amount of time working with designers and developers as well; I help the internal team craft content that meets clients’ needs, budgets, and timelines. I write for clients as well as our brand. And, being a small business owner involves a lot of work outside of my comfort zone: negotiating with vendors, dealing with accountant, etc.
I also just got a 3 book contract for a middle grade series, The Egyptified Joneses,to be published in April of 2019 by Month9 Books. The books are about south side Chicago kids who go back in time to save an Egyptian princess. Not exactly my original plan but a good way to put that education to work. 🙂
How did you make the transition from doctoral study to your current work?
My transition to small business owner actually started when I took a part time job while writing my dissertation. The company I worked for was bought by venture capitalists and the product changed. Along with some of my favorite coworkers, I ended up starting a small business, which we’ve now run for over 10 years.
What skills that you developed during your doctoral studies have proven valuable in your current role?
I think the three skills I use in my current role, which were strengthened at UChicago, are writing, project management (an important skill for anyone who manages to shepherd a dissertation through the process) and working with people (also important both for academia and business).
What advice do you have for current Ph.D. students looking to launch a career in your field?
My advice to students looking to transition into careers is twofold:
1) Network, network, network
2) Stay flexible; plans tend to go south but if you go with the flow sometimes that works out even better.