Alumni Profile: Alumna Excels as Full-time Freelancer

Summer Fall 2023 Issue

Madison Clark '15 Madison Clark ’15Madison Clark ’15 set a goal to become a full-time freelance writer and small business owner by the time she turned 35. A digital connection helped her land an international marketing agency as a client — ultimately enabling her to make the shift to full-time freelancing five years ahead of schedule.

Still, she didn’t sit idle in her 20s. After graduating from Susquehanna, Clark served as a social justice teaching fellow at Esperanza Academy in Massachusetts before moving to Jakarta, Indonesia, to work as an English teacher with Indogro Institute. She moved to Northern Ireland in 2019, intending to earn her master’s degree in conflict transformation and social justice and get a full-time job in order to remain in Belfast for five more years.

“Due to Covid-19’s ripple effects, existing work visa funds evaporated nearly overnight, so I returned to the U.S. in the spring of 2021 when my student visa expired,” Clark says.

Since becoming a full-time freelancer, Clark has managed social media for fintech startups celebrated by Forbes, copy edited investor decks that resulted in $1M+ seed funding rounds and partnered with multiple mission-driven companies across niches and time zones. She is currently in the final stages of a branding project with her hometown, Kansas City, Missouri.

“As I’m feeling more and more secure in my full-time freelancing, I’m also working to launch a company that I’ve dreamed about for years: Grief Cards,” Clark adds. “I work with a Kansas City-based letterpress to produce, as our tagline says, ‘sympathy cards that don’t suck.’ While I never imagined living in the Midwest again, it’s been a gift to bring this dream to fruition.”

Clark — who double majored in religious studies and creative writing, and earned a minor in publishing & editing — credits her Susquehanna professors and mentors with providing guidance that shaped how she approaches her work today.

“My creative writing workshops couldn’t have possibly prepared me better for a future in the writing world,” she says. “By learning to remove my ego from the editing process with professors Karla Kelsey and Glen Retief, I’m well-equipped to meet the diverse needs of my writing clients, and the final, polished products are all the better for it.”

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