Editing Alumni Story: Becoming an Editor UW Certificate Scholarship Helps Philippa Myler Pivot to an Editing Career
Editing Alumni Story: Becoming an Editor UW Certificate Scholarship Helps Philippa Myler Pivot to an Editing Career

Philippa Myler had been working as a professional contemporary dance artist for nearly a decade, but the grueling, globetrotting lifestyle had caught up to her. Philippa knew it was time to find a more sustainable, long-term career.

“I threw my back out one too many times,” Philippa said with a laugh. 

Philippa earned her bachelor’s in English and BFA in dance, and she’d occasionally worked as a dance writer and critic. When she discovered the UW Certificate in Editing, Philippa felt like it was the perfect way to transition to a new, less back-breaking phase of her career.

“I’ve always loved the written word, and I had a lot of experience sitting and staring at the blank screen, just hoping for inspiration to come,” she said. “I had heard a lot of great things about UW: It’s a wonderful school, and the certificates are a really great opportunity.”

Just a few months after finishing her certificate, Philippa had parlayed that certificate opportunity into a full-time editing job with Virtuoso, a global network of agencies that specializes in luxury and experiential travel — with a big assist from her Certificate in Editing, which she credited with making the difference.

“I’ve always loved travel, and when this position at Virtuoso came up, I jumped at it,” Philippa said.

An Educational Boost

For Philippa, the first step toward a professional pivot was being accepted into the Certificate in Editing; the second was determining how she’d pay for it.

“At the time — as a self-employed person, as an artist really struggling and running from gig to gig not knowing what the next thing would be — the certificate was expensive for me,” Philippa said. “I had to figure out how I was going to make it work.’’

Enter the UW Certificate Scholarship, which covers up to 80% of learners’ registration and course fees to provide educational opportunities to those who need financial assistance. The last obstacle between Philippa and the scholarship was the required essay.

“I worked so hard on that essay: I sent it around to my mom and my sister to make sure that all of my grammar was correct,” she laughed. “When I was accepted and found out that 80% of my costs would be covered, I knew I could make it work.” 

The UW Certificate Scholarship allowed Philippa the flexibility to do just that.

“Without the scholarship, there’s no way I could have afforded the program,” she said. “I certainly would not have been able to both take an entire night off of work and pay for the extra cost of the class.”

In Her Own Words

Philippa Myler talks about how the UW Certificate Scholarship allowed her to pivot her career from dancing to editing.


Class Connections

After completing the application processes , Philippa got down to the business of the three-course Certificate in Editing, which ended up being just the career shift she was looking for.

“During the program, the experience was so wonderful,” Philippa said. “I think the most valuable thing was to be introduced to a field full of amazing, creative individuals. It was inspiring to learn with these people who were already working in the field and learn from the instructors who had been there and were veterans in the industry.”

All Philippa’s classroom connections helped her when she began looking for freelance and part-time editing work after completing the certificate in June 2019. She joined the Northwest Editors Guild, which she’d been introduced to during her certificate, and used what she’d learned in the program to start making connections.

“During our program, people in the field came in to do workshops for us, and we were able to start networking and figure out what kind of editing we wanted to do,” Philippa said. “We really got a taste of all the different possibilities.”

Philippa was hired as a full-time temporary employee with Virtuoso in July 2019 and brought on full time in December 2019. She was also one of millions of Americans who lost their job due to the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent economic downturn.

But Philippa quickly found a new role as an editor with Advarra, a medical and biotech consulting firm with numerous client organizations that are working directly on COVID-19.

“The skills that I got at the editing certificate were what made me stick out as a candidate to get the job with Virtuoso,” Philippa said. “And those skills and my experience at Virtuoso gave me a leg up when talking to Advarra. I am especially excited to make a difference in the fight for global health during this pandemic.”

For more alumni stories from UW Professional & Continuing Education, visit the News & Features section of our website. To learn more about our certificates, specializations, degrees and courses, explore your options or contact us.

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