Lindsay Lelivelt ’11: Studying English Leads to Fast-Paced World of Technology

Posted on October 8th, 2015 by

Lindsay Lelivelt '11

Lindsay Lelivelt ’11

When Lindsay Lelivelt registered for her first semester at Gustavus Adolphus College, she tried to sign up for a 300-level English course typically reserved for juniors and seniors. “I always knew I was going to be an English major,” Lelivelt said. “My favorite English teacher in high school (Robert Maas ’97) went to Gustavus and always talked about how great the community is. I went on a tour and loved it.” The Plymouth, Minn. native had no idea that her studies and campus involvement would eventually lead to a high-profile position at a growing Bay Area technology company.

During her time at Gustavus, Lelivelt was heavily involved in the College’s literary circles. After serving on the staff of the Gustavian Yearbook, Lelivelt began working for The Gustavian Weekly, eventually becoming the editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper her senior year. She also contributed to and edited Firethorne, a collection of student poetry, prose, and visual art that is published twice each year.

As a senior, Lelivelt produced a 50-page capstone project consisting of creative nonfiction essays and poems and was awarded the Lawrence Owen Prize for Creative Nonfiction. She points to English professors Rebecca Fremo and Baker Lawley as important influences at Gustavus. “They are both so interested in what you are doing on campus. Yes, they are there to help with your schedule, but they want to make sure that you’re growing as a person too.”

After graduation, Lelivelt completed an internship at United Healthcare before accepting a position at a small web boutique. In addition to her full-time marketing, public relations, and social media responsibilities, she also found time to serve as the managing editor of Paper Darts, a popular literary journal based in the Twin Cities. In her role at Paper Darts, she was able to interact with artists and writers from across the country and help plan and execute fundraising events for the journal.

BF-Logotype-LightBG-RGBThe writing, editing, and communication skills that Lelivelt began developing at Gustavus eventually led her to San Francisco, Calif., where she works as the communications coordinator for Bishop Fox, an information security firm that contracts with Fortune 500 companies and large banking institutions to identify cyber threats and protect against data breaches. Initially responsible for social media, project management, and editing all client communications, she was recently tasked with designing and implementing a communications division within the fast-growing company. “When I was hired, I was the 27th person to work for Bishop Fox. In the last two years, we’ve grown to over 70 employees,” Lelivelt said. In her new role, Lelivelt’s focus has shifted to internal and external communications, training, and overseeing the creation and maintenance of print and web content. She also works closely with the company’s marketing team to shape and maintain the Bishop Fox brand.  “I wouldn’t be able to do that if I hadn’t been an English major. Being able to write clearly, communicate, and meet deadlines is very important in the world of technology,” she added.

Now the sole communications coordinator for Bishop Fox, Lelivelt is implementing a communication division within the company.

Now the sole communications coordinator for Bishop Fox, Lelivelt is implementing a communication division within the company.

Lelivelt believes that the learning that takes place outside the classroom at Gustavus is almost as important as the academic coursework. She is especially grateful for her time at The Gustavian Weekly. “The way you’re thrown into things and have to edit quickly and deal with last minute changes prepared me for the real world,” she explained. “It taught me how to manage people and deal with different personalities and individual communication styles.”

Lelivelt continued with words of advice for current and future Gusties: “Go to everything. Form relationships with your professors and classmates. It’s always going to come down to what you can do, but it’s also important who you know and whose work you can trust.”

After striking the balance between Gustavus’s challenging academics and many opportunities for student involvement, Lelivelt feels well-equipped for whatever comes next. “The ability to try different things and find the space to grow is what makes Gustavus special,” she said.

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Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin
jakin@gustavus.edu
507-933-7510

 


2 Comments

  1. Sandra Bestland says:

    Dear Lindsay, So great to know that you are doing well. Like you, I majored in English literature and have found it to be a treasure trove for all of life. Thank you so much for the update. I really appreciate it.

  2. becky Fremo says:

    Woot!!! And thanks for the shout-out! I’m so proud of you!