Written by Ben Sheard
When Eric Fish envisioned the future, he knew from the very beginning that he wanted to be a writer. He fell in love with the creative aspect and challenge of writing even before high school.
Since then, Fish has taken every opportunity to further develop his skills as a writer and professional communicator.
Already possessing a love of sports, Fish easily blended his passions into a future career.
“I went into college day-one knowing that I wanted journalism to be my major,” Fish said. “Initially I wanted to be a sports editor. My first job out of college was in a little Amish town covering local sports.”
Eventually, the constraints of the newspaper industry, mixed with an internal desire to expand the scope of his career, led Fish to move into the field of business-to-business writing. Eight years later, he hasn’t looked back.
For the past six years, Fish has worked at “Flexible Packaging” as editor-in-chief of its business-to-business content. There, Fish’s role touches on everything from managing social media, to writing magazine content revolving around the printer industry.
As editor-in-chief, Fish works to consistently publish informative, compelling content.
“We’re looked at as the thought-leader and incredible authority within the industry," he said. “It’s neat to get off a plane, go into an industry event and know a ton of people that are there.
“You develop many relationships over time. This is a huge responsibility that we have and we think hard about everything we put into the magazine."
With that sense of responsibility in mind, Fish looked to further develop his expertise as a writer and content producer.
"Getting a master’s degree is always something I always wanted to do," Fish said.
However, in the midst of raising a family along with his full-time job, Fish struggled to find the time in order to pursue his goal.
It was during this time that Fish discovered the MSU StratCom program, which was just about to begin its first year of enrollment.
"A couple years ago, my wife saw a Facebook ad for the program,” Fish said "I read though the website and after looking through the website and talking to a couple of people, I decided to pursue the program.
“The timing was difficult, but I thought if not now, when?”
Fish quickly discovered that the program’s structure alleviated his concerns about finding the time to complete his degree.
“Time management has always been one of my strengths,” he said, speaking of his schedule within the StratCom program. “I try to find the minutes to get work done, rather than dip too much into free leisure time.
“I feel like that’s the attitude a lot of people in the course as well. The program lends itself very well to those types of professionals that can’t sit in one place for too long.”
Fish also appreciated the positive influence of his fellow students.
“I think the program has done a great job of making it feel like a community,” he said. “The online meet-ups have been nice for people that are local and the professors have embraced that sense of community as well.”
As an editor-in-chief, Fish often jokes that his role has him working as a jack of all trades within the large spectrum of subjects that he covers. His lessons within the program have complement his current job.
“[The program has] allowed me to dive more into these subjects that I cover,” Fish said. “Like ‘digital analytics?’ I had no idea what those were. But I’ve been able to dive past surface level knowledge. It’s been hugely influential and has allowed me to develop strategies to increase our online viewership.”
With graduation on the horizon, Fish fondly looks back on his experiences.
"I was super-proud and honored to be a part of the inaugural StratCom class," he said.
As for the future? Fish knows he’ll be able to utilize his extensive experience and newfound knowledge to make a positive impact in people’s lives.
“I would love to work as a communications director for a school district or a hospital," he said. "In communications you get to have a direct influence on people’s experiences.”