Graduate Alumni Interview: Courtney Clute
MFA Creative Writing
Courtney Clute is a writer and professional. She completed her MFA in fiction at the University of South Florida. She also holds a Professional and Technical Communication Graduate Certificate. At USF, she won the Hirshberg Award for Graduate Achievement. Courtney's flash fiction has been nominated for Best Small Fictions.
Her work has appeared in Passages North, Fractured Literary, Emerge Literary Journal, Flash Fiction Magazine, and Z Publishing’s Florida’s Emerging Florida Writers: An Anthology. She has publications forthcoming in The Lumiere Review. You can find her on Twitter at @courtney_clute.
What is your position now?
Proposal Manager at WWC Global.
Why did you come to the USF graduate program?
I went to the USF MFA with two goals in mind: I wanted to improve and grow as a writer, and I wanted to expand my professional experience to make me more well-rounded before entering the professional workforce.
What was a unique opportunity you had at USF?
My second year of the MFA, I was Managing Editor of Saw Palm: Florida Literature and Art. Not only was being Managing Editor a blast, but it also taught me a ton about publishing, the literary world, management skills, how to be a strong leader, and gave me valuable professional experience.
How did USF prepare you for your current position?
I am in my current position as a proposal manager at WWC Global because I interned at WWC as a proposal management intern during my last semester of graduate school. Dr. Lennon and the graduate school in general are very supportive of students doing internships and actively seek out opportunities for their students. It is through the graduate program that I was introduced to the internship after WWC Global approached USF seeking English department students. Upon graduating, I was offered a full-time job. I started as a Junior Proposal Manager, and a year later, I was promoted to Proposal Manager.
What advice would you give to new graduate students in the program?
Take advantage of every opportunity that you have to get involved! Having all that wonderful experience did wonders for me upon graduating. But at the same time, it’s important to focus on your mental health. Build a community of support within your cohort and the English department. Make connections. Write! Have fun!