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Conner Carey, a recent graduate of Maharishi University of Management’s (MUM) English and Creative Writing Program, shares her opinions on college, life, writing, and SEO.

MUM Alumna Conner Carey

“I’m a hippie from Austin, Texas,” said Conner. When it was time to choose a college to attend, she saw the progressive environment of MUM as a perfect fit. “I came for a Visitors Weekend and immediately fell in love with the people here,” she said, “I felt a sense of community I didn’t have in Texas.” Conner has channeled that sense of community into her school work, extracurricular activities, and now, as a graduate, into her work life as SEO Manager of iPhone Life Magazine.

Conner first was invited to join iPhone Life, a webzine built by MUM alum David Averbach, as an intern. “David really wanted me to get a feel for everything at the company,” she said, “I went to a lot of meetings so I could see aspects of the business I wouldn’t have otherwise seen. We have Daily Tips and Tricks for your iPhone as a major opt-in. I wrote probably about 300 in that month and a half.”

Conner now works full-time as a Featured Web Writer, where she compiles the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for the iPhone Life website.

“SEO is a lot like reading Tarot cards,” says Conner, “There’s no real obvious set. I started experimenting and found what worked. SEO is all about keywords. I equate those words to poetry. Keywords are the white spaces and it’s my job to put beauty all around it.”

Conner developed her ear for poetry during her time as a Creative Writing student at MUM. Prior to the Creative Writing major being made available, Conner was majoring in Media and Communications with a focus on professional writing. After taking some classes with popular writing professor Nynke Passi, however, she decided to make the switch to a Creative Writing degree.

Professor Passi writes, “Conner understands the relationship between sound and silence, a rush of words and pause. She also understands the layering and complexity of emotion.”

Conner performing at The Arbor Bar in downtown Fairfield

During her time at MUM, Conner met another Fairfield powerhouse, Monseratt Iniquez. Through their joint creative process, Conner and Monserrat came up with a vision for what would later develop into Soapbox Speakeasy, a Fairfield open forum for the written and spoken word.

Alongside Soapbox, Conner worked on another community performance group, Slumberparty, with co-founder Alexis Staley who has continued their work in Boulder, Colorado. “I remember Alexis telling me, ‘Conner, you have to learn how to rap,’ and me being like, ‘Um, no, I can’t do that.’ We listened to beats all the time and freestyled. We’d been doing singing lessons together, so rapping was just another skill to work on while we hung out.

“It’s weird because I feel like a lot of these things were my friends being like, ‘Will you do this with me?’ and me being, ‘Sure, let’s build something.’”

Conner has big plans for all the experiences in writing and life which she’s accumulated so far. “Career-wise, my most immediate career goal is to finish my memoir. That’s been on hold while working full time,” she said, “I feel like there are a lot of I-Don’t-Knows, which I like to have because I feel like those leave room for things I wouldn’t have seen. Unexpected divergences in the path are going to be there anyways. You might as well be flexible.”

Tamlin Day is a writer and a contributor to the MUM Blogs.