Author Relations and Marketing Manager at Amazon Publishing
Penkridge, Stafford, United Kingdom
Class of 2011, English: Creative Writing major
Once worried she’d get too comfortable at home and never leave, Bekah Graham now lives and works 4,887 miles from her hometown, Eugene, Oregon.
Based in Penkridge, England, Graham works for the full-service publishing arm of online-retail titan Amazon.com. “I feel extremely lucky to have achieved a lifelong goal: reading as part of my job,” she says.
Marketing manager for Amazon Publishing, Graham helps position new books in the appropriate market while serving as a key contact for authors.
Graham’s road to the United Kingdom began at Seattle Pacific University, where she combined a major in English with minors in business administration and Spanish studies. She also worked for three years as a writing tutor in the Writing Center, and for a year as news editor for the student newspaper, The Falcon. “I think SPU’s focus on a holistic education was phenomenal for expanding my understanding of my fields,” she says, adding she spent most of her time reading great literature, learning the structure of language, and writing essays and short stories. “The rest of my time was learning how to read the market and bring the best products to the best people.”
She credits Tom Amorose, professor of English, for pushing her past accepting “good enough”; and Kenman Wong, professor of business ethics, for helping her wrestle with real-world ethical decisions. “I have since found myself in similar situations relatively frequently, and I always find myself coming down on the more conservative ethical side of the equation.”
How does your time at SPU connect to what you’re doing today?
Working at the intersection of my interests has been hugely satisfying for me, and I think SPU’s focus on a holistic education, particularly in the UScholars program which I took part in for two years, was phenomenal for expanding my understanding of my fields to include the best permutations the world has to offer.
Which SPU faculty or staff member made a difference in your education?
Tom Amorose was great. While I was at SPU he was the director of the Writing Center, where I worked for three years, and I also took a number of courses with him. He always pushed me to fully explore my abilities, not willing to let me rest with good when I was capable of great. He was also always willing to have real conversations with students, treating us as peers even when teaching as professor.
What advice would you give to current SPU students?
Apply to whatever post-grad programs you can, in places that excite and scare you. You might surprise yourself as to where you end up, and it’s the absolute best and easiest time to transplant yourself!