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Here at VGM Forbin, a member of our Content Team usually interviews new Forbin team members to write an introduction blog. Since I’m on the content team, I get the privilege of introducing myself directly! I’m Ana – and below is the story of how I went from being a non-English speaker to a copywriter who uses language to build successful marketing messages for businesses across the United States.

When I was younger, I always held my breath and prepared to smile when people attempted to pronounce my last name. A foreign surname like “Dobrilovic,” is a surefire way to stick out among your peers. It immediately identifies you as different. When I was six, my family and I emigrated from Serbia, a country that was torn by war and left crumbling in its aftermath. There was no future for us there. The war had resulted in much economic and emotional turbulence. As refugees, we came to America with absolutely no money, no family and no help. Our first home was in El Cajon, California. I was immediately thrown into a classroom with no translators and no special language learning classes, but I made friends regardless of the language barrier.

However, I craved to understand my peers and was determined to do so. I gave my teacher as much attention as a six‐year‐old could manage, muttered words under my breath as I practiced pronouncing them and spoke English to just about anyone who would listen. In just a few shorts months, I achieved what once may have seemed impossible—the ability to speak English fluently. Not only did I learn to write and read in English, but I also taught myself these skills in my native language.

Ana at the Neil Smith Federal building after citizenship induction ceremony.

Ana at the Neil Smith Federal building after citizenship induction ceremony in 2014.

I had the privilege of becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States in 2014. Nothing quite compares to the feeling of unity you experience when you and thirty‐nine applicants from twenty‐one different countries are welcomed as Americans. Everyone has their own struggles and unique story. We are not defined by our background, but by our choices. I chose to learn English and to assimilate into American culture because I wanted to be a part of it. The independence I developed from my childhood makes me an adult who has a strong work ethic, is compassionate and caring about people, and desires to give back to the community and country that has given so much to me.

I am now able to do that through my passion for language and writing. I earned a degree in English and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at the University of Northern Iowa. To some, it was astonishing that someone whose native language wasn’t English graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in it. Now, as a writer at VGM Forbin, I am able to use my passion and skills for words and language every day. I’ve always loved helping people and am honored to be able to do exactly that at work.  My unique background has truly shown me the value of words and how they’re important both in my life and my job as a copywriter. Much like a job interview, first impressions exist in writing as well! You want to grab the audience’s attention and create value with each sentence, because it may be your best chance to hook a customer or client. When I started reading in English the most important thing was being able to understand the text—and this is important for website content, too! When people are browsing around online they want to encounter text that is understandable, readable and relevant. One word can change the entire meaning and structure of a sentence.

This is something I studied at university. You want the words on your website to match your tone and truly relay the message you want your customers to receive, this is what a good copywriter does. They craft content that is tailored to your business, your brand and your customers.

By creating content that is alluring, entertaining and relevant, copywriters increase customer engagement. To have a successful website, to use language successfully—it comes down to those beloved words that both changed my life and can help your business succeed. My life experiences, love of language and desire to help people be successful drives me to deliver copy that makes a difference.

To meet more amazing VGM Forbin team members, jump over to our team page and explore the faces that make up our amazing team!


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1 comment

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  • Joshua Schneiderman | Oct 29th 2018 @ 4:17 PM

    Very nice story. I'm glad to be working with you..... and still the El Cajon connection seems crazy.

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