Category Archives: Opportunities

Yes, you should major in Rhetoric and Writing

by Ben Sapet

Let’s talk about one of Ball State English’s least understood, but most practical concentrations: rhetoric and writing.

You might have seen some of the writing and rhetoric buzz words like discourse, theory, and even rhetoric itself, and been left scratching your head—and you wouldn’t be alone. I spent my entire first semester and a half as a writing and rhetoric major not really knowing what I had decided to study.

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5 Ways English Prepares You For A Dream Job

By: Maggie Sutton

You can do almost anything with a degree in English. Our alumni agree. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) agrees. Even Google agrees. Employers want the skills and experiences English majors have in spades.

So, what do you need to do to prepare for the “real world”?

1.Write Well

Employers want to hire skillful writers. NACE’s second most valued skill was written communication.

English classes help to polish written communication skills, so remember that when you’re buried in essay deadlines!

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Christina Dionesotes: (Not) Lost in Translation

Christina Dionesotes graduated from Ball State with degrees in both English Studies and Spanish. She then went to New York University for her Masters in Spanish and Latin American Cultural, Literary, and Linguistic Studies. Since then, she has worked as a freelancer translator editor and proofreader, and is now the Associate Project Manager at RWS Life Sciences.

What was your first job after graduation, and how did that lead you to your current position?

After graduation, I went right into graduate school in Spain. Because I didn’t have a work visa and was in school full time, my work options were limited. I ended up nannying/teaching English to two young girls to supplement my loan money. I also started getting into freelance editing and translation. After grad school, I came home to Chicago and looking for jobs that were related to language or included Spanish. I found my current job, under “Linguistic Validation Project Manager” quickly. I had no clue what that position entailed, didn’t know anyone at the company, but managed to score an interview. I have been working here for about 2 years now and can’t believe how much I’ve learned about the translation industry through this job.

What does a typical week look like for you?

I currently work as a contractor for my full-time job which means I’m working from home full time. I tend to go to coffee shops a few days a week just to get out of the house. What I love is that my job allows for the perfect balance of collaborating with coworkers and plugging in music and being in “do not disturb mode”. I have client calls maybe once a day but spend the most of my time working with linguists, proofreading, quality checking translations, collaborating with other vendors, and working to improve internal processes.

Right now, we’re going through quite a busy period so it’s normal to work until 6 PM, take a break, and then log back on around 9 PM or so. Right now I’m working anywhere from 40-60 hours for this job. 

I also maintain my status as a freelance translator. Now that I’m living back in the US, I’m speaking Spanish much less than I want to. Although being a rather inexperienced translator does not pay very well, I still maintain that it’s important and try to pick up a gig 1-2 times a week.

What is the most fulfilling part of your job?

The most fulfilling part of my job is getting to work with languages every day. This is what I loved to study in school, so to be paid to ask about tense, aspect, and modality is pretty cool.

Even more, I work with language-minded people. All of my colleagues speak at least one other language and the majority of us have lived in different countries and have significant others from other places.

Do you have any advice for English majors who are trying to figure out their next step?

Enjoy the process of figuring it out. I was so afraid of making the “wrong” step at the time of graduation. I just wanted to be able to tell people I was doing SOMETHING. Looking back, it would have served me well to look at all the options (yes, including moving back in with my parents).

I remember looking at jobs at the career fair and almost none of them listing “English major” as a degree that qualified me for that job. Hear me loud and clear: that is bullshit. Don’t pigeonhole yourselves into certain jobs you think you have to do. You can be an English major and not teach!

What are the most valuable skills you learned as an English major? How have they helped you post graduation?

This may be a very basic answer but being an English major taught me to analyze problems and come up with creative solutions. In my job, we’re constantly having to come up with new processes as the technology and industry changes. Sometimes clients come to us with near-impossible requests and ask us to make it happen. It has been so helpful to be able to extract pieces of information, draw conclusions, and make a plan of action based on said conclusions.

In a more “real life” sense, my professors really encouraged me to question things. They taught me to question the norm, to ask why that is the norm and who benefits from that being the norm. That’s probably something I use on an everyday basis with work, relationships, etc.

 

Does this type of career sound interesting to you? Join us at Stars to Steer By on October 23rd to learn more about career opportunities involving languages.

The Inside Scoop on Ball State's Literary Magazine: The Broken Plate

We sat down with Professor Mark Neely, faculty supervisor of The Broken Plate, and Jackson Eflin, a former Broken Plate staff member who has also had his work published in the literary magazine. 

What is The neelyBroken Plate?

The Broken Plate is a literary magazine that publishes poetry, fiction, nonfiction, art, and photography (among other things) by writers and artists from around the world. Each issue is edited by an interdisciplinary group of Ball State undergraduate students and released at our annual In Print Festival of First Books.

You’ve been the editor of the magazine for several years now. How have things changed over time?

When I took over as faculty adviser for the magazine, it was a small operation run by a few student volunteers. They only published the work of Ball State students, mostly that of a small group of friends.

I wanted to make it a more valuable experience for both the editors and for the Ball State writing community, so I used our existing course in Literary Editing and Publishing as a way to professionalize the magazine, and to spread the word more effectively about our submissions process. Eventually, we opened up submissions to all writers, which increased our pool of pieces to choose from, and I think it makes for a more rewarding experience for students.

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Now Hiring! Come Join Our Department!

The English Department is currently hiring for two new positions. They are as listed:

  1. Assistant Professor for Early and 19th Century American Literature in the College of Science and Humanities
  2. Assistant Professor for Film and and Global Literatures in the Department of English

For more information, check out the flyers!preview-full-earlyand19thcentury_jobadpreview-full-filmandgloballiteratures_jobad

Creative Types: "The Broken Plate," Ball State's national literary magazine, needs you!

Broken plate hybrid poster

  • The Broken Plate needs passionate, detail-oriented students to promote quality literature this fall. If you’re interested, you must e-mail Professor Silas Hansen (schansen@bsu.edu) before adding the class to your schedule.

  • Taking ENG 489 means getting a chance to work with your fellow classmates on a poetry, short story, or flash fiction team.

  • Over the course of the semester, you can review/edit submissions, organize the magazine, and even pick a photo for the cover.

  • By creating an issue of The Broken Plate, you’ll gain design, editing, and social media skills you can use in other immersive learning courses and which will strengthen your resumé.

  • You can get more information, and a free copy of this year’s issue, at In-Print X (2015) on March 17th and 18th!

Do you like free money? Just apply!


Last year, the department awarded over $11,000 to outstanding students.

This year, we want more applicants than ever before! Apply by Monday, March 9, 2015, and show us why you deserve to receive scholarship money and recognition. 


Undergraduate scholarships

Barry Wright Memorial Scholarship

  • If you like to write poetry, this is the scholarship for you!
    • Previous winners:
      • 2014: Brent Holden
      • 2013: Scott Bugher
      • 2012: Anne Haben

Elizabeth Martin Scholarship

  • We give this scholarship to students who demonstrate their scholarship and character by taking on leadership roles.
    • 2014 winners:
      Daniel Brount

      Daniel Brount, Editor in Chief at The Ball State Daily News.

      • Daniel Brount
      • Rachel Johnson
      • Brittany Means

Dr. Janet Ross Scholarship for Teachers of English as a Second Language

  • If you want to sign up for this scholarship, you have to be a teaching major in English/Language Arts. You also have to be enrolled in an English as a Second Language licensure program.
  • If the selection committee recommends it, the award may go to you and several other students.
    • 2014 winners:
      • Seula Han
      • Isaac Muhando

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We’re sponsoring 7 students to attend Taylor’s Making Literature Conference

We’re excited about the “Making Literature” Conference at Taylor University (February 26-28, 2015), and we want to make sure that a group of Ball State English students presents (and represents!) at the conference.

This is an amazing opportunity to share your work, hear great readings from amazing guest speakers (Jessie van Eerden, Angela Shannon, Scott Russell Sanders, Miho Nonaka), and add a great line to your resume.

Creative and critical work are both accepted.

Sponsorships Available

Further, we are giving you the chance to attend the conference and HAVE IT PAID FOR!

The English Department will sponsor 7 students to attend—we will pay for conference registration ($75) and transportation back and forth to the conference all three days for the 7 selected students!

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English Student Daniel Brount discusses his experiences in Ball State’s Unified Media

When people ask me what I’m going to do with my English major, sometimes I don’t know what to say. And before you think it: No, it is not because there aren’t any options for me. It’s because there are too many.

By working as a part of Ball State’s Unified Media, I’m exploring several professional options that not only enhance my resume, but also benefit me by helping me decide what career path to pursue. Unified Media encompasses numerous organizations: The Daily News, Ball Bearings, Ball State Weekly, WCRD, and NewsLink. That means there are a lot of chances to learn outside the classroom.

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Writing Program Sponsors Online Teaching Boot Camp

Online Teaching Bootcamp

Online Teaching Boot Camp Offered by the Writing Program

The Writing Program is pleased to announce that we will be offering a special two-day workshop this semester on online teaching. We’d love to have you join us if you have any interest in teaching online or hybrid courses for the Writing Program. Your participation in the workshop will open up the possibility of being assigned an online/hybrid course at Ball State. For TAs in particular, the training will add another marketable credential to your CV.

Though the workshop will focus on teaching first-year writing, faculty who teach other courses are welcome to join us.

We will meet face-to-face on Saturday, April 19 from 12:30-5 and online on Saturday May 17th. You’ll hear advice on using Blackboard for peer review, communicating, generating learner engagement, creating audio lectures, and more.

Participants will receive a copy of Scott Warnock’s Teaching Writing Online: How and Why and lunch on the 19th. Please register by April 14th by emailing Melissa Hull (mahull@bsu.edu).

The workshop is organized by Andrew Scott. Please feel free to email him with any questions (arscott@bsu.edu).