Tag Archives: life after the English major

Elizabeth Palmer: You can only figure out what you want if you participate.

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Photo provided by Elizabeth Palmer.

She graduated from Ball State in 2014.

She majored in English Studies, with a minor in digital media.

She worked as one of the English Department’s PR Interns, producing content for this very blog.

Today, Elizabeth Palmer tells us how she used her skills as an English major to secure a position at Coldwell Banker, a real estate company.


1. What I Learned as an English Major

Courses like Editing and Style helped me balance my writing voice with concise, coherent arguments.

I owe a lot of my growth as a writer to Amit Baishya, who, unfortunately, is no longer teaching at Ball State.

Learning to communicate effectively allowed me to showcase my other skills, like design and multimedia storytelling.

Opportunities at Ball State, like the Digital Media minor, helped me utilize my skills in more engaging educational settings. 

My Virginia B. Ball Center seminar (Strengthening Opinions about Animal Responsibility) also gave me an opportunity to thrive in an entirely new learning environment. 

To learn more about the Virginia Ball Center, click here.

 

I knew I wasn’t destined to be an English teacher (even though so many people told me I should be), and branching out into Ball State’s immersive learning projects allowed me to prove that.


2. Finding a job is hard, but not impossible

The last two months before graduation, I spent all my time providing sample work, researching, and interviewing for a job I was so sure I was going to get.

When the time of the interview came, I spent over two hours in the office meeting employees. I even spoke with the HR director and interviewed with the marketing manager.

I left that interview confident I’d secured a future at the company. I was so sure I wasn’t going to be one of those college graduates scrambling to find a job after graduation.

I was wrong. Continue reading

Johna Picco: “Don’t go to graduate school without funding,” and other sound advice

Time to tune in, English majors, for another round of excellent advice from Johna Picco. Below, she gives us four amazing tips on graduate school, internships, and Life After The English Major.

Photo provided by Johna Picco.

Photo provided by Johna Picco.

So, what’s up, Johna?

It’s been nearly four years (how?!) since my initial blog post and not only have the years flown by but they’ve also brought about a great deal of change.

Since we last spoke, I’ve left my job at the American Medical Association, applied to and attended graduate school at the University of Illinois, interned at various archives and secured full-time employment (as of October 29th!) as an assistant curator of special collections at The Filson Historical Society.

Yikes. When I write it all out like that, not only does it sound hectic but also ridiculously pretentious. Well, I assure you that it wasn’t all that hectic and that my aim for this post is definitely not to boast about myself but rather share my latest experiences on where an English degree can lead.

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Senior Rebecca Haynes secures job at Ford Meter Box, Inc.

Give a warm welcome to Rebecca Haynes.Rebecca Haynes

Rebecca is a senior English Literature major graduating in December 2014.

After graduation, she will be the Sales and Marketing Administrative Assistant at The Ford Meter Box, Inc.

Below, Rebecca talks about her path to employment.

How did you English major lead to your job offer?

As a Literature major, I learned to analyze and think critically.  Part of my job description includes editing and proofing flyers and catalogs.  It is important that I be able to say as much as possible with as few words as possible.  Having lots of experience with writing and communication is a great asset for this aspect of the position.  Part of the job entails working with co-workers and other companies to set up travel details.  Communication is crucial to ensuring all the flights connect and reservations are set.

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Creative + Writing: Aaron Nicely on selling your degree

Say hello to Aaron Nicely, an alumnus of the Ball State English department.

nicely

Photo provided by Aaron Nicely

Originally from Cincinnati, OH, Aaron currently resides in Noblesville, IN, though he has also lived in Boston, St. Louis, Muncie, and Ingalls, IN. He graduated from Wabash College in 2006 with a BA in English and a minor in theatre. He then came to Ball State, where he completed his MA in Creative Writing in 2008, and his MA in Literature in 2010.

Currently, Aaron serves as the Director of Digital Marketing at Elbert Construction.

Below, Aaron shares his advice on what employers are really looking for, how to “pitch yourself,” and what you can really do with a BA in English.

Tell us about your collegiate journey.

My timeline went kind of like it’s supposed to.

College years

I went to Wabash College to get an English degree and write, which I did.  I won a grant to write a novel.  I got an internship with an ad agency. As a kid I ripped my favorite ads out of magazines and tucked them away in boxes, in books, and dreamed of copywriting.  I wanted to know why and how it worked.  I was incurably curious.

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