Tag Archives: soft skills

Bill Bradford: From Teacher to Administrator to Federal Grants Specialist

Bill Bradford graduated from Ball State University in 2007 with a BA in Education with a concentration in English. He later obtained an MS in Educational Leadership from Indiana University: South Bend.  He has served as a school administrator, athletic director, and as a teacher in South Bend Community School Corporation and Indianapolis Public Schools.  With over 10 years of field experience, he is now serving as a Federal Grants Specialist for the Indiana Department of Education

How did your English major lead to your current position?

As an English major, I was presented with several really important leadership opportunities in the field of teaching. Since Language Arts is heavily tested in the K-12 environment, I was given the responsibility of leading collaborative discussions, curriculum planning and developing assessments. Later, I was given some administrative opportunities as an Athletic Director and Assistant Principal in a large school corporation. In my current position, I work for the Indiana Department of Education as a Federal Grant Specialist.

What skills did you learn as an English major that helped you transition into that job?

While I was an English major at Ball State, I developed skills that are very important to my current position such as: communicating effectively with school leaders, editing and revising large grants with great attention to detail, and the collaborative skills needed to work in a small team of other specialists. Critical thinking plays a huge role in my work since federal education funds are often subject to cuts, which means that school districts need expert advice on how to coordinate all of their funding sources, so that they can accomplish their programming goals for students.

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Ellie Fawcett: Creating Social Media Content

Ellie Fawcett. From her website: www.elliefawcett.com

Ellie Fawcett graduated from Ball State with a BA in English Literature in 2017. In college, she served as a member of the marketing team for the 2015 Digital Literature Review and as a strategic communications intern for Jacket Copy Creative. Fawcett now works for Englin’s Fine Footwear as a content creator for their blog and as a manager of their social media.

What is the most interesting part of your job?

I love getting to spend everyday creating. Figuring out what problems customers have, researching how to solve those problems, and creating new information resources is really, really fun!

If things develop as you would like, what does the future hold for your career?

If all goes according to plan, I would eventually like to transition to a position as a content creator for an agency where I’ll have the opportunity to work on more content topics.

What skills are required in your position on a day-to-day basis?

My position requires research skills, the ability to write in specific tones for specific audiences and to determine who the audiences are, the creativity to find new and interesting content topics to cover everyday, and the ability to work with a team. A good foundation of what sometimes get called soft skills is pretty essential to my job. Continue reading

Why don’t more English Majors go to the Job Fair?


On Wednesday, September 17, the Ball State Career Center hosted the Cardinal Job Fair at Worthen Arena. 143 employers were on campus.

Did you go? And if not, why is that?

What do employers want?

We spoke with a few English majors who said that, after taking a look at this Employee Guidebook, they decided that the Job Fair was for business and other pre-professional majors.

Notice how many employers list that they are looking for “All Majors.”

  • Ask an English major if they interpret that to mean, “We want English majors!” they’d say, “No.”
  • But ask employers if they mean, “We want English majors!,” they’d say, “Yes.”

Confusing, isn’t it?

Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

One recruiter at the job fair said that his company can teach “hard skills” (the kind of thing you learn in a pre-professional major), but what they REALLY need are people with soft skills, such as teamwork, communication, and flexibility–the kind of skills English majors have in abundance.

Here’s a post from a few years back about English majors at the Job Fair.

We want your feedback

  1. Take our poll above.
  2. Take a look at the Employee GuidebookWhat do you think of those jobs? What kind of employers would you like to meet with on campus?
  3. Before the Job Fair, we promoted the event on social media, sending out daily reminders. How else can we get the word out to English majors that the Job Fair is indeed something for them?

 Please, answer these questions by commenting below.