Alumni News and Experiences
Do English Majors find work? You bet they do!
A survey of recent graduates shows that about 40% of BW English majors find work in business, 10% in Law, 10% in Public Service, 24% in Education at the Secondary or College level, and 6% in computer related fields.
Furthermore, our alumni relate that their major has been beneficial in a number of ways, from finding employment to appreciating life more fully. Here's what some of them say:
I got my job by attending a job fair in Cleveland in the winter of 91/92. DFAS (Defense Finance Accounting Service) wanted to see English majors. I was puzzled at first--but since then have realized that they were looking for people who knew how to learn! My English major definitely taught me how to learn. . . .It also taught me time management and multi-tasking. Of course, it honed my communication skills (written and oral) as well.
---Pamela McMahon Adams '91, Computer programmer analyst/Project Manager
My work demands that I am sympathetic to cultural differences and adaptive to different communication styles. My English degree was excellent training in approaching language--particularly English--with openness and sensitivity, understanding it in the context of its social and historical meaning. . . .My English studies at BW brought not only literature into my daily reflection on how our experiences shape our perspectives but also gave me a grounding in argument, reasoning, and art (in a broad sense).
---Holly White'95, Assistant Projects Worker, Peace and Reconciliation Group, Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland.
The Police Chief is a BW alumnus, so he was pleased to see that I was also. Majoring in English helps me immensely every day, as I am called upon to write many reports. . . .In addition to good writing skills, my English major provided me with the ability to see things as they are beyond the surface. Analyzing literature exercised my insight and perception, which is very helpful in my career as a police officer. I am called upon to resolve conflicts and solve problems every day, and it helps to be able to put myself into the "third person" and see each side of the story. Studying literature also gave me invaluable insight into human nature, which helps me to deal with a variety of personality types.
---Melissa Kennelly, '97, Police Officer, Broadview Heights
The biggest benefit of an English major, in my opinion, is the ability to communicate effectively, both in writing and verbally. The biggest part of my job is assisting our employees in communicating with each other and with our clients. The practical aspects of our company are taught on the job. Without the ability to communicate, I would not be an effective manager. . . This relevance has a tendency to "sneak up" on you at odd times, in my experience. Some event will happen, and suddenly something we talked about in class will come to mind and finally make sense. I think this aspect of my education is only beginning for me.
---Jennifer Miller Wirth '92, Office Manager, Kennedy Group Enterprises, Inc.
Every day, each of us has a choice--to be small minded or something geater than that. My English major--especially a consideration of point of view--inclines me away from small-mindedness.
---Erin Kekic Hughes, '97, Inventory Analyst, manufacturing company
We are responsible for writing our own brochures, Web pages and marketing material. I am also very able to converse on a variety of topics with our guests, who are extremely well traveled and well educated. . .After we purchased the inn in June of 1996, my parents were a bit upset that I was not directly applying my degree in English any longer. I explained to them at the time that BW played such an enormous part in my growth and development as a person. I am who I am today (successful, happily married, a mother, running a profitable business) because of my time at BW, my time with the Seminar in Europe, and my degree in English.
---Nancy Blackford '90, Woodstocker Bed & Breakfast, Woodstock, Vermont
I was hired as Desktop Publisher--to write, design, and edit presentations and documents. My promotion was due in part to my ability to communicate clearly and effectively, both verbally and in writing. Our clients trust HQ to polish (and in many cases create) corporate sales and marketing literature.
--Amber Nash Kramer '97, Assistant General Manager, HQ Global Workplaces
I did one year national service with AmeriCorps, which led naturally into social service on a community level. My English major has helped me immensely in the grant writing, curricula design, editing, and speech writing components of my job.
---Ginnette Boyarko '96, Rape Prevention Educator at a domestic violence and rape crisis center
When I finished my Master's Degree and prepared to enter the so-called "real world," I was fearful that I was competent only in an academic setting. My fears were laid to rest when I encountered several jobs that called for the exact same research-related, analytical, problem-solving skills that I acquired as an English major. . . .I think that the kind of inquisitiveness fostered by the English major has seeped into nearly all aspects of my life. Almost everything has become a kind of text for me--including myself--and this has served me well both personally and professionally.
--Sherry Ward Truffin '93, full time instructor at a small, private college
The instruction at BW was first rate. All of my professors worked to bring out the best in me and their patience paid off for me. My writing skills distinguish me from many of my peers and managers. . . .The sincerity and professionalism of the English department at BW will forever be the single most imporant influence I have had in my life.
--Mark Arlia '90, Quality Assurance Associate for Alltel Communications
Returning to college on a full-time basis was one of my most difficult life decisions; yet at BW it proved to be one of my wisest. The BW English department nurtured and shaped me into a new entity, one that cares, thinks, and communicates on deeper levels. Life is so much richer now, and I'm grateful to BW for that.
--Mary Stumpf '92