Discovering Opportunities Through English

Author: Kiah Lynch

I had never considered working in social media until applying for this internship with the English department. Wanting and applying for the internship came as part of an exciting series of realizations I had in the past couple months about the options available to me as an English major. Some of these came to me through some googling and conversations with my family and a bunch more from Duquesne English faculty explaining research awards, study abroad classes, and graduate programs. It’s amazing to suddenly see all of the opportunities out there, and showing those opportunities to others is one of my goals for my involvement in the department’s social media.

Before this period of discovering options was a time spent hovering between mild concern and utter panic experienced by most if not all of us working through our last year of undergrad. Sure, I was going to have a degree in May, but what was I going to do with it in June? Or July? Or for the rest of my life? It’s easy to get a form of tunnel vision looking back over an English major and think all I know how to do is read and write about literature. I don’t mean to diminish analyzing text as a skill because I would certainly be thrilled to spend my whole life talking to people who care as much as I do about what’s going on in a novel or poem. I only mean that this appraisal of an English degree narrows the post-graduate field in a way that strikes fear in the heart of seniors.

So, what else can you do with your English degree?

The question I found myself asking after a discussion in my English 500 class this semester was really what can’t you do. The skills developed in an English program include creative thinking, effective communication, writing, open mindedness, analysis, problem solving, and research. I’m excited to be using these skills to help spread information and updates about the English department and can’t wait to see where this English degree will take me next.

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