Believe in Your English Degree

Author: Kiah Lynch

When I started this internship I was really worried about whether or not I could do it. I had the same conversation with family and friends over and over asking them if they thought I would be able to handle it and actually help the department with my work. I’m sure I was at least slightly annoying to talk to and was accomplishing little other than trying to psych myself out of taking on the challenge.

My actual experience as the social media intern has been rewarding and so much fun. As I discussed in my last post, the English major has prepared me for a great deal more than I was aware of until confronted with the question this semester. When I write and create posts I’m using a lot of what we use every day in the humanities; I have to consider how people will respond, what will be interesting and engaging, what will look good, what will read well, and what will spark conversation.

It’s also been exciting to see that I’m doing these things with some success. Each small increase in number of likes or followers is evidence that the skills I’ve developed in the humanities translate to the world outside of the classroom. In addition, the more people pay attention to the social media the more I can see it serving its purpose. People can find scholarships, classes, internships, events, and articles that all encourage participation in the English department.

Apart from how to create different types of posts and foster engagement on social media, the most important thing I’ve learned from this internship so far is to have confidence in my abilities as an English major and not be afraid to take on new challenges. I have talked to many people who did not know about all the job opportunities available to English majors. These jobs are emphasized in the articles we frequently post on the department’s social media, but for a lot of us those articles are the first we’re hearing about our options. If you had asked me freshman year I would not have said an English degree would qualify me to run social media for anyone. In fact, I did say it didn’t qualify me when I considered the internship back in August. Now that I’m doing it I can see how the skills I mentioned above are perfect for this type of work. It has also opened up future opportunities since I can show increased engagement and successful posts when trying to market myself for other jobs.

I think what I’m trying to say here is to believe in your English degree. Don’t listen to people who ask what you’re going to do with it because they likely aren’t looking for the long list of possible careers you have with that question. Most of us chose to major in English because we love it. We now get to be lucky enough to figure out all the ways we can apply the major outside of school, which is scary but worth it. Having made it through half of this internship I can say I’m so excited to see what else I can accomplish with it and find out what I’m able to do next.

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