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An alum speaks wise about life after graduation

25 Apr

2015 alumna and English major Marisa Pizzuli offers 7 things she wished she knew when she graduated a year ago– all good advice!

7 Things I Wish I Knew on Graduation Day


That pesky cover letter

9 Feb frustrated writer


Internship application season looms on the horizon. And the first step of applying for that internship you’re dreaming of is writing that pesky cover letter. What, exactly, are you supposed to say, especially if this is your first internship and you have little or no work experience? Susan Adams at Forbes Magazine offers some useful advice:

This article has been posted to the Making English Work Resources page, along with lots of other helpful links. 

EN and IT (that’s Information technology, not Italian)! Yes!

30 Jul

This article from The Chronicle of Higher Ed is directed at people with Ph.Ds in the humanities, but is equally applicable to undergraduate humanities majors. An EN degree is applicable to a wide range of fields– even information technology. How? Here’s one reason offered by the author, who got his BA in English and then worked in tech for nearly a decade:

My love of literature meant I adapted well to the language-driven task of computer programming.

The article describes careers in IT particularly suitable for humanities majors: business analyst, technical communicator, and user-experience designer. Worth checking out!

IT: The Accidental Career for Ph.D.s

Personal assistant: a ticket to glamour and possibly self-loathing

14 Apr

rs_1024x759-141204153408-1024.birdman-emma-stoneI’m not sure whether to recommend this or to tell you to run. Run screaming, as fast as you can. But this article from Dissent Magazine provides a fascinating glimpse into the world of the “personal assistant,” portrayed by Emma Stone recently in Birdman.

Read at your own risk!

In Defense of Lib Arts AND Employability

4 Apr

From the Huffington Post education blog, Tom Vander Ark explains how he chose to major in something “marketable”–engineering & finance– and reports that “it’s taken decades of remedial humanities to augment my job training.”

He clearly describes the pros and cons of majoring in something like English or choosing something more “marketable.” Worth reading.

How English (and philosophy, and history) Work

3 Dec

Here is an article by Paula Krebs, dean of humanities at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts, appearing in Vitae. It’s initially about how Victorian writers might respond to the recent and unfolding events in Ferguson, MO, but eventually widens its focus to talk about what people educated in the humanities (e.g., English, history, & philosophy majors) bring to the table, work-wise, that more narrowly educated people do not. Here’s an excerpt:

My former boss used to talk about the time he met a police officer who, it turned out, was an alumnus of our university. They got to talking, and my boss was really impressed with the officer’s perspective on his job and his community, his human-relations skills, and his sense of himself as a professional. The officer said he owed it all to his education. He had, it turned out, been a philosophy major. … We are not making a strong enough case for a liberal-arts education that helps students to understand the differences and connections between the ways that social sciences, humanities, and sciences see and act on the world. We undermine our own universities when we allow our students and the general public to see higher education as job preparation alone, rather than job preparation that is also preparation to be citizens and leaders who understand a complex world. It’s preparation to be a worker who understands the connections between work and the world in which it takes place. It’s preparation to be a worker who can invent his or her next job, not just apply for it.

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Thinking about law school? Check out this flowchart.

10 Oct

I found this flowchart both eye-opening and clarifying. It is complicated, but worth reading every path if you are thinking about going to law school for any reason: money, prestige, desire to effect social change, stability, or simply, because you aren’t really sure what you want to do after you graduate.

I ran across this while reading a piece in Vitae, a higher-education career site, written by a recent college grad who considered going to law school because he wanted to pursue social change. Although he got in to several top law programs, he decided not to go. You can read about his decision-making process, which includes many useful links for those facing the same decision, here.

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