B.A. in English, 2022
Favorite memories of being an undergraduate English major:
Some of my favorite memories of being an undergraduate English major consist of reading assigned literature, making new friends, and classroom discussions about literature.
Editor / Tech
When you graduated with a degree in English from MSU, what were your plans for your future? Has your career path mostly realized those early plans, or have you discovered new plans and goals along the way?
In the summer before my final semester, I was offered an internship at CanU. After completing the internship, I was offered a full-time job that I could start post-graduation. Because of this, my plans before and during graduation season were plans for what I am currently doing. However, my future plans have evolved. I plan to stay at CanU for many years, but I have decided that I will likely pursue a MFA in Creative Writing within the coming years. This new goal inspires me to continue to practice my writing skills while getting to work a job I thoroughly enjoy.
What is your current occupation, and what does your work mostly consist of?
I currently work for an online educational company called CanU University. At CanU, I edit scripts for our educational videos, aid in running our studio, present in some of our videos, and edit raw video footage into videos that are ready to be published to our website.
Which skills that you learned as an English major do you use most in your job?
As an English major, I learned communication skills and how to be detail-oriented through writing many papers. I use both of these skills in my job. It is critical that our students understand our content, and in order for that to happen, the content of our scripts must be clearly communicated. Years of writing essays and learning how to clearly communicate an idea has been useful in this job. Additionally, researching in preparation for essays and carefully editing my essays throughout my time as an English major sharpened my skill of detail-orientation. I now use this skill to edit both scripts and video footage.
What additional skills did you need to learn in order to do your job, and how did you learn them?
In order to do my job, one skill I had to adopt is the skill of being tech-savvy. Understandably, I didn’t learn this skill as an English major. English majors are usually book people, and I am no exception. Many of us prefer hard copies of books instead of online copies and even still take notes by hand. Because of this, I quickly had to learn how to be tech-savvy. I picked up this skill by closely watching my coworkers who also help in running our studio. Also, I practiced quite a bit. I have spent many hours trying to familiarize myself with our equipment and computer software so that I am prepared in case our technology fails.
Are there common misconceptions about your career field, which current English majors might share, that you have learned the truth about?
When people hear that I was an English major that now works for an online educational company, they often automatically assume that I am an English teacher. However, I have learned that majoring in English can open many doors other than becoming a teacher. While I do work in the education field, I have different duties than a normal teacher. Attempting to find a job after graduation includes a great deal of intimidation, but learning how to market yourself as an English major is imperative. I currently work in an environment that mainly consists of educational math content, but I have learned that there is always room for an “English brain” in the mix.
In what ways does your career enrich your life and help you to achieve your personal as well as your professional goals?
When I first began college, I intended to become either a teacher or a lawyer. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what else someone with an English degree could do. However, after taking Foundations to Education, I swiftly realized that teaching was not for me. I simply didn’t feel that I was meant to be in a classroom setting. I wanted to help children learn, but I did not feel that I had the skill set that is required to be a teacher. My current job allows me to help children learn and be a positive influence on students without having to be in a classroom on a daily basis.
What advice do you have for undergraduate English majors right now who might want to follow the career path you did?
I don’t know if any English majors wish to follow my exact career path as it is a little unconventional. However, I do know that many English majors want to branch out from the careers that are often expected of us. For those English majors, I advise that you take every opportunity offered to you even if it is a bit atypical. Doing something conventional is perfectly fine, but the unconventional is fun too!
Updated Feb 2023