B.A. in English with a Public Relations minor, 2016
Most enjoyable experiences as an English major:
My favorite classes were my Creative Writing classes--I learned a lot about myself during these. However, truly the best part of being an English major was building friendships that have continued beyond college!
M.B.A. (Masters of Business Administration) with a Marketing Concentration, 2019, Millsaps College
Law Student, J.D. Candidate, May 2023
University of Mississippi School of Law
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?
When I graduated from MSU, I honestly didn’t have much of a plan, and my goals and plans have ebbed and flowed as new opportunities have presented themselves. After completing my English degree, I knew I wanted to transition to business work, which took me to my job in wealth management and finance. While working, completing a business degree became one of my goals, which took me to my MBA program. Then, my MBA program led me to a new career path: law school.
What is your current occupation, and what does your work mostly consist of?
I am a second year law student at the University of Mississippi’s School of Law. My day to day consists of copious amounts of reading, researching, and writing. Basically, the same work I did as an English major, but my law books have much less-interesting plot lines.
Which skills that you learned as an English major do you use most in your job?
I use my writing and critical thinking skills most frequently in law school. My research skills have also been a lifesaver!
When I was working in wealth management, I relied heavily on my verbal communication and writing skills while working with co-workers and clients.
What additional skills did you need to learn in order to do your job, and how did you learn them?
As a law student, I have had to master the art of legal research and writing. I primarily learned about these in the classroom during my first year, but I also learned a lot while working for a law firm during the summer break. There are some nuances in this type of writing/research that differ from the equivalent skills I learned as an English major.
While working in wealth management, I had to learn a great deal about accounting and about the different software systems that we used to track the stock markets. I mostly learned all of this on-the-job, but I also took some accounting classes while I was completing my MBA.
Are there common misconceptions about your career field, which current English majors might share, that you have learned the truth about?
A lot of people think that all lawyers are conflict-driven and just love to debate/argue/cause general misery. That is simply not true! Most lawyers day-to-day do not remotely resemble a Law & Order episode. In fact, most lawyers spend their days advising clients on how to avoid conflict. These legal professionals spend their days writing legal documents, which means they rarely have to go to court or pitch arguments.
Similarly, people assume you have to love math to succeed in business—also false! While some basic math is involved in business, much of business relies on your ability to write and communicate well with others. This is a special talent of English majors!
In what ways does your career enrich your life and help you to achieve your personal as well as your professional goals?
My career has given me a clear path for working in business as a legal professional, but my legal education has also allowed me to grow personally through the study of our criminal justice system and the constant work being done to make sure each and every person receives a proper legal defense.
What advice do you have for undergraduate English majors right now who might want to follow the career path you did?
If you want to go to law school, start thinking about the things you need to succeed in an academic environment. Think about the type of community you want to be a part of, the extra-curriculars that might seem interesting, and where you might want to live after law school. These things are all just as important when you are in law school as making sure you have a good LSAT score and GPA.
If you see yourself working in a traditional business setting one day, take some basic accounting or business courses as an elective. Just a small introduction course could help you immensely working in an office!