Using an English Degree in the Future


March 18, 2021
Asha Douglas ('22)

Everyone has to pick a major at some point. Here's a top tip: English. But, you say, 'What can I do with an English major? How can this benefit me after college?' The answer does not end at “a teacher” or “a writer.” Four graduates have returned to debunk this myth and explain how they have used their degrees in their careers so far. English is a great major to consider during your time at Gonzaga. Hopefully, this lessens your worries about what you can do with it once you graduate. 

 

Sierra Golden (‘09) 

She/her/hers

  

Since 2014, Sierra has worked in nonprofit fundraising and communications. She started her career at Casa LatinaSierra is currently the Director of Communications at Agros International, an organization that supports the economic well-being of rural farming families in Central America.

 

I often find myself telling people how useful my English degree has been in the workplace. The skills I practiced at Gonzaga--things like expanding and shortening essays, compiling research, building logical arguments, analyzing a piece of writing to understand why it does or doesn't work--are skills I use regularly in my career as a nonprofit fundraising and communications professional.

 

Claire Topalian (’11) 

She/her/hers

Claire first worked for a nonprofit as a Communications Manager. She then transitioned to a similar focus at Nordstrom Corporate. In 2015, she started her own consulting firm called Cove Group to help clients create their own storytelling strategies and plans in communications.

 

My English degree provided me with the tools to identify, build, and share a great story on my own -- as well as guide others as they uncover the value and power of a story for their business. At numerous success points throughout my career, I've been able to clearly point to the practices and mental-processes that stem directly from my English studies at Gonzaga."

 

You can read more about her experience here.

Alice Hastings (’16) 

They/them/theirs

 

Alice has spent most of their time in education, educational programming, and communications—specifically as a Part Time Instructor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). They have also worked in graphic design and copywriting. Alice is currently an academic advisor, volunteer, and peer mentor coordinator at UNLV. 

 

My English degree prepared me for my career by helping me learn how to communicate more confidently and effectively, which is a skill I need every day now. The lit essays actually played a pretty big role, tooall that experience thinking through why an author repeats a certain image, or piercing together themes, or arguing about meaning helped strengthen my critical thinking skills, my ability to pick out patterns and useful information, and my confidence with presenting my ideas.

Megan Robinson (’17) 

She/her/hers

 

Megan works in the digital marketing sector of the board games industry. Her main areas of focus are media relations, copywriting, and social media management. Megan is presently a Social Media & Engagement Manager for a small agency that helps start-up board game publishers launch their games.

 

My English degree has been indispensable to my work beyond Gonzaga. My research experience allows me to tackle any kind of project—a particularly important skill set in my fast-paced environment—and my grasp of nuanced communication strategies serves me not only in larger projects, but in all sorts of day-to-day activities that I never anticipated as a student.