Alumni Profile: Beth Cohon, video editor for Teak

To learn about her career in video editing and her other experiences after graduation, I recently talked with U of I English alumna Beth Cohon. Be sure to check out the sample of her work, linked below! 39d3231

VO: When did you graduate from UIUC?

Beth:  I graduated in 2011, after my third year.

VO:  What was your reason for graduating early?

Beth:  I had a lot of AP credits before starting college. Then going into my junior year, I just realized that if I took something like 5 English courses each semester that I’d be able to graduate that year. However, looking back I sort of wish I had stayed all 4 years, because my last year was so fun. College is fun. I did take the next year to do a one-year MA, though, so I still got in my 4 years of school I guess.

VO:  What was your MA in?

Beth:  I got my MA in film studies, at King’s College London. In the UK most Masters courses are just one year full-time.

VO:  What do you do now?

Beth:  Now I work as a video editor at Teak, an agency/production company in San Francisco.

VO:  How long have you worked there? Continue reading

Alumni Profile: Austin Millet, Project Operations Coordinator for VelocityEHS

One of many reasons why studying English is great is that it provides an adaptable skill set that can be applicable to nearly any field. While some English majors may know they want to go into careers traditionally associated with the discipline, like editing or teaching, others may be drawn to the major for different reasons and may choose careers in business, Austin Millet phototechnology, or the sciences. To learn about alternative career paths, I recently talked with Austin Millet, who graduated with a degree in English in 2010 and currently works as a Project Operations Coordinator at VelocityEHS in Chicago. Here’s what he had to say about his experiences after college:


VO: What did you do after graduating from U of I?

Austin: I worked a few jobs part-time: temporary manual labor, at a bar, and as a content/marketing writer at a small business in Chicago. After about a year, I went to teach English in the Republic of Georgia for a year.

VO:  Interesting! Was that through a school or organization? What was that experience like? Continue reading

Alumni Profile: Katie O’Brian, Children’s Librarian

Katie O'BrianFor the latest in my series of alumni career profiles, I talked with Katie O’Brian, who graduated from U of I in 2011 with a double major in English and Creative Writing and a minor in Spanish. Katie currently works as a children’s librarian at a public library in Colorado. Here’s what she had to say about life after graduation:

VO:  What did you do after you graduated from U of I?

Katie:  When I graduated, I was pretty sure I wanted to go into libraries. I had been volunteering at the Champaign Public Library and really liked it, so I decided to take some time off to try working in a library. You need a Master’s degree to be a librarian, so I wanted to be sure I really liked it before I committed to grad school. I took a year off from school and worked as a circulation clerk in a public library. It was a lot of fun.

VO:  And after that you decided to go to grad school?

Katie:  Yeah. I applied to the master’s program in Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at U of I the fall after I graduated from undergrad. So really only after 4 months of working in the library, but I had also been volunteering for maybe 6 months before that.

VO:  Can you tell me a little about what you do now?

Katie:  I’m a children’s librarian at a public library in Colorado. That means that I work the reference desk in the children’s department at my library. I do programs for children, including storytime and various other programs. Most recently, I organized a Star Wars Party for all ages (so basically 0-12), which was a lot of fun. We have a small staffing model, so I also do things that librarians wouldn’t necessarily do in a larger library system. For instance, I do a little bit of marketing in that I make posters for my department’s programs. I also am responsible for maintaining half the children’s collection (that’s books, CDs, movies, magazines, etc.).

VO:  Wow! That sounds great. So does your day-to-day schedule tend to vary quite a bit? Continue reading

Alumni Profile: Dan Klen, Assistant Scientific Editor for the Illinois State Geological Survey

Klen_Bio Photo 1As part of my alumni profiles series, I recently talked with UIUC alumnus Dan Klen, who graduated in 2012 with majors in English and Creative Writing and a minor in Business. Dan shared information about his work as an Assistant Scientific Editor for the Illinois State Geological Survey at the University of Illinois and offered some advice to current students who may be interested in careers in editing or publishing.

VO: Can you tell me a little about what you do?

Dan: I’m an assistant scientific editor for the Illinois State Geological Survey at the University of Illinois. My job includes what is probably the obvious part to most people, which is editing. What most people think an editor does is read manuscripts and edit for style, form, and clarity. But there’s also a lot of other things that go with being an editor – a lot of managing and coordinating of authors to meet deadlines and to remind them of their goals. A lot of my time is actually spent just coordinating with people for particular projects. Usually in planning for a project, I’ll sit down with the principal investigator (PI) and figure out what our writing deliverables are—usually it’s reports if it’s a government-funded project. I’ll develop schedules with authors for turning in their individual contributions; then I’ll edit those contributions and put them all together into a final topical report or project report that the PI reviews. That’s just one example, but my point is that there’s editing and formatting that goes with my job, but also a lot of coordinating with contributing authors. As far as types of documents, we produce final project reports, academic papers, website content, monthly reports, and press releases. I’ve also done some work on public outreach materials, such as walking guides to parks in Chicago, so it’s a little bit all over the board.

Continue reading