English/CW Major –> Foreign Service

Melissa Martinez, the Diplomat in Residence for the Midwest from the Department of State, was here on campus earlier this week to talk about careers in the foreign service. Ms. Martinez spoke frankly about the challenges of a diplomatic career: accommodating the careers and needs of spouse and children, physical danger, difficulties staying in touch with family and friends, sometimes inconvenient and uncomfortable working conditions. She emphasized that it is not the glamorous, urbane life often depicted in the media. However, she also stressed the rewards of the job: the opportunity to travel, a career path that can span continents and offer new opportunities to learn, the support provided for relocation and family/household needs (including language training, health care, and mentoring), and above all, the opportunity to make a difference while representing your country. Continue reading

Internships at ATLAS

Recently we had the chance to talk to some staff and interns of ATLAS about internships. The conversation provided us with valuable information about internship opportunities at ATLAS, application procedure, the possibility of continuing internships for more than one semester, and the prospect of transition from unpaid internships to paid positions.

How do you invite internship applications? Do you advertise them or do you accept applications throughout the year?

We invite applications year round, as we constantly have new positions coming in, and have started interns at mid-semester in the past. We also do specific calls for applications if we have a position that needs filled and we don’t have applicants that fit that position.

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Alumni Profile: Steve Haruch, independent journalist and filmmaker

Recently we interviewed Steve Haruch, a writer, journalist and independent filmmaker based in Nashville, TN. He graduated with a B.A. from UIUC in 1996 (English/Rhetoric double major), and went on to earn an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Washington in 2000. After a series of teaching, copywriting and other odd jobs, he landed at the Nashville Scene, where he worked as a staff editor for seven years. Since then, he has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic, NPR’s Code Switch and The Guardian, among other outlets. He edited People Only Die of Love in Movies: Film Writing by Jim Ridley (Vanderbilt University Press, 2018) and is currently producing a documentary film about the history of college radio. He is particularly interested in talking with students from minority backgrounds. In the interview, Haruch talked about freelancing, a career option that offers freedom of work.

What is your current job? What do you like about it?

I’m a freelancer, so my current job is really a series of jobs, mostly involving writing in some way. These are strung together in a manner that resembles regular work but is more open-ended and irregular.

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10 Things to Keep in Mind When Your Major Gets Disparaged on Social Media

  1. English and creative writing majors get jobs.
  2. Liberal arts majors make greater increases in earning capacity than other majors as they advance in their careers.
  3. Most English and creative writing majors do not end up teaching.
  4. Starting salary is one way to measure the value of a job. It doesn’t measure how much you will like the job, how meaningful you will find the work, or whether the job will move you towards the goals you have.
  5. If a social media site often displays threads about fulfilling gen ed requirements without taking any courses that require writing, reading, or effort, then the frequent users of that site may not be in a good position to evaluate either the value or difficulty of a major that is all reading, writing, and critical thought.
  6. People can be successful after college without being miserable in college.
  7. People can learn things and grow intellectually without being miserable in college.
  8. People who are comfortable with their choices generally don’t need to criticize strangers for making different choices.
  9. If you don’t like math or aren’t any good at it, a career that involves strong quantitative skills will probably bring you neither success nor happiness.
  10. Your English and creative writing classes alone will not get you a job, but that is true of any major. Employers look for evidence of leadership and experience — and your university offers opportunities for all majors to build skills outside the classroom.