Alumni Profile: Melissa Kuhl, Publicity Specialist, University of Illinois Extension

I recently spoke about careers in marketing with U of I alumna Melissa Kuhl, who msteine3200x286graduated in 2011 with a double major in English and Creative Writing. Here’s what she had to say about her professional life after graduating from U of I:

VO: What did you do after you graduated?

Melissa: When I graduated, I was working with the University of Illinois Press in their marketing department. I had an internship with them that began in August 2010, so I continued that internship throughout the rest of the summer of 2011. Then, in August 2011 I got a position in the marketing department in Human Kinetics in Champaign. I worked there until July 2015, when I started with University of Illinois Extension doing marketing for them in Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermillion Counties.

VO: Can you tell me a bit more about what your current job entails?

Melissa: It’s a lot of communicating with the local media and with the public to share information about our upcoming events and programs to try to get people to sign up and to raise general awareness about what we do. Continue reading

What to Expect at a Career Fair (and Why You Should Go)

The Research Park Career Fair is still ahead of us (March 15), but much of the spring career fair season is winding down.  If you went to a career fair this year, well done!  Career fairs are a great way to meet potential employers, explore career paths, and practice your interviewing and networking skills.  If you didn’t go to one, definitely plan to take advantage of them next year!  While some fairs (e.g., the Engineering Career Fair, the Urban Planning Fair) are intended for students with specific technical skills, many fairs feature recruiters seeking students from a variety of programs. Fairs are also targeted towards particular fields of relevance to department of English majors.  The Design+ Job Fair, the Arts and Culture Fair in Chicago, the Educators Fair, and the Illini Career and Internship Fair are particularly oriented towards the interests and skills of people who study English and Creative Writing.

Two English majors who attended the recent Arts and Culture Career Fair in Chicago were willing to share their experiences.  Meghan McCoy (a sophomore) and Henry Yeary (a freshman, who also attended the Business Career Fair last month) independently offered the same two pieces of advice based on their experience:

Continue reading

Why English and Creative Writing Majors Should Be in DC this Fall

  1. The deadline for the fall illinois in dc capitolsemester Illinois in Washington program is April 1, and you don’t need to have your internship lined up in advance. In fact, many employers don’t even start advertising internships until May, so you’ll have plenty of time over the summer to find the right internship for you.
  2. Once you express interest in the program by emailing Prof. Susan Dimock, you dimockwill start getting announcements of internship openings. You’ll get even more once you officially apply.
  3. Prof. Dimock, who lives in DC and has been running this program for years, knows everything there is to know about getting a job in Washington.  She will help you craft a first-rate resume and cover letter to get the internship you want. (She’s also really nice and approachable!
  4. There are a LOT more opportunities in DC in the fall than there are in the summer.  Most are unpaid, but everyone has a better shot at the available paid internships simply because there is less competition.
  5. The cost is similar to spending a semester living in the dorms, particularly if you budget to account for the higher cost of living in DC.
  6. You don’t have to find your own housing and social life comes ready-made. You’ll share a studio apartment with a fellow student in a building housing student interns from all over the country.
  7. You’ll take 12 credits, 3 of which can be an online course of your choosing.
  8. Contrary to popular belief, government agencies and non-profits in DC aren’t looking for political science majors, econ majors, or hard-core politics junkies. They want people who can communicate well. They like the sound of “English major”–that sounds like a person who can write. They want that and don’t see enough of it. 
  9. International students can’t get internships in the federal government, and paid internships can be complicated, but they ARE eligible for jobs in congressional offices, think-tanks, not-for-profit organizations, and the embassies/consulates of their home countries.  Organizations that have an international focus are particularly open to hiring international students, regardless of home country.

 

 

Yes, English/CW Majors Can Find Jobs or Internships at Career Fairs

Career Fair season is upon us.early-job-fair

If you’ve been anywhere near the English department, you’ve seen signs for the Arts and Culture Career Fair in Chicago on Feb. 5, but that is by no means the only one!

* more information available on I-Link

How do you find “more information…on I-Link”?  Log onto I-Link and then click on the blue “Events” tab at the top of the page.  Click “Career Fairs” on the pull-down menu, then click on the particular fair that interests you.  You’ll find information on who is coming and what kinds of positions they are seeking to fill.  Use this information!  Advance preparation is the difference between a good career fair experience and a bad one.

There are LOTS of ways to start getting ready for a career fair, particularly the Business Career Fair, which is coming up quickly.

English, Creative Writing, and ToE majors should plan to attend How to Sell Your English/CW Degree at a Career Fair on Wed., Jan. 27, 5 – 6pm in EB 104.  Learn how to find a job or internship at the Business Career Fair (Feb. 3 and 4) and the Arts and Culture Career Fair (Feb. 5) at this event. Hear from students who’ve been there and get advice on what to wear, what to bring, how to prepare, how to “pitch,” and how to hold your own as an English or CW major at these events.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is also holding two sessions (same content, different times), “How to Sell Your LAS Degree at the Business Career Fair and Engineering Career Fair”: Tues., Jan. 26, 12:30-1:30 p.m., 1002 Lincoln Hall
or  Mon., Feb. 1, 4-5 p.m., 1002 Lincoln Hall.

Can’t attend any of these sessions?  Read up on what to expect!  We have advice on attending the Business Career Fair and advice on what to expect at the Arts and Culture Career Fair.

Don’t have an interview suit?   Doesn’t mean you can’t go (and in fact, if you have your sights on the Arts and Culture Career Fair, you’re probably better off without a suit).  The Career Closet at The Career Center offers gently used clothes for students; it’s open Thurs., Jan. 28, noon – 3pm and Fri., Jan. 29, noon – 2pm, The Career Center’s Interview Suite, 616 E Green St, Champaign, Room 213. (Enter the Kaplan door by McDonald’s.)

If you’d like to review your resume, practice your pitch, discuss the pros and cons of attending, or practice parsing job descriptions, make an appointment with Kirstin Wilcox by emailing kwilcox@illinois.edu.