Guest-Blog: You’ll Have Options, by Zoe Pawelczak (graduating senior)

We asked graduating senior Zoe Pawelczak (BA, English ’18) to share her advice about job-hunting as an English major. Here’s what she had to say. 

Finding jobs can seem overwhelming, and it often times seems even more difficult as an English or creative writing major.  After all, unlike engineering, advertising, etc. there is no career simply entitled English.  As a senior graduating with a degree in creative writing and a minor in English, it was certainly easy to feel lost in the sea of engineers on this campus.  But, once I started applying for jobs and interviewing I realized there is a market for the skills that we have gained through our majors. Continue reading

How to Escape the “Needing Experience to Get Experience” Paradox

 

Yes, you usually need experience to get a job. But often people apply for jobs because they need experience, and hope to get it by being employed.

The conundrum is not as cruel as it appears, though.

1. These expectations may be overstated. You usually find the expectations for prior experience in the “requirements” or “qualifications” in a job ad. It’s usually a separate section at the bottom of the ad listening all the things the ideal candidate for the job will have or be able to do. Many Continue reading

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

Alumni Profile: Brad Petersen, Director of Communications for LAS

As part of a series of alumni career profiles, Krystyna Serhijchuk, an English major and department intern, interviewed Brad Petersen, Director of Communications and Marketing at the College of LAS, who obtained his BA in English at Illinois in 1998.

What does your position as Director of Communications and Marketing at LAS entail?

One of the aspects of my position I enjoy most is that it has many different components. My day can involve anything from working with the media on a story, preparing a speech for our dean, promoting an alumni event, working with my team on our magazine or newsletters, or assisting with student recruitment work.

LAS is a huge college, so I have the opportunity to work with faculty and staff from units as diverse as Chemistry and Slavic Studies. It’s really a joy to have so much variety in my day.

I can most succinctly sum up my job as being responsible for communicating about our college to prospective students, current students, faculty and staff, and alumni.

What do you enjoy about it?

Continue reading