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Career Paths for English Majors

CAREER PATHS FOR ENGLISH MAJORS

 

The English Major is a highly versatile degree that prepares students for a diverse range of professional careers, including law, academia, teaching, publishing, editing, copywriting, journalism, television, communications, development, marketing, business, nonprofit work, and so on. As an English Major, you become distinctively adept at writing, critical and creative thinking, perceptive reading, analysis, and argumentation. Many employers and law and business school admissions committees know this, showing preference for applicants with a degree in English. Because English Majors read literature written by authors from a range of cultural perspectives, they also learn to approach our complex world with nuance, empathy, and a sense of fairness and inclusion. English Majors are poised to succeed in many kinds of careers and to bring rich perspectives to the professional fields they enter.

1. Know what your skills are and how to describe them:

Writing critically

Writing creatively

Writing with precision, clarity, complexity, nuance

Writing for different kinds of audiences

Writing persuasively

Argumentation and logic

Navigating multiple viewpoints

Engaging in productive analytical discussion with others

Summarizing others’ ideas

Crafting nuanced responses to others’ ideas

Synthesizing multiple sources

Reading critically

Reading closely and perceptively

Reading difficult texts

Approaching texts through multiple perspectives

Interpretation

Recognizing patterns and anomalies

Analyzing textual details

Identifying the significance of textual details

Editing

Thinking critically

Thinking creatively

Cultural analysis

Recognizing how cultural systems and institutions work

Public speaking

 

2. Resources to help you learn about and explore career paths:

Liberal Arts Career Services at Tulane

We encourage you to make an appointment with Career Services early in your time at Tulane so you can begin exploring career possibilities.

 

TAYLOR Your Life 

TAYLOR Your Life (SISE 4820/6820) is an eight-week, one-credit career development course offered each semester by the Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking. The course applies methods of design thinking to the process of career development. Students learn to ideate and prototype possible career paths and to enter the community in targeted ways that facilitate career development.

Internships

Talk to the Director of Undergraduate Studies or to the Center for Public Service about internship possibilities in a range of fields. Internships provide important experience that can introduce you to particular kinds of jobs and to specific organizations, giving you the chance to explore the relationship of your major to the workplace. Internships are also often gateways to successful career paths: as an intern, you’re likely to gain skills and experience that will appeal to employers, or you may make valuable contacts with individuals or your sponsoring organization. (Many internships can receive 3 ENLS credits and count toward the Major.)

English Department Career Events for Majors

Watch for career-development events sponsored by the English Department and designed especially for English Majors. These might include guest speakers from various fields, workshops, alumni panels, or lunches/dinners with alumni.

 

Informational Interviews 

Informational interviews are an excellent practice for exploring and understanding careers. An informational interview is not a job interview; rather, it’s an interview you initiate, not to ask for a job but to obtain information about specific kinds of careers and organizations. To learn how to schedule and conduct an informational interview, consult the link above or make an appointment with Career Services.           

Informational Interviews with Tulane English Department Alumni

Contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies if you’d like to contact Tulane English Department Alumni to conduct an informational interview. We have alumni working in a wide range of careers, and many of them have expressed enthusiasm about being in contact with our majors.

3. Our Alumni

Many of our alumni have gone on to law school, medical school, or business school. Others have pursued PhDs in English or related fields, or MFAs in Creative Writing or Journalism. Our alumni are currently doctoral students in English at such universities as Stanford, UC Irvine, Emory, Rice, and Stony Brook, and our Creative Writing students have gone on for MFAs at Columbia, Brown, NYU, Washington University in St. Louis, Florida State, and so on. Our alums have been admitted to Masters programs in Journalism at Columbia, NYU, Boston University, Northwestern, and Emerson, among others. Our alums have a variety of careers in teaching, writing, editing, publishing, and journalism, and many have successfully pursued careers in a wide range of other fields in which writing, creativity, and critical thinking are crucial—business, marketing, development, project management, communications, nonprofit work, and so on.

Below is a list of what some of our own alumni are doing:

  • Lawyer
  • Julie Greenwald (’92), COO / Chairman, Atlantic Records
  • Steve Elliot (’87), Vice President, Original Digital Development, Comedy Central
  • Mike Sacks, Editor, Vanity Fair
  • Shala Carlson (’93), Senior Director of Storytelling and Brand Messaging, Habitat for Humanity International
  • Jenny Weber (’01), Director of Education Wing Operations, Carnegie Hall
  • Lauren Menking (’12), Senior Marketing Coordinator, North Texas NPR and PBS
  • Philip Matthews (’09), Programs Coordinator, Pulitzer Arts Foundation
  • Marta D. Hernandez (’08), Deputy Communications Director, US House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations
  • Faine Greenwood (’10), Researcher, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative on drone technology, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Kurt Koenigsberger (’93), Professor of English, Case Western Reserve University
  • Mitch Therieau (’16), Business Analyst, Dimensional Fund Advisors
  • Derrick Toups (’12), Managing Director, Hoffman Early Learning Center, New Orleans
  • Anna Shults (’12), Global Product Marketing, Pearson North America, Textbook Company
  • Robert Koenig (’74), Speechwriter and Russian Propaganda Specialist, U. S. Department of State, U. S. Embassy in Moscow
  • Russell Shaddox (’85), Editor and Designer, East Haddam News, weekly newspaper in East Haddam, CT
  • Erin Frankenheimer (’04), Marketing Manager, Live Nation New Orleans, North American Concerts
  • Erin Frankenheimer (’04), Manager, Entertainment Relations, TuneCore
  • Elizabeth Lynch (’05), Editor, National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) in Washington, D. C.
  • Echo Olander (’81), Director, KID smART, New Orleans nonprofit arts education organization
  • Heidi Arola (’96), Managing Director for Global Partnerships, Purdue University
  • M. Cleland Powell III, Executive Vice President, Iberia Bank
  • Annie Ogburn (’12), Writing Instructor, Freeman School of Business, Tulane
  • Lauren Noel (’09), Marketing Associate, The Historic New Orleans Collection
  • Russell Shaddox (’85), Owner and Art Director, Quicksilver Communication INC., writing and design services for nonprofit sector
  • Rhoda Kubrick, Project Manager, Application Software Department, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
  • Jason Horn (’05), Freelance Drinks Writer for Garden & Gun, Daily Beast, Playboy, and HGTV
  • Allison Verost (’03), Vice President, Marketing and Publicity, Macmillan Publishing Company
  • Kelsey Rogut (’11), Leadership Learning Instructional Designer, Home Depot Corporate Office
  • Martha Tanner, Head of Research Services and Archives, Nebraska Wesleyan University Library
  • Amy Shapiro (’00), Books Publicist, Penguin Books
  • Steve Palme (’94), Editor, Dover Books
  • Steve Palme (’94), Textbook Production Editor, Pearson Education
  • Jill McIntyre Kelly (’00), Marketing and PR Director, San Diego Repertory Theater
  • Jill McIntyre Kelly (’00), Development and Advancement, La Jolla Playhouse
  • Jill McIntyre Kelly (’00), Director of Advancement and Community Relations, Gillispie School in San Diego
  • Kateri Geyer Young (’88), Editor of Digital Trade Publication, American Bankers Association
  • Mark Manuel (’85), Marketing Coordinator, Crown Equipment Corporation
  • Mark Manuel (’85), Vice President of Development and Information Services, Crown Equipment Corporation
  • Paul Major Bradley, Head of Community Management, MicroStrategy
  • Anita Jackson (’95), Donor Advised Funds Administrator, Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, San Francisco
  • Margaret Webber (’07), Copywriter, McCann Worldgroup, advertising agency
  • Jim Gold (’85), President and Chief Merchandising Officer, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman
  • Holly Clegg, National Cookbook Author and Corporate Wellness Consultant
  • David Kening (’09), Director of Housekeeping, Caesers and Bally’s Resorts, Atlantic City
  • Betsy Giusto, Director of Economic Development, City of Webster, TX

Other job titles of our alumni

  • Brand Strategist
  • International Communications Director, tech company
  • Product Manager, tech company
  • Marketing Communications Consultant
  • HR Analyst and HR Senior Manager, large global consulting organization
  • Partner, consulting organization working with Fortune 200 companies
  • Digital Media Manager, U. S. government agency
  • Youth Services Librarian
  • Trade Book Editor, specialization in cookbooks
  • Senior Copywriter, advertising agency