Department of English

O'Dowd Hall, Room 544
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2250
fax: (248) 370-4429

Three people looking at a notebook, standing in a room with gray lockers and file boxes.

Internships and Career Resources

Internships offer students valuable skills and work experience in career paths for English majors. Most students enjoy and learn from their internship experience; they also find that in this economic market, the experience they gain from interning gives them an edge that can make a difference when they are up against stiff competition for jobs.


List of Available Internships

Internships for credit are available during fall, winter, and summer semesters. To receive credit, students must register for ENG 4950 and fill out online forms. For Film Studies and Production, please contact Adam Gould, who is the Film Internship Coordinator; you must register for FLM 4930. If you have any questions for English and Creative Writing Internships, please contact one of the following internship coordinators:  

English Major Internship Coordinator: Rachel Smydra

Creative Writing Internship Coordinator: Annie Gilson

ENG 4950 Internship Course Description: Experience in appropriate work position at an approved site, correlated with directed study assignments, during the fall, winter, or summer semester.  In the semester prior to enrollment, the student will plan the internship in conjunction with the Internship Coordinator and with the approval of the department chair. Students are required to email the Internship Coordinator every week during the semester they intern, and also to turn in a final paper, due the Friday of the last week of classes. May be repeated once in a different setting for elective credit only.

Prerequisites: 16 credits in English, of which at least 8 must be at the 300-400 level, and permission of the instructor and the department chair.

NOTE: This course does not count as a 400-level seminar course, which is the required capstone course for all English Majors.

Student Internship Responsibilities

You are required to perform the duties included in your internship job description. If needed, please ask your faculty and on-site mentors for clarification. Students are required to work 10-20 hours to receive credit. Aside from faithfully reporting for work and performing your duties, you have other responsibilities during the internship period as well. You are required to maintain contact with your faculty mentor, which consists of sending weekly emails that describe in a detailed summary the work you completed that week and confirm your presence at the internship site. You must submit a final 10-15 page paper that describes your experiences as an intern.

OU English Department Alumni Job Placements

Email Rachel Smydra to request an internship application.

English Alumni Mentoring Program

Since the fall of 2012, the English Department has paired up English alums with English major juniors and seniors to help students make the transition from school to career.

Alum mentors and their mentees decide how they wish to communicate: some only communicate via email or Facebook; others meet for coffee, and some mentors bring students to their workplace to give students a glimpse of their working lives. There is no one single way to mentor a student; most important of all for the student is getting to talk to someone who has graduated from our program and gone on to have a successful career.

Every year, the English Department Alumni Program hosts a mixer for alums and students during the OU Homecoming weekend. Included are people who have been involved in the mentoring program. We encourage all students (and alums!) to attend. It's a great way to meet new people in English and Creative Writing and to catch up with old friends. We have mentors who graduated 30 years ago, and mentors who graduated only last year. Last year’s graduates were mentees themselves and now are eager to give back to others.

If you are interested in becoming a mentor or a mentee, please email Professor Annie Gilson. Let her know what year you graduated or will graduate, and the different positions you have held over the course of your career, or the career(s) you’re interested in exploring. She will pair you up with someone whose interests match up with yours.

The English Department looks forward to welcoming you back!

Alumni Mentor Guidelines

Note: Be sure to go to the Career Center to learn about writing resumes, doing interviews, cover letters, etc. OU provides a lot of services to get you prepared for the job search. They will even do mock interviews for you!

First of all, be respectful of your mentors. They are volunteering to help you with your job search. But don’t be intimidated by them. They were students here at OU, majoring in English and Creative Writing just like you. They want to help you; that’s why they’ve volunteered to help you. They WANT to help you!

Here are some tips:

Do immediately send them an introductory email.

Do ask them how they would prefer to communicate.

Do find out how much time they have available and how often they want to communicate. Be respectful of their time constraints.

Do not blow them off. If a mentor takes the time to write you, but you feel confused or lost or strapped for time, or whatever, write them and tell them that. Silence from you equals disinterest in their minds. Be prompt and professional. Some mentors have helped their mentees get jobs!

No matter what is going on in your life, do not just leave them hanging. It’s rude and it reflects badly on the program. Some former students blew off their mentors and as a result their mentors quit the program. So stay in touch!

However, do remember that, though they’ve volunteered for this program, they don’t have a lot of spare time. (Who does?) So don’t write them really long emails, unless they signal that this is ok with them. Also, don’t expect a fast turn-around in response to your communications. If two weeks have gone by since you’ve written them, send a polite follow-up email saying that you know they’re busy and asking if they still have time to work with you.

When you communicate:

You should do some list making. What kinds of questions do you have about your preferred career? The Career Center can help you draw up a list of useful questions. Again: Be sure to go to there to learn about interviews, cover letters, etc. OU provides a lot of services to get you prepared for the job search.

Navigating the Next Steps Videos

The English Department hosts regular information sessions to guide Creative Writing and English students from their classes to a career. In these sessions, several professional topics have
been covered, including:

  • Learn about resume formatting, networking and job search strategies
  • Engage with employers about skills and opportunities
  • Talk with alumni about their career paths and advice
  • Find out about internship opportunities

Stay up to date with upcoming events by viewing the “News” section on the Department of English homepage and checking in on Oakland University’s Events Calendar.


>> take away and use throughout your career at OU and after you graduate from OU, we have a couple of phases tonight. Phase 1 is just a brief overview of internships for the department and then we're going to hear from Emily Cutlip. She's with the career services and she's going to tell you a little bit about all resumes and creating a LinkedIn profile on a couple of other resources that they have for you to access. Then we are going to hear from Deana Delisio. I hope I pronounced your name right. She is a people experienced leader at HO Financial and we'll have a short question-and-answer session to follow that. Then you can stay with us if you want to, Deana or you can feel free to depart. We'll leave it up to you whatever you prefer to do. Then after that, we'll move into our session with our alum and we have some great experiences tonight, different journeys, different ways of getting to where they are now that they will share with you. That will be followed up by a short question-and-answer portion as well.

Okay, so on that note, I wanted to talk just briefly about internships and I wanted to show you how to access an information. Okay, so this is the department website obviously and you may be thinking about doing an internship and if you are, well, we can help you find an experience that aligns with their interests, whether you want to do that internship for credit or not. Always feel free to reach out to Annie or me about trying to find an internship or for advice or tips or anything like that. We'll be glad to help you out. You can also reach out to Emily to learn more about finding internships through Handshake. If you want to access information on the department website, you'll want to go down to internships and career resources. We've had a number of students do internships over the years and we've put that together in a list.

First on this page you'll find contact information or e-mail addresses. If you do decide to do an internship for credit, you'll find a brief description here of the class that you'll have to register for.

Just responsibilities and things like that. You'll want to reach out to one of us, either Annie or myself, so that we can guide you through this process if you decide to do the internship for credit.

On this page, you'll find a list of available internships and as we've been doing this for quite some time now you'll find out that it's a pretty extensive list. We've tried to categorize these according to non-profits and then after that it's by the nature of the position. Business position, writing position, publishing position. We have a couple situations with public relations partners that we can place you at. For the most part though, it's up to you to find these internships. You can use these as starting points if you want to. There's also a lot of internships on campus and a lot of these are unpaid but sometimes you can find situations that are paid or there might be some benefits of doing internship with some of these partners. Definitely don't rule this out. More and more companies are also hosting the remote internships so that's maybe something that you want to consider or even micro internships that are shorter. Again, some of these pay and some don't but this type of experience can often introduce you to a job path you feel you might be interested in and show you that you are indeed not interested in it. [LAUGHTER] It's a good way to get just exposure to skill sets and things like that that you might think you want to employ but once you put them into practice, you realize there may be things you don't like to do.

As an undergraduate and graduate students, I undertook three internships and you're going to hear a lot of people talk about internships tonight and hopefully we can all emphasize the point that these are very valuable experiences and ironically in all the internships that I did, I really by the end of them figured out that there were slight things that I didn't like about each experience and knew that I wanted to head in a different direction. Use them as a testing ground to see what interests you. Feel free to reach out to Annie or me to learn more about internships for credit or not for credit. We'll be glad to help you in any way and I'm sure Emily can share some more about that tonight too. I will turn it over to her and she's going to talk a little bit more about career services on what the folks over there have to offer.

>> Thank you. I really appreciate that. I will share my screen for just a second, just a few minutes to go over a couple of things so hopefully everyone can see my screen here. My name is Emily Cutlip and I'm a Career Consultant just for the College of Arts and Sciences at OU and so I just wanted to talk a little bit about some of the things that career services is here to help you with. Really, when I start to talk about what we do, I usually start by saying we do all things career because it's very true.

What you can see here on the screen that I have is Handshake and so, I always like to really highlight the importance of Handshake to students and alumni because there's so many wonderful things on here. There are wonderful employers like GI Hall who will pose jobs and internships, things like that. We have a Career Center right here in the middle and we have an area where you can make appointments with career services on a different career oriented topics. We can help students with resumes and cover letters, mock interviews, job and internship searching, LinkedIn, career exploration, really you name it. Then we've got a library here of different resources that we offer to students anytime anyplace. Again, on a variety of different important topics, right? So for example, I love to look at our College of Arts and Sciences Career Community page and we've got so many wonderful resources in here.

If we scroll down a little further, we actually even have example resumes to look at. Students, when you're working on your resumes and you'll hear from me, from Gianna, you'll hear from our alumni tonight how essential it is to create a strong resume to your future career path, right? Extra services I can help you create a resume that you are happy with and that tells your story the right way. I love looking at some of these examples because I think that they just really demonstrate the diversity and what a resume can look like, right? Resumes are like fingerprints, everyone's should look different, but there are ways to make it effective. I would recommend just checking out some of these resources, browsing some of the different sample resumes.

Let's pop over here to the creative writing samples. You're going to see these look very different, but there are great things on here. Education, relevant experience, some of the extracurricular activities that you are engaging in. Really, the resume is a place for you to tell a comprehensive story about all of the great things that you're engaging in, from internships to jobs, to class projects, to volunteerism and more. Okay? On that note, let me just show you all one more quick little thing in here and I could probably talk for an hour about it, but I'm going to spend 30 seconds on it.

There has a program in the College of Arts and Sciences called the Flags Program. The Flags Program is something that we use to identify the great skills that you're gaining with your English and creative writing degrees. We know and you're going to learn tonight, there are so many ways that you can leverage these awesome degrees. I myself as a communication student in a very similar position of I can use this agree in so many ways. I think when you have a lot of freedom like that, it's important for you to be intentional and also understand what are the skills that you are bringing to the table and you're gaining from these amazing classes that you're taking. The flags are the Top 8 career readiness competencies that employers look for.

People like Gianna are going to be looking for folks who are innovative and creative, critical thinkers, great communicators, folks who understand the importance and how to navigate diversity. People who are in charge of their own career goals, those who can collaborate effectively, demonstrate professionalism, and be strong leaders and so students, I want you to think about where you are raising these different flags and maybe where some of your deficits are. Maybe in some of your English classes, you are learning how to communicate effectively with others, or to think critically when you're reading through different works of writing. Maybe you haven't really had the opportunity to raise that leadership flag too much so we need to start thinking about how can we gain these skills. One of the wonderful ways that you can gain career-related skills is outside of the volunteerism and the classes and everything like that is internships.

Rachel just talked about the importance of that. We need to be looking for career-related experiences. Because we love what we like. We don't want what we don't like. It's just as valuable for you to take on an internship and realize, yikes, this isn't for me. You're still learning. That's a good thing. I always recommend that students try and take on at least one or two internships during their undergraduate career because you're learning, you're getting professional skills and you're building your resume.

The last quick thing that I'll touch on in Handshake is we do have a job and internship platform that you can search on. We have hundreds of employer partners and really strong partners like Hall financial, who have current requisitions that are posted in years. This is a lovely place for you to start looking for those jobs and internships and we also have an events calendar, which you all probably saw because you're here you're here at this event right now so keep your eyeballs on this so you can stay up to date and come to events like this.

The last thing I'll just hone in on is we help coach them on things like LinkedIn. When we're thinking about how to build connections and forge a path with our future career part of that is building a brand. LinkedIn is a really wonderful way to do that. To build your professional brand. To identify people who are doing the things that you want to be doing at the companies that you want to be. People who inspire you in your career path. There are people on this call tonight who are going to inspire you in that same way and so, gosh, LinkedIn's probably my favorite thing to talk about with students and I can really talk a lot about it. But my intent here is to give you a little taste so that you come and meet with us at career services.

If you take one thing away from everything that I've said here is that you need to engage with career services early and often so we can help you tailor a plan to your career goals and you're not getting ready to graduate wondering, "Oh my gosh, what am I going to do now?" Let us help you. Let me help you. I'll go ahead and I'll stop sharing and I'm going to pass the ball back to Rachel. But anyone can feel free to ask questions in the chat and then we'll have some Q&A at the end and I will absolutely put my contact information in the chat too. Thank you.

>> Thank you, Emily. Hopefully you take advantage of the resources that the Career Center offers and I know a lot of students wait until the last minute, but the sooner you get over there, I think the better off you'll be in the long run as far as your resume and your LinkedIn profile and you'll be good to go for your job search. We're going to hear from Gianna [inaudible] tonight. She works at Hall financial and she's going to talk a little bit about what they look for in new employees and a little bit about their company culture and talk about internships and things like that.

>> Absolutely, so honored to be here tonight. I'm actually a fellow alum of OU as well. Any opportunity that I have to share a little bit more about Hall Financial, my experience and really coming out of college and giving tips and tricks how you can best site yourself up for success is what my goal is. Once again, so excited to be here and what just jump in and start and I think the big theme of tonight is actually going to be really telling your story and being unafraid to build your own brand. I think this is something that is extremely telling for what your career, I guess backgrounds are and really what your majors are. When it comes down to it, what I will let you know is that Hall financial is a mortgage industry company. We have been around for about five years now, which is really exciting. We're definitely in that stage we're constantly looking to build our brand, rebuilt a wonderful reputation in Southeast Michigan, but also licensed in the state of Tennessee as well as Florida. We have an opportunity to really build that brand. What better way and our world to invest in marketing. So they're going to be a couple of different areas and I'm going to talk about tonight, but I think what really falls in suit with English and Creative Writing is our marketing team and in particular, what is out of those 80 team members that we have 20 of our team members are actually with our marketing team. Really, quarter of our team is actually building our brand, really making sure that we're engaging with clients in a different way.

>> I wondered if we could ask you Gianna, to maybe try turning off your cameras. Sometimes, the bandwidth can be a struggle for the system because you have frozen up. I don't know if you can hear us still?

Maybe another thing you could try doing would be to log off and come back in. That's what I was going to say, [LAUGHTER] Rachel. You're frozen here. Well, Emily, do you think you might want to shoot her an email or a text to I don't know?

>> Absolutely. I can do that. >> She is back.

>> Annette, I'm sorry about that. I know exactly where it cut off though. A big piece that I wanted to speak to and really touch on with all of you. I think it really is close to the heart with all the positions that each and every one of you are all in. Career fairs are a big thing for me. I have been there, I have done that, it's pretty scary. It's a tough situation to be in, and you're looking for that career, leaving college, jumping into a new experience. Sometimes you're not exactly sure if maybe the avenue that you want was particularly the one that was for you. It's just something you're passionate about, and hopefully you can take something and make something out of it.

But I had met with someone that really exuded positivity, had passion. You could tell she was really driven in what she did and her background was creative writing. She made it a point to say, I have researched everything I could about Hall Financial. I wanted this opportunity to talk to your company. To me that's something that sticks out because you went ahead and did your research, you took the time to really better understand what our experience was. I wanted to hear more about her and we wanted to listen to her story and she had not been born in the United States. She actually is first-generation here really in particular, and her parents were going through the home buying process and she was the liaison for her parents in this situation.

It was such a beautiful story of this was so inspiring for me, and going through the mortgage process with my parents helped me to better understand an industry that maybe I didn't think creative writing had anything to do with, but she inspired me so much that I said, this is somebody that we have to get here. She embodies what our values are and at Hall Financial we call that the code. It's camaraderie, optimism driving evolution for us. She absolutely had each and every one of those attributes. But hearing her story, how really what our industry did for her, struck a chord. But also understanding that I can make an impact by writing these wonderful stories that people can read through the Hall Financial's blogs. Or I can assist the digital marketing team with writing posts. Or I can take that perspective and I can assist with maybe a story that David is going to release through, maybe the news or the radio, or sometimes it could even be something along the lines of a writing piece about maybe something awesome that we're doing on the community because that's a huge thing for us as well.

Understanding what her intentions were gave me what I needed as her possible employer to really promote her and say that this is going to be a great opportunity for not only her, but for us because it's going to promote her growth and promote our growth. That's really what I would leave each and every one of you with and hopefully I don't cut out here when I'm saying this is that, leave your imprint, leave your mark and as much as you can say, "Well, creative writing, it doesn't seem like they have something along the lines of that." It doesn't matter. Go out to that employer that you're looking at that you feel as if you can make an impact for and convince us that you can do that even if there isn't something on the docket that says because you have no idea maybe what we're looking for on the back on that. Maybe the right role just hasn't come to mind or maybe the right person just.

>> I think she was coming down to the end of what she was saying. What do you all think?

>> I think so. I don't want to speak in any way for Gianna, but I think that the moral of the story here is just how transferable all of your skills are as English and creative writing students, where obviously you've got amazing written communication skills. You're able to think critically, you're able to problem-solve, and you're able to do that in a creative way like thinking outside of the box and being able to apply these skills in ways that maybe you hadn't thought of before. I think what Gianna said is a clear demonstration of that. I think we can maybe wait for her to pop back on and then we'll maybe ask the questions at the end, but maybe we can move along here.

>> No. I'm hoping that she'll be able to reboot in a moment. But if anyone has a question, why don't you put it in the chat. That way, you can be collecting your thoughts while we're waiting for her to return. Students, so if you want to type something up, any questions you have for Gianna, because what we'll do is we're going to ask her questions and then we're going to go to the alumni segment of our evening.

Often people are afraid to ask questions because they think that those questions might not be smart enough. But people are here to help you. There are no dumb questions. Someone who is thinking about a question shows an active, engaged minds. If you do have questions, don't be shy, just put them or if you don't want to put them in the chat, you could direct them to Rachel or Emily or me, and we could speak them for you. Well, although we could do that even if you just put them in the chat. I'm not sure. What do you think? Is she coming back?

>> Let's move ahead.

>> Okay.

>> You're going to take over the alumni section, right?

>> I certainly am. She is back. Perfect. Gianna, we figured you were just at the end of what you were saying. Is that right?

>> Yes. I'm so sorry. I'm not exactly sure what's going on here. Zoom has got a little wonky for me today, but I appreciate you all being patient with me. But I couldn't say anything more. But aside from that, you can check us out on socials when it comes to culture. We are a team of 80, so mortgage industry generally you see hundreds, thousands. What I can say is I think we're all just so close-knit. We're really looking for those that join the team, we really create that impact. But at the end of the day, you can look a little bit more about us on socials, we're on LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, whatever questions I can answer about Hall Financial I'm happy to do so. Please let me know.

>> Well, one question from a student is, what type of jobs and businesses are open to a creative writing degree, but you actually answered that already, with regard to your own company. I don't know if you have more to add?

>> I can share a little bit more. What I really appreciate about our company is that, hey, let's say you get into creative writing and you're with our marketing team and you're a marketing communication specialists where you're assisting with writing those blogs and posts and things and whatnot. Let's maybe figure, hey, maybe this isn't working out for me or this isn't exactly what I thought it was going to be. You actually have the opportunity with Hall Financial to make a change in your career. Let's say you're like, hey, this is fine, but maybe I want to take those skills that I've built with telling a story and become a homeowner advising agent and better understand what their story is, so I can help them with purchasing their first home. You have that ability with us, but I think the really awesome thing is that you have direct impact with really writing in our marketing team. It is something that we're still highly invested in. Marketing, 100 percent. Business development, there are sometimes instances in which people that are partnering with our realtor partners have to tell stories and explain maybe the impact. If that's something that you enjoy, I would say marketing, business development, homeowner advising but top of that list, I would absolutely say the marketing team.

>> Thank you so much. That's terrific. If you want to hang around, you're welcome to.

>> Thank you.

>> We understand that you might want to cut out.

>> I'll try my best. [LAUGHTER]

>> All right. Well, thank you so much.

>> Thank you for having me.

>> It was great to hear from you, and congratulations on a terrific career because it sounds like you are thriving there. I'm so happy to hear another OU person out there doing wonderful work.

>> Absolutely. We'll be on campus as well soon so keep your eyes out for us. Hopefully, I'll get to meet some of you in person.

>> Yeah, that is really important advice. Remember everyone, these career fairs actually do employ you. I'm going to introduce one by one our alumni and I'm going alphabetically so I'm going to start with Joanna Chapman, who is the VP of Servicing Program Manager for investor claims at Flagstar Bank. Joanna, thank you so much for coming. Joanna did both a BA and an MA here at Oakland English and I'm turning it over to her. Thank you.

>> Annette, thank you. I finished a bachelor's and a master's back-to-back. For the students on the line, I always share openly. I was very much a non-traditional student and I'm very much a non-traditional employee as well. When we talk about things like, how do you use your English degree or your creative writing degree, I think that at the very beginning, when Emily was speaking about the flags, those are crucial to how you can start to move and build the story for your career and I use them all the time. I am working as a VP, as a Servicing Program Manager at Flagstar Bank on their mortgage servicing side.

Mortgage servicing is not something that I set out. I never would have imagined at all that this is where I would have landed, but this is where I'm at. A lot of that is I followed a job trail and apply it at Flagstar and just started moving around. I did start as a contractor at Flagstar, as a technical writer, and then once I was in the door and applied those analytic skills and those things that you learn throughout your career as a student then I was able to apply them in the things that I was doing. By that I mean when I was a student at OU going to the bachelor's and then ultimately moving into the master's degree.

Those critical thinking skills that you apply to say close reading, those are the skills that I start to take into my job, my work environment. Everything about what I do at Flagstar is really an extension of close reading. It's analysis and picking things apart and really trying to understand how they work and put them back together. Those skills are really what has given me a platform to start to move forward in my career. Being able to think in a different way than I think that traditional line of thinking, especially in mortgage servicing where so many things are steeped in operations, being able to have that different analytic eye or a different way of looking at something and problem-solving.

All of those skills were things that I learned as I was moving through the program. I will say that I have not had again as a non-traditional, I just hadn't had that straight path and I didn't have that straight path in my career either. I've tried a lot of things out. I'm a former teacher. I got out of the master's program and I taught for a couple of years at Macomb Community College. What I learned was, in theory, that sounded really good and in practice, I didn't like it. It wasn't a right fit for me, it just didn't feel right and so I moved on and moved back into the business world as a tech writer. In that way, you're looking at complex processes and you need to summarize them into everyday language. Those are the skills that you have as an English major, you are able to read complex texts and summarize them for anyone to understand and those skills are translatable and so that was really how I moved into tech writing and from tech writing moved on from there.

It's certainly been a great journey and an interesting journey. But what I will say is all those things that you're doing along the way, those volunteer opportunities that you have, those internship programs, all of those things have skills that you're performing that ultimately you can translate into professional marketable tasks. Those are things that you can say, for me, I was oftentimes working as a volunteer. I have young kids so I was working as a volunteer in the school system. Well, that meant that I was on committees that translates into event planning, that translates into project management. What you want to do is take all those little things that you're doing and again, build those into things that are marketable in the professional realm and that's how you start to build your resume.

Also at the end of the day, I would just say be a little bit risky, be a little bit fearless. Go out and take a look at some of the things that maybe are outside of the box for you, but you might find a piece in there, a job description that really speaks to you and I say, go for it. Do your best and the best that you can do is get yourself in front of people and start to again, tell that story of you and eventually you'll just start to take things up along the way and keep building.

>> Thank you so much, Joanna. We're going to save the questions for the end. I did log the one that just came in, but I do want to let you hear from everyone because you're going to find probably that you'll have more questions as you hear from different folks. The next person alphabetically is John Connor. He is semi-retired, by which he means he's teaching literature and writing at several universities in Florida. John was an engineer at Molex here, just on the street from OU, who came back to get an English BA from us, then went on to get the English MA from us, then he went on to do a PhD at Wayne while teaching literature in community colleges in the area, and then was headhunted by Apple and became their engineering manager. We will hear from him now. John, it's so great to see you. Much love. Take it away. I think you're muted. John, we haven't heard a word from you.

>> I'm going to be really disappointed in you, Dad. [LAUGHTER]

>> Just so you know, Sarah Flinders, who will be speaking later is John's daughter. She's scolding him because they worked at Apple and he can't get his mic working, but of course, he will.

It's still not working. Oh, no. We're going to jump the queue to Sarah, John's daughter, and then John will hopefully get his mic working, or if not, John, you can also just call in and that would work too but in the meantime. Just one cool thing I wanted before, let me go to Sarah. She is the Senior Project Manager at Wolters Kluwer, WK. If I bungle that, apologies, in the planning and governance area, in their governance risk and compliance division. Hilariously, wonderfully, quickly, she was here and at the same time that her father came back to get his degree in literature, which was just a great treat for all of us because they're both brilliant, hungry, engaged people so please go ahead, Sarah.

>> As Annette said, I got my bachelor's degree in English and then went straight into my master's at OU. To finish that up, I had some thoughts of going into teaching much I think like Joanna realized. That was not the path for me. I don't have the patience for it that some people have and it just wasn't my thing so my career winding path as well, lots of different jobs where I've currently landed at WK. I've been here 11 years and I absolutely love it. Also, something that I never thought that I would be doing, project management. I started as a contractor, temp work, and fell into a permanent job.

But for every job I've had of all of the variations, the English degree is actually a great marketing tool because right off the bat, you have I think as we said, critical thinking skills, problem-solving, creativity, reading and writing skills, all of those things that are crucial to no matter what you're doing and I found have served me well building my job. I do a lot of process documentation. When you're writing process docs for various people across, you're doing a lot of that. Again, complex analysis of different documents, writing those things down, documenting that it's readable for a wide audience, that's crucial. Then again, critical thinking, problem-solving, I do project management so I do problem-solving and critical thinking every day in my job and having just a variety of background. The knowledge and the wide variety of exposure that you have with English degree is really important.

WK is a global company, very vast and so that's also helpful as well. I do a lot of not really translating, but I take a lot of the intermediate step between a lot of our technical teams, some of our business teams, I work with a lot of attorneys. All of those combinations, being able to communicate effectively with all those different teams are again also skills that I think are just built with that English degree, reading, writing, the analysis. I could go on and on, but that's a key point, I think you can say in any interview about what those degrees and what those skills bring to any job that you're looking for so yeah.

>> Terrific. Thank you so much, Sarah. So good to see you. John, are you with us? No. [LAUGHTER] Oh my goodness. I'm going let him fiddle with it a little more. He looks a little chagrined, but that's okay. It's actually fun. I want to now turn to Adam Hobart, who is an Assistant Program Purchasing Manager at GM.

Is that your old title or is that your current title?

>> They've changed my title a couple of times over the course of the last couple of years and I'm not sure how they want to re-brand that job, but yeah, and I'm an Assistant Program Purchasing Manager at the moment. I'll just go into a little bit of my background here. I double-majored at OU in history and English and I minored in about four or five other things too because I loved school and didn't want to leave. I stayed as long as I possibly could and learned as much as I possibly can. Then I got a scholarship to go to the University of Nebraska where I got my master's in History. I was fully onboard the PhD train at that time. When I left OU, I was all engines go. I'm going to be Dr. Hobart someday, Professor of Civil Rights History and that's what I wanted to do. I was a 100 percent sure that's what I would do for the rest of my life. When I had finished my master's, I was like, ''No, don't want to do that anymore.'' It's amazing how fast you can change your mind and it's amazing how sure you can be that you know you know what you want to do and are completely wrong about that. [LAUGHTER] It's just amazing.

It's been fascinating listening to the previous speakers, I'm like you people are speaking my thoughts in so many ways. I came back to Michigan after living in Nebraska. I highly suggest Nebraska, it's fun for a couple of months. If you like corn, it's a great place. I came back to Michigan and honestly didn't know what I wanted to do at that point. I was lost a little bit. I'm in my late twenties at this point. Got my English degree, got my history degree, got my master's in history and the job that I thought I wanted, which was to write the next great American novel and to be a history professor, turns out I wasn't going to do either of those things. What's left? Well, luckily for me, an opportunity opened up at General Motors and I also started as a contract worker in the first role that I had there, swore up and down when I was a kid all through my teen years, I'd never see myself working for the big three. When you grow up in Detroit in the shadow of the big three and every five people you know know someone who works there. It's like, no, I'm not doing that. That's a completely different world. I'm a English nerd. I'm going to go do some writing, it's not me. Well, it turns out I actually love working here. Never would have imagined that, like I said before, an assistant program purchasing manager. Before that I was a buyer. Before I started working at GM, I had no idea what those jobs even were. Never even heard of them.

The only time I've ever heard of a buyer is that Rachel Green on Friends, was a buyer at Bloomingdale's. The only time I've ever heard that job ever mentioned, I didn't even know what she did there. I learned a lot more about the job and I learned a lot more about GM, which is a huge company with many different kinds of jobs. You're probably thinking, I don't know anything about cars, maybe. I don't know, I can't be an engineer, doesn't matter. They're all widgets as far as I'm concerned and I still don't know that much about cars. They're all just close brackets and widgets and they go into the vehicle and then the vehicle goes at the end of the day and I worked there for seven years and I've never had to know much more than that. Don't stress about that if you're thinking about working for a company like GM or some of the supply base or any of the other big auto companies scares you, you don't have to be an engineer. You don't have to know a lot about cars even. You just got to have a passion for wanting to solve problems.

That's a big part of what I do every day as a program manager. It's just solving a lot of problems. It's connecting people. There's a lot of communication. It's a lot of decoding of information that comes my way and sometimes confusing ways. Which is where I think that English degree really can come in handy because you're going to take information from 30 different places and you're going to put it all in one place and you're going to synthesize it down to a tiny little kernel of a good point. That's what you're going to put out into the world and I find that there are very few people who are around me that do have liberal arts degrees, especially the English and the history majors are way better at that than the folks who took business writing classes. Nothing wrong against them, they do very good at writing short emails. But other than that, I really feel like that's where the English majors shine. There are a couple of other English majors in purchasing. There's not a lot of us because I think a lot of English majors don't think to go into a place like purchasing. But there are a couple of us there and actually one of my fellow coworkers in purchasing is an OU grad. He came here and got an English BA at Oakland as well. We're out there and always happy to try to bring more folks and I try all the time to evangelize the cause of hiring more English majors when I talk to managers who are going through hiring.

 I actually work on electric vehicles, which is really fun and exciting because I never thought with how I came up through my education, I never got a chance to do that. But I'm a big tree huger and I never thought that I'd be able to in any way, shape or form take that passion and make it into a job of any kind with an English degree. But it turns out you can. All you really have to have is just those basic English skills like Joanna and Sarah and folks have been talking about so far and they can take you really far at a place like General Motors, which also has a marketing department and also has technical writing jobs. You can do pretty much anything there. Once you get your foot in the door, you can move between departments. If you don't like the job that you start with, you can pick another one. You can move around quite a bit. They'll teach you. I knew nothing about my job when I started and now I'm pretty good at it, so you can get a lot better.

Don't be scared. If you just think, oh, I don't know anything about that. You'll learn on the job. It's your basic skill that they care about the most. It's the stuff that you're leaving college with that makes you most valuable. That and ability to learn quickly, which I think English majors are really strong at, a passion for learning, which I think probably everybody on this call has and just a good positive energy, I think is what matters most of all. We're going through a big hiring spree right now actually, we're hiring a couple of 100 people. Actually, we're hiring a couple of thousand people, that's mostly coders. We're employing a couple of 100 people that might come from more of a nontraditional background like English or coming out the large area. I talk a lot with the hiring managers all the time and they say, we're looking for two things. One, do you have the skills or the ability to learn the skills? Then do I want to work with you?" When you talk about fit, I think that's the code for do I actually want to talk to you every day is really what fit means.

I feel like the emotional intelligence and the friendliness and the positivity and the enthusiasm that tends to come out of the English department, so strong and so much more these are the kind of folks I want to work with, that that does give you a leg up. I think more and more folks, at least where I work, are starting to recognize that that's a really valuable thing that they want to really pay attention to and try to emphasize. I could talk for an hour about working at GM. It's a big job. It's a big company. There's a lot to do there. But what I would say is don't be scared at the idea of trying to work there. Absolutely pursue an internship there because that's going to be your silver bullet for getting in because I'll be honest, it is a little hard as an English major to get into a company like GM. I got really lucky when I joined as a contractor.

To be honest, I knew somebody who knew somebody who knew somebody and that's a big help too. But I will say that the people I see coming in who have the most streamlined path into GM either have experience working for another auto supplier or they had an internship out of college. GM hires a lot of interns every year in a lot of different departments and that's a great foot in the door to meet people and to just get yourself out there and that can turn into a lot more opportunities. I would strongly encourage folks to take a look at a summer internship at GM. If you want to know more about that, I'm more than happy to have you email me and we can talk afterwards or whenever it is that you're comfortable, but it's a really fun place to work. I love my coworkers. I love what I do every day. I get to go cool places sometimes, been to Mexico a few times for work, I get to work with people all over the world. I work with Honda actually right now. I get to talk to folks who are living in Japan on a daily basis, which is not so great for the time zone difference perhaps, but a lot of fun and interesting learning about a different culture. Just can't say enough good things about the opportunities. What I would leave you with is whatever you think it is right now that you love doing, you might be right, my guess is that there's a million things out there that you don't even know exist that you would also love doing if you only knew about them and tried them. That's been my experience.

>> Oh Adam, that was so terrific. Thank you for adding some important ideas to the ones that we've already been talking about; being a creative, being a problem-solver, critical thinking, writing, oral Communication, leadership research. But you added the openness and flexibility of English majors. English majors, creative writing majors are constantly reading something new, exploring something new, and that's a really important skill that you don't even think about that a lot of people don't have. But then you added emotional intelligence, which is huge and that is something that you develop as a reader. It's actually they've put English majors in MRI machines to watch how our brains work and evidently we are really amazing at that stuff. Then of course, what you said, the enthusiasm and the positive outlook. But the final thing I just want to touch on because we can come back to this after we hear from our last two speakers. But that is that Adam was talking about how important networking is. You guys all know people right now just from being on this call who can help you to find jobs in the future. You need to realize that we are your network and that you are building your network every time you talk to somebody in the class. I think John has got his technical difficulty solved, so we're going to turn to him now.

>> Can you hear me out?

>> Yeah.

>> Okay. Thank you. Now the first thing is when I did work at Apple,

I had nothing to do with software or using equipment. We fix things. We were in operations and we made things. [LAUGHTER] The English majors can actually still get into the manufacturing world. Also, I thought it was appropriate that Sarah went first because she's the reason I ended up going to Oakland. She went first and I met you and others and then obviously I went there. Professor Gilson was a great mentor, helped me tremendously. Actually, I had a class with Professor Snyder too, grammar class. I don't know if you remember. It's been a long time. My path was quite different, as Joanna mentioned, I was not a traditional student. I was quite older, so I had to temper myself at times and not be the old students. But I enjoyed it. The reason I went was Sarah had gone. I was trying to read ahead of this list. Everybody seen it 100 greatest works of literature in English. I tried to read some Beowulf mud Canterbury Tales before they talking about I couldn't understand it. I'm not a dummy but I not getting this English language, so that's why I went back to school as a hobby and as I pursued it, it became a bit of a passion. Adam had mentioned that, and he's absolutely right. Internships, any work experiences so valuable. But I'll tell you what the reason I got hired at Apple was because I was in the humanities. They have all kinds of engineers. They have math, Brilliant brainy acts that are all in the science world and they are looking for people that can bring accommodation and communicate to analyze things from a different perspective and that's what FastTrack mean that Apple, there's so many opportunities. Everybody else's talked about those English majors. It's not really the joke that it used to be like, What are you going to do with that? There's so much you can do with that. There's so much and it is foundational. The things you learn, like close reading, that analysis of texts, reading new things, strange things that all comes into play. Don't be discouraged or don't think they'll get pigeonholed into teaching. That's what I ended up doing because I liked the teaching. Oh man, I really like it, so I'm doing that in my retirement for fun, believe it or not and I have the young students challenged me daily and it keeps me on my toes. But again, the biggest thing is I really think with people that are approaching through the English courses, don't think that you have to go to law school. You have to do something directly related to English. There's so many things out of work on electric cars. There are so many opportunities to do it, but grasp everything, get an internship, do the job fairs, keeping networks. Those are all valuable lessons. But don't let go of your English roots either. The literature and creative writing is key. It's good for your mind. I'll leave it at that. Sorry about the technical cock up.

>> No, that was terrific [LAUGHTER]. Thank you so much John. I just loved that story because the fact that you are a great engineer, but that it wasn't your engineering that got you to Apple. It was the fact that very few engineers, did a BA in English, did a MA in English, did a PhD or most of the PhD in English. Our final speaker tonight is David Hornibrooke, who is a publishing poet, author of the terrific collection of poems Night Manual, which is out from Wayne State Press and works at North Country Community Mental Health as Community Services Coordinator, so thank you, David. Go ahead.

>> Now I'm unmuted. Thank you. I probably echo what other people said. But my career path is really non-traditional. I mean, I guess as was my educational path, I started college in 2000, and I had no clue what I wanted to do. I narrowed it down. The thing I thought I would hate doing the least was teaching, mostly because I liked to read. I really liked and I didn't know what else I liked. I thought maybe art, but then I thought, I don't know what I would do, and I work at chicken shack and I'm broke, so I need to do something. Eventually, I started working as a direct care worker with people with developmental disabilities. I had a friend that was doing that. It sounded interesting. It was not Chicken Shack. I started doing it and I loved it. I was just going to Oakland. I'm majoring in English and I was loving that.

I still didn't have much of a vision for what was possible or what jobs I could do. I got married and had kids early. I had all of these things that were requiring stability and a career. I had no clue so but I was writing poems which I discovered I really loved do like turned on all things and I was doing that. I went to the Bear River Writers Conference on a scholarship from Oakland and I loved it. I loved it so much. I went for the next 10 years. But there I heard about them. If a program at University of Michigan and I applied and I applied again and the third time they must have got sick of reading my stuff and decided to let me in, so I did that and I thought I was going to teach because that's what you do. You have a master's degree in English or creative writing, so you get a PhD or else you teacher. But I got done with that and it was great. I learned a lot. It changed me in ways. I didn't have a book, I had a manuscript, I thought was pretty decent. I applied for some teaching jobs. There were three of them in the course of two years that were even available in Michigan. I didn't I feel like I was able at the time to move outside the state or far for places. Eventually, I had a bunch of strange things happen at work. I was managing a home where some guys lived and they had 24 hour staffing. Eventually I was the program director for that agency. I started to learn things about people. There were things that you learn, as Joanna said, you learn to read closely. You wanted to read people closely. You realize that every one is a character and you learn empathy. I think that's the biggest thing you learned from any creative practice, but especially literary practice.

I was pretty well-liked. Probably because you learn empathy, learned to not take things personally. You understand how stories work and that everyone has stories and everyone is complicated and you don't have to worry about a lot. You can just trust that people are going to work through issues or problems or they're not and you keep going. Empathy was really the biggest thing I felt that kept me going. I slowly became curious about how do we get funded to do this work and how does this all work out? Eventually I started working for the funding agency, for the provider I worked for, and then they're funding agency were exploring how this public mental health system works. It's like a big complicated system. There's lots of roles in it and you can never grasp it all at once. I mean, I still learn things every day. What happened is the other part of the English literary training kicked in and that was the close reading. The writing. You start to read policies and you start to see how things work in a bigger way. You realize there's a secret. I don't know if it's like this at GM or at a bank or something, I suspect it's probably not quite as much, but everyone is just making everything up as they go. I know it's like that in public health, it's like that in governmental things. The higher up you go, the more loose it gets. There's policies and procedures and funding requirements. Those are usually pretty clear. We have to do this, this is why we have to report this way, etc. Then you go up another level and you're making sure that everybody is doing that. Then you're like, "Well, what do we have to do?" It just gets looser and looser as that goes and you get to the state level and they have to report to the Federal Medicaid and things like that. But it gets looser and looser and you realize that policies and procedures, they're just writing, they're full of ambiguity. Sometimes ambiguity is really important because it lets you not fall apart when something comes, it's not expected. A little bit of flexibility. You want to build that stuff in and it keeps things working. Sometimes you have to be very, very clear. It turns out people are not good at being very clear. Especially balancing with ambiguity,

so if I was going back to school now, I might consider law because it turns out that stuff is really interesting to me and I never would have guessed that like eight years ago. I would have had no clue.

I don't want to get into the details of what I do really because it's all details and it's all really specific and I don't know if you saw my resume, it's written to a very specific audience. If I was going to try to change careers, I would have to rewrite it really. I left the acronyms in but I guess my biggest advice would just be like, whatever it is you're doing be curious about it and learn everything that you can and don't be intimidated by the requirements because sometimes the requirements are really important, sometimes they're not important at all, sometimes they don't even really exist. When you see job descriptions be curious about them don't let them just rule you out right away because everybody is making it up so you get to participate in that. You get to make things up too and when you become creative and curious and start making things up alongside, you get to have all doors open up. I could go on and on because I get excited about it because it's cool for me.

>> Thank you so much, David. I think that that secret is so true that people are making things up as they go and the curiosity and the advice is not to be intimidated because as Joanna was saying earlier, if they find out that you have passion and you've done research about their company, you're already halfway through the door. You really want to trust yourselves and explore and do research and be curious because that is what the world is looking for. That's what they need, they need that initiative. They need to see that you are interested, so I'm going to open up the floor to questions. The first one was from Marcus Stena he a little bit earlier, what type of skills are required for technical writing?

I don't know who would like to speak to that, but that was right after your presentation, Joanna said why don't you start with that?

>> For sure. For technical writing, I think probably the most important skill is being able to reduce complex processes into everyday language and so being able to jump in and very quickly become a subject matter expert in something that is not your field. Because being an English major lends itself to that, that skill is, I think a little bit easier for English majors to get because we're consistently doing that. The other piece to that is that it's not just about being able to synthesize that information, but it's also being able to speak to the subject matter expert and continuously draw more information from them. It's constant questions and again, as plenty of people on this call have mentioned, that insatiable curiosity for better or worse my constant question to people is always, why do you do that? They oftentimes that can be really off putting and I'm constantly telling them this is not a judgment on what you're doing. I'm legitimately asking you why you do that, and there's a reason for that. That could be for two reasons. One, it's just you've got a reason, you've got the answer for that and you can tell me, this is exactly why I do that and then it makes sense. But oftentimes when you're talking to people about these processes and you point out, I'm not entirely certain why you do that sometimes their answer is I don't know either and so you're able to then say, well let's draw at that similar. It's really trying to take what they're saying and get to the real root of it. Again, as we've mentioned, and I think that Adam mentioned this earlier, that you're taking all of this information and you're reducing it down. You might have pages and pages of notes that ultimately lend itself to two sentences but that's exactly what a technical writer does. They take something that is voluminous and then they can reduce that down to the fine points that are readable across the board. At the end of the day, I think the most important skills are those that curiosity, being able to synthesize information, clear summary skills, and being able to take on that subject matter expertise.

>> That was terrific. Absolutely and did anyone else want to add? Any of our panelists want to add to Joanna's?

>> I'm going to add to my own at what I was just saying, but I am going to say it that with technical writing, I think what's really important about that is, what's really important to get across is if this is something that people are interested in and I had no idea. It was just something that I started ended up falling into and I absolutely love it. But one of the things that you don't have to be a subject matter expert in a certain field or a certain thing. The main point is that as researchers and as writers in this field that you're in this field of study that that skill that can translate across so it can be a highly technical. You might think, well, I'm an English major and what do I know about high-tech? Well, I'm pretty sure you know how to listen and to take an unjust information and then push it back out. It really doesn't matter what the subject matter expert or what the subject is. I think that that's really important to call out for a lot of these jobs that we're seeing lots of people doing on this call is that it really does translate into so many different things. It's just these, sometimes we call them soft skills, that a lot of people just don't really have in the business world and we're able to take those. That makes us adaptable and flexible and that adaptability and flexibility really can translate across the board and if you couple that with that fearlessness that I'm going to give this a try. I'm going to try and wedge my way in, those are things that employers look for and they find it really important in at least in my world, it's really allowed me to move around quite a bit. I would offer that to that it's really not just about a particular subject that you can really translate that across the board.

>> I just wanted to footnote that because that was my experience too before, I even had a master's degree so my only credential was a graduate of college but I started to go to attend a master's degree but you're poor, you're college student, grad student poor, it's the way it is.

The school I went to get my PhD was called Washington University and again, I didn't yet even have a masters. I found out from some job board that the urology department at the medical school there at Washington University was looking for someone to edit their doctors' papers. Doctors had to write papers and publish them that's part of their job and doctors are really shitty writers, excuse my language. But the head of that department at Wash U, Head of Urology was a really good writer so he brought me in when I set out, I'd like to apply for this job he had me right in front of him edit a text that one of his doctors wrote. I just was like [NOISE] because that's what we do. We learned how to do that as creative writers, as close readers and he saw what I did and he was like, you're hired and so then my job was to edit all these doctors' papers. Now, I knew nothing about urology going in. Of course I learned a lot about it and I can tell you about PSA and all sorts of stuff now. But he didn't care about the fact that I had no medical knowledge. Now, I will tell you that some of the doctors were a little myth that this person who only had a BA at that point was editing their expensive papers, but their boss was like, she knows how to write a new dawn. That's just more of a testimony to the fact that it doesn't matter if you don't know the subject. I did not have an MD but I was a better writer than those guys and I could edit their work and make them sound a lot smarter [LAUGHTER] than they were able to without my help. Did anybody else want to add to Joanna's terrific response?

>> I will real quick, I think Joanna's was spot on, and then to extend yours, make it an extended metaphor or analogy. What we do in English is we communicate. If you boil it down to what we do, we can meet whether it's creative writing or deep literature or closely we're communicating one way or another, that's what we're constant doing. That's where our expertise really comes in. No matter what the subject matter is, we're communicators. Look at it like bedside manner. There's physicians out there with great bedside manner. They can communicate and comfort you and give you the information and talk to you at a level that you can understand. But they might not be the best surgeons. They might not be the best diagnosticians. But those people can't communicate sometimes so that's where we step in. I think that's an easy example to say that was my experience. That was what I brought to the table in my group at Apple, brilliant people, people that can walk in take a piece of chalk, and do differential equations. Things that just blew me away, but they couldn't communicate their results. So I can take the results, as Joanna said, summarize those distilling down, put them into words that people that are holding the purse can understand because we ask them for $10 million to fix a problem. They're not going to say or show me the equation. They want to know in plain language, what are you going to do and how I was going to fix it so, that's why there's communication, I think English, people that are training themselves in English arts are going to have a better advantage of that.

>> Absolutely terrific. Well, I'm going to go to, we have another question here. It seems everyone or almost everyone here has a graduate degree. How beneficial is that in people's current and previous work experience, and I will just remind you, Stephanie, that when I was editing those doctor's papers, I did not have any graduate degree. I went on to get one but I didn't have one then, and that doctor did not care because I could write. So it can help and everyone here does have a graduate degree, but not everyone needs one. But I will turn that question over to the panel.

>> I'll jump in. So I will say that the majority of the people that I work with, I would say even the engineers and purchasing, everybody that I work with, does not come in with a Master's degree. A lot of them will choose to get an MBA or some technical certification afterwards and there's a couple of other certifications that they'd like to get too. But almost no one I think really comes into most of the roles unless there are very experienced, like 20-year veteran who just happens to already have one. But for folks in their 20s who are just starting entry-level, almost none of them have one and I don't even think they really need one. You basically learn most of it on the job, really. The basic stuff that you learn with your bachelor's degree is more than enough to get you there. At that point, I think it would just be an extra piece of paper or to maybe make it stand out a little bit more. But I don t think that's probably enough that I would suggest you go do it as a prerequisite. I would say throw your hat in the ring, get an internship and get in there and start doing, before worrying about a masters for going to work at a company like GM.

>> For sure, I would add to that by saying that, for me, again, as I mentioned it as a non-traditional and I was fairly late 20s when I went through bachelor's. For me to get the Master's degree with simply because I was not done. The intention wasn't that this is going to extend or in any way helped me through my career. It was just I was not finished, so I think that the skills that you're learning as you move through your bachelor's degree while you expand on those, and certainly you go in a different direction when you're moving into the Master's program. But that in no way negates the importance of what you're doing right now. The skills that you're learning now and how you can apply them. I think as Adam is mentioning that most of the people that I'm around, plenty of them will have a bachelor's degree. Some of them don't, and they're successful as well. But most of the people around me are a bachelor's level and so again, this might in some way create a more marketable experience. But again, for me and perhaps for other people on this call, it was more my own journey and my own curiosity that drove that extra mile.

>> The same again, most of the folks that are in my immediate circle, unless they're the attorneys, don't have a secondary degree. It's helpful. I think the part again, I wasn't done either and we're still figuring out what I was going to do. But it's definitely a focus with that extra MA, is that for intense focus on those next level skills that are really helpful. Again, you get the chance to do some of those really intense situations when you're going through the MA degree, that can be helpful in certain situations. But I would not say it's necessary to get your foot in the door or to use your English degree skills for your job search.

>> Thank you. Anybody else want to add?

>> I'm going to add to my own statement if I can, just for one second to say that, if you want to spend some extra time in school to try to make yourself more marketable, you probably would get more value both in time and money, perhaps out of either adding a minor or even a double-major in a different subject. That's maybe further afield from English. If you want to round yourself out maybe get like a communications or an economics or a supply chain, or any of the dozens of other bachelor's degrees or minors that are out there that will help around you out more. It'll give you extra skills. It will make you more marketable for an internship or for an entry-level position, and it will take a fraction of the time and the money than a Master's would. I love getting my Master's. That was a great experience, it was personal development and it was personally fascinating. But I would say it's not necessary you get more bang for your buck probably going that route instead of a Masters. If I could go back in time, no, I still do it the way I did it, but I would suggest to others maybe that they look at it from that perspective because it's not a necessity.

>> I think David, you wanted to add. Thank you, Adam.

>> Yeah, I found that my Master's did help tremendously in some of the higher-level positions that I was able to obtain. That said, I think I could make a strong argument that English majors should be considered a human services degree. But nobody else is going to buy it, or at least it's nobody that. [LAUGHTER] But because I didn't have any degree in human services, there were certain clinical supervisory roles that I easily could have done. I had the knowledge and experience to do them well, and in some cases, I probably could have done those jobs better than other jobs that I have done. But if I had a Bachelor's degree in physical education, for example, I could have been credentialed to do things that I am not able to do right now. That said, I'm glad I'm where I'm at because every path is different, but I guess the Masters was helpful. The Bachelor's in a different field could have been helpful too. I don't think that it's essential. I think if you want to further your education, do it.

Yeah. Don't be intimidated either way.

Just be open.

>> Thank you. Yeah. That's so important. John, did you want to add to that because of course, you probably wouldn't have ended up at Apple without your English and advanced degrees.

>> Yeah, that's true. I do think one of the questions in the chat was, what's necessary for teaching at the college level. A master's degree is pretty universally required if you want to teach at that level. In fact, I'd actually like there from Rachel because I remember again, this was 15 years ago, you having a discussion about the cost, benefit, ratio with getting a PhD in teaching. There's a big expense, a lot of effort. I am not a doctor, colonel either. I'm a ABD. I'm all but dissertation. I got the dissertation about halfway done and I dropped out and went to Apple. But, yeah, so the best degree is, I think I want to echo what other people said, it's, you're not done. You're in to this field and you think there's a little bit more I want to learn, I want to push myself a little further. That's really the goal I hear very common not, if I get this masters, that's going to give me this job. If I get this PhD, there's a lot of PhDs that are struggling to find work. I teach as an adjunct, which is, it's self-serving for me. It's great, but it's not unnecessarily a great career path to be an adjunct professor. Believe me. I don't do it for the money, quite honestly. Yeah. Really think through the advanced degrees, and where are you going to go and when you're going to want to do them.

>> Yeah, I would just say J. Irvin, please come and talk to us because we have a lot of experience with seeing folks like Joanna who went to teach in the community college sphere as well. We can actually advise you and give you a lot of information about that. That's actually what we're really good at because we are doing exactly that work. But Joanna, did you want to speak to that?

>> True. Well, so for those of you that are interested in teaching at the college level, surely you'll need to expand beyond the bachelor's degree and certainly you can be successful at that with a master's degree. One thing that I will say is a lot of people make the mistake of thinking, well, I'm going to get a bachelor's or I'm going to get my master's in English and I'm going to get to go teach at the college level, and I'm going to go get to teach literature and it's going to be this great situation. The reality of it is that likely you will be teaching writing and rhetoric. There's nothing wrong with that. But if the expectation that you've set for yourself is that you would want to teach literature, you probably aren't going to get that exposure especially right off the head. You're going to end up teaching to first and second year college students and you're going to be teaching writing. That's a tricky move. Because as an English major, we write tons of papers. That doesn't really mean that we know how to teach, how to write them, and so you've got to adapt that as well. In my experience, when I moved in and I was successful at it, I was good at it, I just don't like it. I'm very uncomfortable being at the head of the class. It's just not the place for me. But I also have a yoga teacher in certificate and I can stand in front of people and teach yoga all day long. But just being teaching, writing and rhetoric and having that responsibility for me, was just not what I loved. But, again, if that's something that you want to do, if you want to teach at the college level, I would say you probably need to move on to get at the very least a master's and MFA would lend itself to that as well. Then if you are interested in teaching, if you have a bachelor's degree in English, but you think, well, maybe I would want to move on to teach at a high school level or something like that rather than college level, Open University does have a great MAT program and that's where you would translate that. I know this because I very much thought about moving into that MAT program and it just wasn't the direction that I went.

>> Yeah. That is a terrific program. People are very successful who graduate from OU's MAT program. Great. Anybody else have questions and feel free to turn on your mic if you want to speak them aloud rather than put them in the chat. I know that we are coming close to the end of our session. It looks like not that many people have anything more to add, but I do want to urge everyone who attended to reach out to me, to Rachel, to Emily because we are here. We've been doing these events for a long time. We want to help you. You can ask us questions. Not necessarily know what your questions are and just talk to us and we can help you to formulate them because that's what we're all good at. Just as everyone in the panel has been saying, we know how to help you articulate things that you may not yet know how to say. That's the great thing about our discipline is that we learn how to do that. We are here to help you with that. Joanna, are you to do, or you just lit up? I don't know if it's because your mouse moved or because you have something to add.

>> No, I don't have anything to add. Maybe I was so happy. [LAUGHTER] It's just such a great panel that I just illuminated.

>> Yeah. You guys were also great. Oh my God. I am so grateful to all of these little hearts coming up from students. You guys are so generous and so smart and so dynamic. I love how many different things everyone has done and I do want to encourage students, please go and take a look at the resumes they so generously provided, because you're going to see that everyone has this amazing, interesting different path. Every person has a different pathway. No two people the same, and you have to be willing to be curious, and explore because you don't know what your pathway is until you set out and start to explore those many different interests that you have. But you will do well, you will be successful. That is what we are here to tell you and to encourage you to be brave, to reach out and communicate to everyone. >> Any could I add something really quick?

>> Oh my God. Yeah.

>> Yeah. Just in case there's any students that are doing creative writing or some other artistic practice, that does not have to end because you took one career path versus another. If anything, it can be enriched by going in opposite direction. It might feel like it's ending and there might be times when you don't have the time. But if it's something that you love and it's something that's good for you, it's going to be good for others and important for other people, and you're going to be able to do it too. Don't let that stop you from going any particular direction.

>> That is so important to remember, and that most people have a day job and continue their creative practice, and that takes them into all sorts of new directions that are exciting and morally satisfying and really just meaningful. That is what I want you to take away, that your degree, your love of exploring really important questions about the world and how we can take care of each other, that is something that will see you through all sorts of challenges. You're going to do well and you are going to find your people in the world. Happily, people are also offering you the opportunity to reach out to them. Thank you Adam for making that gesture. Again, be curious, be adventuresome.