Undergraduate Program - What Can I Do with a Major in English?
What Can I Do with a Major in English?
Comments from graduated majors:
“I became an English major not only to learn more about reading and writing literature, but to help me in my career goal of becoming a teacher in English as a Second Language.” – Rick, Class of 2010
“I have a bad habit of over analyzing everything – thankfully there is a cure! It is called an English degree. I love to read, write and think, so my degree provides plenty of the mental bubble gum on which I thrive. I intend to use my degree as a tool for the future. I would like to open my own bakery and use what I have learned in English to be a writer and a baker. That’s my little (and of course completely practical) English major dream!” – Emily, Class of 2010
“I am an English major with a concentration in professional and technical writing. I am originally from Cincinnati, Ohio and so coming to college halfway around the country was a big step for me. Two years into college and after getting to know my peers, professors, and other staff members in the English Department, I am more than content with my decision to move so far away from home and everything I had once known and become comfortable with. I knew my sophomore year of high school that I wanted to be an English major when I attended college. I found a passion for reading and writing and also a general passion for learning and understanding. There is no better place to enhance your knowledge of literature than at the University of Maine. The professors here really know a lot about what they’re teaching and not only are they knowledgeable, but they have a real passion for what they’re doing. By talking to many staff members I realized that there is more to being an English major than teaching or writing the next great American novel. With the degree that I am working toward, I have realized that I can work at basically any company in the country if I so desired. It’s a great feeling of choice, which seems hard to come by these days. This point in time in the English Department is a time of expanding and growing, with a lot of revamping going on to the different tracks for English majors. I find this time to be extremely exciting and I am so proud to be a part of the changes the department is making. There is no better time to be and English major.” – Stephanie Schaffner, Class of 2010
“I chose to become an English major for multiple reasons. The first and foremost reason was because English has always been a favorite subject of mine, one I felt was a strong point for me. The English classes offered at UMaine helped me decide as well. There are a lot of good professors who make English fun. Another reason I chose to be an English major is because I felt it would be a good foundation for graduate school, or in my case, law school. Once I realized how many opportunities get opened up by being a master of the English language, pursuing it felt right. I enjoy writing, and if I can make a living by doing so, then what could be better? Stephen King was a big influence on my choice as well. He’s a inspiration to me as a creative mind, and as an English major graduate from UMaine who’s gone on to accomplish incredible things in the field of English.” – Steve, Class of 2011
“I became an English major because back when I was in high school, I accidentally passed in a short story I was writing during class, instead of an assignment. Instead of getting in trouble for not paying attention or for handing in the wrong thing, I got the short story passed back to me graded. Really edited, comments lined my margins and scribbles indicated my in ability to fully comprehend grammar. I was shocked. A little dismayed. But eventually I was excited. The next class I turned in my assignment but slid a revised version of my short story beneath it. And that was when I began to look at my musings more seriously. I became an English major to make myself better at what I do.”
- Stephanie, Class of 2009
“I chose to be an English major for many reasons. For starters, and I am not just being biased, the English department has the most down to earth, creative, and individualistically unique instructors and professors that any one student could ever hope for. I have not yet met one English instructor/ professor or instructor of the Classic studies that has not captured my interest in the area of their studies, which is a hard task even if you are an honor student such as myself. Another great reason and this is a BIG part of it, on why I chose this major is for the broad selection of career opportunities upon completion of my Bachelor’s, and even better selection if I continue on to get my Master’s in English. For example, I could choose journalism, work for a publishing house for books and magazines, be an instructor at a university level, wedding and event coordinator, be a critic like Siskel and Ebert, be an author like Stephen King, and the list keeps going. I want those diverse options for myself, and felt that any other major would limit my career selection. Overall, as an English major, I finally feel complete and know that there is a successful career waiting for me in the future!” – Nicole, Class of 2009
“It’s funny, because while growing up, all I wanted to do was teach English (well, after I decided that becoming an astronaut involved way too much math). But when I went to undergrad, I pursued a Theatre degree with an English minor. However, once I was out in the world for a while, I realized that English was the only thing in which I was interested. I come from quite a literary family – my mother always read poetry to us while growing up, and my grandfather’s first cousin was Edna St. Vincent Millay (talk about high standards…) – so I grew up learning about her life and work. Because of that influence, I’ve always been fascinated about the ways language can alter one’s perception of the world and how, after reading an especially good poem, nothing is really the same for a time. I think, also, keeping written language alive is fighting the good fight. Don’t get me wrong, I email and text message as much as the next person, but I also think that good English, a good written language, may be an endangered species. I’d like to do my part in preserving it.” – Amy Jirsa, MA candidate, Class of 2010