Career Options for English Studies

What Can You Do with an English Studies Degree? A whole lot more than you might think.

English Studies offers a surprising versatility of viable career options. Besides writing the next bestselling novel or working as a teacher, English Studies majors work as technical, grant, or content writers, journalists, editors, and publishers. They are often well-suited for positions in project management, marketing, human resources, or as non-profit directors. Traditionally, but also increasingly, professional schools, such as law schools and medical schools, value the undergraduate English degree for the range of skills it offers. Even in STEM fields, the ability to read and write well is highly prized.

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English Studies Majors and Minors Make a Life

Melanie Begeman (B.S. English 2019) is sales coordinator for American Axle and Manufacturing. She also held positions with Rocket Mortgage and as a medical documentation specialist.

Emma Sheldon, (B.S. English 2019), writes for the Munson Healthcare Foundation which serves 30 counties in northern Michigan. The foundation’s fundraising efforts provide millions of dollars in support to the health care system each year:

Inocencia Ramirez-Gorski (B.S. English 2019) is the Fiction Editor for Ofi Press Mexico and is one of the founding editors of Viscera literary magazine, a non-profit zine that publishes the words and art of Lenawee County youth, with all proceeds going to local community organizations. The first issue helped raised over $1,000 in Covid relief for Lenawee County.

Makayla Bendele (B.S. English/Political Science 2017) is an attorney at Bucklin Law PC in Coldwater, MI, and has been appointed to Coldwater's Downtown Development Authority.

Hayden Garlick (B.S. English 2015) is a technical writer at Tweddle Group in the Detroit area helping to produce car manuals for Nissan. “My English degree taught me to comprehend, distill, and effectively communicate dense information,” Garlick says. “These skills not only earned me a job as a technical author but they allow me to excel in my career.”

Alex Noelke (B.S. English 2014) is a Managing Editor at Hayden–McNeil Publishing, a division of Macmillan Publishers. Noelke says, “The English degree and liberal arts education I received at Adrian College were instrumental in developing the core principles I use to navigate the day-to-day of my professional and personal life . . . essential soft skills like critical thinking, empathy, daily reflection, and creative problem solving have been responsible for much of my success. I am forever grateful to my English professors and the department for fostering my always-inquisitive perspective and multi-lensed way of thinking!”

Nichole (LaBarge) Heydenburg (B.S. English 2014) is a full time Content Manager for a start-up company. She was the first employee hired and is an integral part of the company’s growth and success. She is also the author of a novel, The Long Shadow on the Stage. Heydenburg says, “Attending Adrian was one of the best decisions I’ve made. My English degree not only gave me a few lifelong friends with a passion for words and helped me further develop my writing and language skills, but also helped me hone my critical thinking, problem solving, communication skills, and ability to learn new things. These skills learned while earning my English degree have all helped me advance further in my career."

Delaney Andrews (B.S English 2013) published her debut novel The Silhouette and the Shadow in February 2022. She is the Annual Giving and Stewardship officer in the Development Office at the University of Michigan's Ford School of Public Policy.

Several graduates with majors or minors in English/Language Arts are teachers in K-12 school systems, most recently including Hannah Monroe (2021), Ella Nighswander (2021), and Daniel McMichael (2020).

Abbie Wise (B.S. English 2021) is a "Global Solutions Marketing Specialist" who writes content focused on data analytics. The content she produces ranges from case studies to customer stories that focus on the company's products and their solutions for customers' challenges.

STEM Student Success with English Studies Major and Minor

Rachel Kanaziz (B.S. 2018 triple major in English, Environmental Science, and Biology) is a Wildlife Technician with the MI Department of Natural Resources. During her senior year at Adrian, she was awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation Grant in the Graduate Research Fellowship Program. The grant specifically supports students who pursue graduate research in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields. Kanaziz says, “My English classes gave me the skills I needed to write an application essay that helped me become an NSF Graduate Fellow.” She earned her Masters degree from the Ecology Program in the Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology department at Colorado State University.

Tess Sobolewski (B.A. 2021, Chemistry major, English minor) is a PhD student in chemistry at Montana State University. Sobolewski's acceptance letter to graduate school specifically praised her outstanding writing, which she credits to skills she learned as an English minor. Sobolewski underscores the value of English skills in STEM fields saying, "If you're going for your Master's degree or PhD, you have to publish your work. It's not just about the work you're doing, but how you write about it because it gets published for the entire scientific community to see." She recommends students studying science consider an English minor.

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