Your Success Story Is Waiting. An English Major trains you to pay close, critical attention to textual, visual and narrative forms of evidence; think broadly, analytically, and imaginatively; and communicate with subtlety, clarity, and precision. These skills will serve you well in careers ranging from those focused on teaching and communication to journalism, non-profits, law, marketing, and business. More importantly, whatever career you choose, your English major will feed your lifelong passion for exploring, understanding, bridging, and creating.
Anne Machalinski ’02 (Literary Studies)
After graduating with a Major in Literary Studies, Anne worked in the field of media buying/planning, but quickly realized it was not the right fit for her. Going back to her love of reading and writing, Anne pursued and earned a Master of Science in Journalism at Columbia University. She began exploring a variety of career opportunities and is now a Senior Editor for UCLA Health. Thinking back on her experience at Vanderbilt and how it has led to her current career, Anne says, “All of my work has incorporated skills I learned with an English major: critical thinking, reading comprehension, clear and persuasive writing. Having an English major gave me the flexibility to try out a few different things without feeling pigeonholed into one path.”
Emma Cofer ’09 (Creative Writing)
While at Vanderbilt, Emma knew she had a passion for language and storytelling. It drew her to the English major in Creative Writing and, eventually, toward brand strategy. As a lead brand strategist at Google, she solves problems, finds meaning, and tells stories for a living. Her degree has helped her on this pathway, as she learned how to “unpack the value of every single word,” build a “range of references, allusions, and stylistic tools to draw on to tell stories,” and even “empathize with the human experience to uncover insights to drive business.” She can’t imagine a more helpful set of skills for her career.
Patrick Neligan ’13 (Literary Studies)
A major in Literary Studies prepared Patrick to earn his M.A. in Public Relations at Georgetown University and set him up for success as a senior account executive with Public Purpose PR, a public relations firm serving the health care industry. During his studies at Vanderbilt, he learned how to process and analyze copious amounts of content to convey complex ideas–a sought-after skill in the workplace. Patrick also says, “The focus on gender roles, equality, and respect in the collaborative environment of the Department of English really helped me to be a better colleague and professional.”