Class of 2002
- Bachelor of Arts in English, Penn State Altoona
What do you currently do professionally?
Employer: Senate of Pennsylvania
Position: District Director for State Senator Judy Ward
How has majoring in English helped you on your career pathway(s)?
Majoring in English was integral to the development of skill sets that have enabled me to effectively communicate with a diverse array of constituents throughout my career. The ability to articulate meaning and convey information in forms that my audience can easily comprehend has been essential in my roles as a development officer and public relations professional. My Penn State Altoona education has fostered the expertise and self-confidence necessary for the successful fulfillment of my responsibilities throughout the years.
What knowledge and skills help you succeed in your job on a daily basis (and, possibly, in unanticipated ways)?
Every day I utilize the writing skills that were nurtured at Penn State Altoona. The knowledge that was conveyed to me in English classes about structure, content, and creativity influences the projects that I direct, the tasks that I perform, and the various forms of communication that I initiate. I am keenly aware of the significant role that tone plays in written communication because of the instruction that I received in my college courses.
In what (unanticipated) ways has the English major impacted your life beyond your profession?
The English major has imparted the ability to critique written communication for appropriate style, structure, and tone, based on subject matter. I am grateful for the analytical skills that foster a greater understanding of a writer’s intent and perspective. Undeniably, the English major has created opportunities for me to make an impact in my community as a volunteer for numerous organizations that have utilized my writing skills.
What is your favorite experience from your time in the English program?
I most enjoyed the business writing courses and 400-level editorial courses. I feel both have played significant roles in the positions I have held in the workforce since my graduation.
What advice do you have for current English majors or students considering entry into the field in which you’re currently working?
Follow your passion, take every opportunity to network, and expand your knowledge and skills through internships.