Joseph Patton

Joseph Patton

Class of 2012

  • Bachelor of Arts in English, Penn State Altoona

What do you currently do professionally?
Sales, Verizon Consumer Group

How has majoring in English helped you on your career pathway(s)?
Communication comes first in almost any line of work. You make an impact on those around you simply by your presence--being able to convey the information that people need to hear to achieve mutual goals is a skill that is often overlooked but can be what changes a mediocre team into a great team: one able to align to achieve the desired target.

What knowledge and skills help you succeed in your job on a daily basis (and, possibly, in unanticipated ways)?
The ability to understand, retain, and utilize information gained in novel ways has often marked me as a leader in my field and has opened additional opportunities.

In what (unanticipated) ways has the English major impacted your life beyond your profession?
The coursework certainly made me more introspective. It also encouraged me to be more curious about cultural references and to understand the context of things as they relate to one another. It has also been of great benefit when traveling. Being open to the ideas of others has given me a wide range of diverse friendships and cultural opportunities.

What is your favorite experience from your time in the English program?
The English program is something I will never forget. I enjoyed pushing myself to think in new ways and to use language poetically. The environment of community, where you could see the efforts of others and reflect on what it meant for them to share a little bit of themselves, was especially important. The best part was seeing the passions that people could find in so many different places and learning to engage in an intellectually honest way that contributed meaningfully to something.

What advice do you have for current English majors or students considering entry into the field in which you’re currently working?
I don't have any specific advice. Hone your skills and open yourself up to criticism. Find new ways to succeed and take the risk associated with performing the way that you believe is right. Lead through action.

February 2023