Career Options

Career Services are a team of professionals dedicated to helping students succeed in their careers. In addition to career counseling, they help you find jobs today that prepare you for your future career. They will provide you with tools to help build your résumé, cover letter, practice interviews, and ultimately find your entry-level job. You can begin working with Career Services early in your college career. Click here to visit the Career Services website. 

 

 

Check out some of our alumni who are making their mark!

 

Hope Herron

BA in English, 2001 

Current position: Senior Climate Change Specialist with Tetra Tech

Hope Herron – works for Tetra Tech and is a Senior Climate Change Specialist. She’s featured in the video below at 1.06 minute mark. Here’s an excellent example of what you can do with an English major.

Check out the video of Hope and others in this interview from Planet Worth:

 

 

Wil Nunnery
BA in English, 2010
Current Position: Morning producer and weekend anchor at WDAM-TV in Hattiesburg, MS 

 

 

 

"I majored in English because my lifelong love of reading, writing, and literature drove me to. Even before I declared my major before I came to USM when I was a freshman and sophomore, English classes wound up on my schedule semester after semester because they just felt necessary."

"The general concept of reading literature and its associated criticism then creating constructive arguments was always enjoyable. I also particularly enjoyed the classes I took in creative writing. Getting to sit down with people like Steve Barthelme, a man who's been there and done it with his own writing, left a lasting impact on me. All of the professors I had in the English department were wonderful people, true wizards of their trade and walking encyclopedias."

"If you want to learn how to think clearly, logically and critically, enter the program. In my opinion critical thinking is the most important thing a person can learn during their education. As long as you know how to gather, organize and present thoughts in a critical way, you've got it made, because you've got the mental tools to apply yourself to anything."

 

 

Diana Bolton
BA in English, 2007
Current Position: Proposal writer/manager at InterImage, a technology company in Arlington, VA 

 
 
 
 

“I agree with Garrison Keillor that an English major can do anything. Literature has always been one of my favorite topics in the world, so the opportunity to study it full-time and throw myself into analysis and writing was something I couldn’t pass up. I also firmly believe that liberal arts education produces people who are well-rounded independent thinkers.”

“I loved the diversity of the classes available to an English major at USM. I took classes in literatures including American, world, British, African-American, adolescent, and contemporary, as well as hands-on creative workshops. My professors were engaged and available, and brought a broad knowledge base. I appreciated that there was a course and a knowledgeable instructor for everything I wanted to learn about.”

“When I interviewed for my current position, my employer stated that English majors make great workers because they are flexible and adaptable to changing situations, and they also have the research skills to go find out anything they don’t know.”

 

Jeremiah Wright
BA in English, 2006
Current Position: Field maintenance technician for Air Methods, a helicopter EMS company 

 
 

 

 

 
 

“My degree allowed me to advance in company leadership simply because I can communicate effectively in writing (corporate email) [and] properly interpret technical writing in manufacturers' manuals and government regulations (FAA)..."

 

Heather Stevens
BA in English, 2013
Current Position: Editor at Blinders Literary Journal 

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“An English degree appealed to me because I knew I would learn how to think and write more critically about a broad variety of topics. I wanted to hone my ability to make articulate, supported written arguments, and read books at the same time. I loved the broad array of classes offered. There were so many interesting classes I could have taken each semester! I also loved that I could easily study abroad without falling behind or pushing back my graduation date because there were always plenty of English classes offered on several different study abroad programs.”

“I would tell [a student considering a major in English] that an English degree from USM doesn’t just mean you’ve read a lot of books or written a lot of papers (although you will do both!); it means you’ve been taught to think analytically and to express yourself articulately. Both of these skills are more helpful, and sometimes more necessary, than any others you might learn in college. Majoring in English will teach you about the world, about people, and about yourself.”

 

Kaycie Hall
BA in English, 2010
Current Position:  Project Manager for the Trust and Safety group at Etsy 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

“I liked the opportunity to learn from passionate people about their particular focus areas. It really opened my eyes up to several styles of writing that I may have never looked to otherwise. I also enjoyed the freedom to discuss my own theories about writing openly with my professors and my colleagues. The atmosphere of discussion really worked for me and prompted me to care more about the process of learning and its value rather than just shooting to obtain a bachelor’s degree.”

“Being able to write persuasively/flesh out an argument in writing or in a presentation is a good skill for most careers, particularly in the tech industry. I was able to move up at my current company because I knew how to persuade people with ideas, and I know I gained these skills through my background in English.”

 

Hannah Walker
BA in English, 2007
Current Position:  Freelance editor and owner of Walker Editing, Inc. 

 
 
 
 
 

"My degrees in English have helped me gather skills as a writer, editor, and reader. I am able to analyze the texts that I edit in both small, grammatical ways and in their larger contexts. I also have knowledge about different types of fiction and theories about reading and writing. My degrees have helped me be able to provide feedback to others effectively.”

“I enjoyed learning the historical and cultural contexts of the works we read and writing literary analysis papers. I really enjoyed my literary theory course and looking at texts through a variety of theoretical lenses in order to understand them in many different ways….  And, of course, it's hard to beat reading fiction books as homework!”

 

Samantha Nix
BA in English, 2009
Current Position:  Program Coordinator for Florida State University's Certificate in Institutional Research 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 

“After about a year into my first job, I realized that what I loved most about English wasn’t just the reading and the writing, it was often our quest to understand people’s choice-making processes and behavior. This is essentially the same thing that I study in the field of Higher Education—how college students make choices and the role of their backgrounds, social contexts, and institutional cultures.”

“The subject area is a natural space to not only improve reading and writing skills, but also to develop an increased understanding of self and others.”

 

 

 

David Love

BA in English Licensure, 2009

MA in English Education, 2015

Current position: English II and English IV teacher at Wesson Attendance Center in Wesson, MS

  

 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

"I pursued my BA and MA at USM because I love literature and written expression, and I have the lofty calling of passing that love on to the next generation. Literacy is power. Words can incite social change and personal transformation. The ability to communicate effectively and to interpret words logically is, tragically, an undervalued and underdeveloped skill. As a teacher, I want to be part of the cure rather than part of the disease, and my years at USM offered a firm foundation upon which I could build a solid practice. Many of the teachers I knew sang the praises of USM's English department, so I followed their suggestions. I'm glad I did."

 

"I would advise anyone considering a degree in English licensure to go all-in or don't go at all. Consider the weight of what being a teacher really means. Of course, there's no way to know that weight until you're in a classroom on your own, but teaching is so much more than subject matter and classroom management. It is both art and science. It's a living practice that evolves as you change and as your students grow. It will test you in ways you never thought possible, and, if you allow it, it will push you to beautiful personal heights."

 

"My experiences at USM were stellar. I developed life-long friendships and relationships with students and professors who still inspire me today. As an adult going back to college while employed full-time, I appreciated the understanding and flexibility the English department offered. I grew not only as a teacher and a student, but also as a human. Isn't that the ultimate goal?"

 

 
 
 
 

Katherine Currie
BA in English, 2012
Current Position: Third-year law student, University of Mississippi School of Law 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I would encourage any high school senior who enjoys reading and writing but also is looking to be challenged in their analysis and writing to major in English at USM.”

“I decided my sophomore year that I wanted to pursue a law degree. I knew that an English major would allow me to read, which is a love of mine, but also to analyze and write, which are skills necessary for a career in the law.”

 

 

 

 
 
 

Michael Mitchell
BA in English, 2012
Current Position: Director of the Opp Public Library in Opp, Alabama 

 
 
 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

“Majoring in English meant learning the basics of research, logic, and expression, three arts that could open doors to almost any field. Majoring in English, I could go from writing about Welsh Arthurian literature to studying the history of experiments on light. It was a true liberal education.”

 “[My English degree] has given me the foundation in research and creativity to pursue my passion: libraries. It has also given me the liberal education to do and be anything.”

 

Vincent Price
BA in English Licensure 2008
Current Position: PhD Graduate Assistant, University of Tennessee at Knoxville 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

“I made the third floor of LAB my second home. Professors were responsive to questions/interests and willing to help guide along the way. Additionally, the classes…worked to sharpen my writing skills and expand my literary knowledge.”

“Consider what you would like to do with that major so that you can start designing your course load to fit your future goals. Also, be willing to push yourself and take risks in your writing and realize that the professors are truly willing to help.”

 

Lauren McKee
BA in English, 2004
Current Position: ASIA Network-Luce Foundation Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, Visiting Assistant Professor Political Science at Berea College


 

 
  
 
 

“I’ve used the thinking and writing skills in my scholarly work throughout graduate school. Even though my primary field is now International Studies, I still regularly teach courses on Japanese literature on a study abroad program in Japan and lead the Asian Studies Book Club at Berea College. My love of literature continues as well as my desire to continue discussing those 'big ideas' with my students.”