April 23rd, 2015 §
Former English major Heather (Eggen) Bowman was recently elected partner at the Portland, Oregon law firm Bodyfelt Mount, where she practices civil litigation, focusing specifically on employment litigation and defense of professional malpractice claims.
After graduating in 2001, Heather put her English degree to direct use teaching English literature at Qiqihar University in northeastern China. Teaching Chinese English majors their only English literature class in their college careers was a challenge, writes Heather, not only because of the intricacies of English language and literature, but also because of the foreignness to her students of the history, politics, geography, and thinking of the West.
As a lawyer, Heather continues, on a daily basis, to develop skills first honed at SPU. Although she rarely has an opportunity to quote William Blake, she constantly interprets documents and case law, tells client stories, and writes and argues her way to (she hopes) good results.
April 2nd, 2015 §
Kate Hoskins, former English major (Class of 2010), recently got in touch with the English Department to report on her life post-graduation. She offers advice for all those finishing up in June:
“I spent the next few years [after graduation] teaching elementary school, and was extremely grateful for a degree that helped me make a difference in my community. College prepared me to teach, but at twenty-five, I had hit the mid-life crisis of Millennials and needed to make a change. I didn’t have a back-up plan. Or a game plan. I just knew I needed to make room for something new.
There are a million ways to make a difference in the world, and I’m learning to see that my way of making a difference might look different than I thought it would. I have friends that have made it into Response and etc. publications for their work in cancer research and non-profits. Other friends made post-grad life look charmed by having jobs or weddings lined up directly following graduation. At the time, my heart ached with envy, and I longed for a similar security. In the four or five years since graduating, many of these friends have realized that they desire something other than the security and success that they’ve found in their professional careers. Some have left jobs, others have gone back to school, and I’ve been humbled to realize that everyone goes through seasons of uncertainty, questioning, and transition in their own good time.
The good news is that your major does not determine your life. You will continue finding out who you are and who God has made you to be long after graduation. Thankfully, it is a lifelong process—a process that is not to be feared, but welcomed. Trust that God will continue to guide you as you move beyond this campus and your next job or internship. It’s okay to be a barista, to move home, to rest, to travel, to stop, and to let things go. Listen to your instincts and don’t force something to happen. Know that you’re going to be okay and there is no formula for your freshman year of life. Take comfort knowing that the first year out is surprisingly unsettling.”
December 4th, 2014 §
A recent email from yet another of our alums, Ashley Smith:
After graduating with a degree in English Literature I worked for a seafood company in Seattle for a couple of years. I was lucky enough to get to travel to Alaska’s Aleutian Chain twice a year and work with fishermen injured while working.
The travel bug bit me during those trips, so in 2008 I packed up and shipped off to the African country of Namibia. I volunteered with an organization called World Teach. They placed me at a secondary school teaching English, and I lived and fell in love with a native family and a fascinating and beautiful country.
After my year flew by, I moved back to the US and straight to Phoenix, Arizona. I worked for a year doing anything I possibly could to make money and finally landed at Yelp.com as a local Account Manager assisting local businesses with their advertising. I was lucky enough to find Yelp when it was still young and the Phoenix office held less than 50 employees. We are now (almost four years later) an office of about 800 and a publicly traded company; and I have moved from local account management to working with National Advertising clients around the country.
I get to travel and manage advertising budgets of over a million dollars a year. It’s very interesting and definitely keeps me on my toes! Two weeks ago, I was offered and accepted a position at Yelp managing a team of my own National Account Managers. I’m very excited to see where this next adventure teaches and takes me!
November 26th, 2014 §
Lauren Pattie has been busy since graduating with an English major several years ago—and not just hanging out on ledges (literally), taking pictures. Upon graduation, Lauren won a Fulbright Fellowship to southeastern Turkey, where she taught English and traveled extensively. Arriving back home, she became the marketing & public relations manager at Iocolor, a book printing & manufacturing company that focuses on image-intensive books. (Iocolor works with notable photographers, museums, and university presses.) When that firm downsized, Lauren decided to go after her first love and is currently attending Fuller Seminary, pursuing a masters in divinity degree.
Rivaling that first love is Lauren’s significant accomplishments in co-ed ultimate Frisbee. This is serious stuff: Her Seattle team recently came in second in nationals, and Lauren—along with fellow SPU English alum Lexi Garrity—was interviewed on ESPN 3 after the victory.
Topping off this list of post-grad accomplishments is Lauren’s continued singing in local choirs and ensembles, a talent she groomed at Seattle Pacific.
Says Lauren about here time at SPU: “I’m very glad I decided to go with the English major. Not only did that mean I had awesome professors all the time, but it is a very flexible degree. Once you know how to communicate effectively, you can go a whole ton of places. I think the English major will set me up well for seminary because I know how to write and analyze texts–which is a lot of what we’ll be doing.”
May 27th, 2014 §
Lauren Rogers is currently a grad student in SPU’s School of Business and Economics, having graduated last June from SPU with a Bachelors degree in English. She chose English as her undergraduate major because it was a subject she enjoyed, having always been passionate about stories and writing. As an English major, Lauren particularly appreciated the English department faculty, claiming that it is “better than [that at] any university anywhere,” though she also said she might be biased.
Upon graduating, Lauren decided she wanted to go into business but needed to figure out how to mesh that desire with her passion for writing, relationship building, and creativity. Now Lauren realizes she wasn’t alone, since “many English majors do not understand how to effectively apply their skills in business.” SPU’s MA program in sustainable business practices has helped her identify where to go next, which is a career in digital marketing.
For Lauren, degrees in English and business are a great combination because a student comes out of the two programs not merely a skilled communicator, but one with the technical skills for many positions in business. To prepare for life after her next graduation, Lauren is currently serving as a marketing intern at Zulily. The business program has helped Lauren apply the skills from her English degree to the business world.