February 10th, 2018 §
Madison Pack—class of 2016—recently checked in with what she has been up to since earning her English degree from SPU.
Since graduation, I was doing a little of this and that trying to decide where I wanted to commit myself. I found myself in the advertising technology industry, managing campaigns, being a digital account manager, and running and developing creative tags. It was actually at the end of last year where I decided I wasn’t feeling fulfilled where I was and didn’t see a future for myself in this line of work. I missed writing and editing, and while I had originally been pursuing opportunities in this field, I had resorted to taking the job in ad tech for money more than passion. In early December I took a leap of faith and quit. It was a difficult decision, especially because I didn’t have any concrete prospects, but I was hopeful my hard work and drive would force some good outcome. I am happy to report I just completed my first full week at my new job! I am now a marking coordinator for a consulting firm in Seattle. I am learning how to build websites, run social media platforms, organize and orchestrate company-wide events, and I’m even getting to write and edit copy which is dream come true! I am finally feeling happy and dedicated to my work and feel this is a stepping stone in the path of my career goals.
January 3rd, 2018 §
Just before Thanksgiving, I got a job offer. Starting next week, I’ll be the publishing assistant at Simon and Schuster. I’ll be working most of the time for the publisher, Jonathan Karp, and the rest for a senior editor, Sean Manning. I had such a great experience interviewing there (part of their process is to have you compile a list of contemporary books you wish you’d had a part in publishing) and was largely chosen based off my list. I attached it, in case you’d be interested to see what I came up with.
I’m very excited for the position. Simon and Schuster publishes a mix of fiction and nonfiction (they’re the original publisher of Ray Bradbury’s Farenheit 451, but more recently Bob Dylan’s Chronicles, Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run, and Hillary Clinton’s What Happened), but I was chosen for my interest in fiction.
It’s been an interesting first few weeks with the holidays, not to mention HRC and her staff paid a visit to the office last week. Books were signed! Retired secret service crowded the halls! I even gave a book recommendation to Huma Abedin (apparently she’s quite the reader).
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November 22nd, 2016 §
Kimberly Miller recently checked in with the English Department to tell of her latest exploits. She’s currently enrolled at a private military college, Norwich University, in that institution’s Masters in Diplomacy program, with a concentration in conflict management. The program focuses on international peacekeeping and peace-making.
Kimberly reports that “I couldn’t be happier with my decision. I’m working full time, going to school full time, and still somehow making room for all of the fun things of being post-college.”
We wish good luck to Kimberly in her pursuit of such a degree and the good work that will, no doubt, flow from it!
May 26th, 2016 §
Christye Watkins reported back to us earlier this year about events in her life since graduating, as Christye Estes, nearly seven years ago. An English creative writing major, Christye, now married (obviously, given the name-change), works as editor-in-chief of all outward-facing content for Volt Athletics, a Seattle fitness firm whose mission is “to provide all athletes and teams with affordable access to professionally-built strength and conditioning.” She’s also author of Volt’s blog. To top off her skill set, Christye’s become a certified strength and conditioning specialist. “My position allows me to marry my two loves,” she says: “writing and the human body.”
“I chose to major in English because it combined so many other disciplines that I loved and couldn’t decide between,” Christye writes in an email. “One year after graduation, if you’d asked me if I’d have chosen differently, I would have said yes. Now going on seven years post-undergrad, I wouldn’t have changed a . . . thing.”
“Never thought I’d actually be able to turn that writing degree into a legitimate career, but not a day goes back that I’m not thankful for it.” Christye’s sentiment isn’t that unusual, though her dynamism and drive certainly are. Her path shows what can be done with the skills provided by an English major applied to a life that reflects the whole person living it.
Speaking candidly, Christye has this to say about her choice of major, ten years after applying to English: “It’s funny how the thing you choose when you’re a dumb eighteen-year-old can turn out wonderfully for your twenty-eight-year-old self!”
Wonderfully indeed, Christye. We in English are proud of your accomplishments!
October 15th, 2015 §
Some explanation is in order! Gabe (English major, Class of 2014) starred in a production of a play called The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) at the Shorecrest Performing Arts Center in Shorecrest, WA last weekend, not all of the Bard’s plays. Gabe describes The Complete Works as follows: “three guys, one dead playwright, and 37 plays, all in under two hours.”
Quite the feat, and one in keeping with Gabe’s work as a young actor and much more; there’s nothing abridged about his aspirations. “Briefly,” says Gabe, no doubt intending the irony, “I’m pursuing performance in music, circus arts, and acting, with a day (night) job at Teatro Zinzanni,” a Seattle dinner theatre along the lines of Cirque du Soleil. “It’s a wild ride,” he concludes.
Hang on tight, Gabe, and best of luck with your career.