Monthly Archives: March 2013

The many options within publishing…

My previous post dealt with publishing as a career, but what many people don’t know is that there are so many different levels within a publishing company that are available.

Editorial is one of them. Within this department, the editors edit manuscripts, meet deadlines, and meet with authors. They often work a lot of overtime in order to finish reading through a manuscript and have meetings around the author’s schedules. However, if you find the right field to be an editor in, like science fiction, non fiction, or textbook information, you may be immersed in information that you love!

Not only do editors work for book publishing companies, nearly all companies require an editor, whether it is in law, science, business, and so many more. All businesses put out information that needs to be edited, whether that is in a newspaper, advertising, informational pamphlets, business handbooks, textbooks, websites, etc.

So, yes, jobs within book publishing may be limited, but if you enjoy correcting and reading other people’s work, the possibilities are endless!

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My Dream Career

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With an English degree, a great career path to go into is publishing. There are an array of options like magazines, novels, textbooks, newspapers, pamphlets, advertising, etc. For me, I love to read and would love nothing more than to have a career at Scholastic Inc. If you enjoy magazines, there are countless topics and genres to choose from: architecture, fashion, gossip, science, art, and the list goes on and on. If you love sharing information through the written word, publishing could be for you!

Depending on the size of the company, publishers can copy edit, supervise the many different levels of publishing (graphic design, editing, writing, etc.), manage deadlines, meet with authors and agents, market… Basically, they are in charge. This career relies on communication, writing, reading, and leadership skills.

Publishing is popular in larger cities like New York City, Chicago, London, or San Francisco, but also can be found in smaller urban areas throughout the world. Local newspapers and magazines require a publisher, so don’t think you’ll have to pack up and move to a large city if that’s not what interests you!

The options are endless, so start looking for internships and find out if this is the career for you!

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Alright, I’ll give in… Another option: Teaching

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Every time I tell people that I’m an English major, they assume I am going into teaching. Although a great career, it does get annoying after awhile because I, personally, would make a terrible teacher. (Kids are not my strong-suit!)

However, if you are passionate about sharing the love of literature, writing, and reading, this may be the career for you! There are many grade levels you could teach, do you like little kids and want to introduce them to reading or do you enjoy polishing a more developed mind in literature?

English teachers can work with kids in writing, reading, grammar, and many different areas of English. If you are particularly interested in a topic, there is a great chance you would be able to focus on it in your very own classroom!

It is important to note the transition that the internet, social media, and e-books has created in today’s youth. They have introduced acronyms like “LOL” or “OMG” or shorting words like, “srsly,” or, “lyk.” I have seen it on my own Facebook page and I think it is a new challenge for educators today.

Sometimes, in certain districts and states, an education degree is not even required. Check it out and consider this career today! Not only will you find it rewarding with the benefits, you are also constantly influencing and inspiring future generations.

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Paralegals and English?

Another unexpected option for an English major is going into Paralegal studies. Yes, you can major in Paralegal studies, but you could also get a Bachelor’s degree in English and then a paralegal certificate, which can take as little as 7 months or if you take just one credit at a time, up to 17 months, according to nationalparalegal.edu.  That is a great addition to a Bachelor’s degree in English, for such a little amount of time!

Paralegals work with lawyers in gathering, reading and writing about legal work. They often give attorneys essential documents for cases. Having a Bachelors in English will give you a head start in the ability to write professionally, intelligently, and comfortably. It involves a lot of reading and writing, so if that is what you are interested in, go for it!

Even more good news: Many paralegals enjoy it so much, they even go on to law school!

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An unexpected choice: Public Relations

My other major, other than English, is in Public Relations Communications, so I thought I would start out my first career post with Public Relations. I think an important tip for an English major is to have another major to go along with it. Communications is an excellent choice because it opens up countless opportunities and career paths. One of these is Public Relations.

It may surprise people that a lot of writing and knowledge of the written word goes into PR. A Public Relations specialist is, essentially, the face of the company. The company’s reputation depends on the PR person’s decisions and ability to write positively for the company. According to princetonreview.com, a PR specialist must be a great communicator in print, person and over the phone. They work alongside journalists, consumers, management, sales and much more in order to get the best information and perspective on the company.

It is important to note that any company needs a Public Relations specialist. Whether it is in the media, food industry, retail and so much more. So, if you’re looking into English, this is definitely an option for you! You will constantly be writing and producing professional content like press releases, speeches, tweets, and more.

Internships for PR are constantly available and a great way to break into the business. March is the perfect time to start looking for summer internships, so if you think this career could be an option for you, get started today!

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It’s okay to be an English major.

“For we pay a price for everything we get or take in this world; and although ambitions are well worth having, they are not to be cheaply won, but exact their dues of work and self-denial, anxiety and discouragement.” Anne of Green Gables

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So, I hope you’re reading this, whoever you are, as a hopeful or current English major. Or maybe you’re a skeptic? A concerned parent whose child just admitted to wanting to be an English major? No matter what, I hope with this blog I can ease some of your worries and even spread some knowledge along the way.

I am currently an English Literature and Communications major at SUNY Brockport in Brockport, NY. Almost on the daily I am told, “Good luck with getting a job…” or asked, “So, you really like Shakespeare, huh?” There is a huge stigma on English majors goals, potential, and even intelligence.

My parents, undoubtedly, wanted me to become a nurse, or an engineer, or really anything other than become an English major. Although there are many opportunities for an English major after graduation, it is very important to have a plan, passion and drive, and most importantly, the will to overcome stereotypes and obstacles.

In this blog, I will discuss the many different options English majors have, whether that is in teaching, publishing, editing, writing, public relations, and much more. I hope to open a few eyes on different English major career paths and I hope you’ll join me for the ride!

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