CAREERS AND ENGLISH ALUMNI
Why Study English?
Many disciplines lead you to one career, but English leads you to many possible careers. Our recent graduates have become successful editors, investment bankers, lawyers, magazine writers, teachers, professors, novelists, and executives in advertising and public relations, among many other rewarding and prestigious fields.
English is a discipline that is flexible, durable, and enjoyable. Because the fields English graduates thrive in require creativity, originality and complex cultural perspectives, they are difficult to automate. Because English jobs exist in diverse industries, it is comparatively easy for English graduates to switch careers as the job market evolves. When managers see your English degree on a resume, they will know that you can write with clarity and precision, quickly grasp complicated texts and ideas, think critically, and speak eloquently.
Recognize and create engaging narratives
Analyze and critique text
Communicate clearly and persuasively
Understand other points of view
Build effective arguments
In our department, you will have the opportunity to pursue internships that prepare you to find a career that is meaningful to you. Recent English internships include the following:
CBRE—writing and editing a commercial real estate team’s tenant advisory newsletter, reading and abstracting lease agreements between property landlords and client companies, researching information on potential clients
Pennsylvania Prison Society—writing responses to prisoner letters, working with survey data, advocating for humane prison conditions
Catholic Relief Services—contributing to the organizational blog, conducting original research
State Representative—writing speeches and editing copy
Main Line Today—transcribing interviews, researching stories, working with editors on long-term projects, writing for web and print
Digital First Media—writing stories for distribution to newspapers
Saturday Night Live—conducting research and assisting staff writers
YMCA Camp Ockanickon—creating messages, such as press releases and promotional materials
Visit.Org—blogging and orchestrating Search Engine Optimization for a sustainable tourism start-up
Philadelphia Magazine—researching and fact-checking stories
SAP—working as a writing intern for a European multinational software company in the field of business operations and customer relations
If you major or minor in English, you can join the Villanova Undergraduate English LinkedIn group for current English undergraduate students and English alumni.
English graduate students and alumni can join the
These groups provide you with an ideal opportunity to see the vast range of careers that alumni of the Department have pursued, and it provides a quick and convenient means of networking with others who share a love of reading and writing. More than 500 alumni are already members and are ready to share their professional knowledge and experience with you.
Nova Network is a database available to all Villanova students that provides you with easy access to its thousands of alumni.
Each year, we offer a variety of events that bring you into contact with potential employers and alumni who want to share their professional expertise and guidance (such as our career panel). We also regularly post job opportunities in the weekly English Department newsletter.
The following web articles contain some good ideas for how to supplement your English degree with additional skills, and how to translate the language of academia into the language of business.
Many more ideas and resources for managing the transition from education to career can be found in our guide for current students (Nova credentials required to view).
Each year, a number of our most accomplished English majors are admitted to competitive masters and doctoral programs in English and related fields. If you are interested in pursuing graduate study, our English Department Placement Committee helps you plan a suitable program of courses, and, later, where, when, and how to apply. They will also give you feedback to help you make your applications as strong as possible. To reach out to this committee, contact the Chair of the Placement Committee, Travis Foster, PhD.
"My legal knowledge and experience helped me get my job, but my English major helped to shape the way I think. The law focuses primarily on interpretation and defending a position. As an English major I was often asked to interpret language, and sometimes wrote entire essays discussing the placement of a single word. My training as an English major forced me to view words more closely in order to develop my arguments" - Ashley Dunbar, Esq., Class of 2012
"The English major is especially helpful in professional work as a psychotherapist. I always think of psychotherapy as helping people tell their stories, and literature is a great way of understanding such stories and the human condition. My master of social work program required no prerequisites outside of a bachelor's degree, so there was no difficulty transitioning" - Christopher Williams, LCSW, Class of 2007
Curious about where English graduates are now? Read about what career paths some recent graduates have taken and how their English degree helped them get there.