What Post-Grad Life is Like for an English Major

Ever since I changed my major from Medical Imaging to English, the only question I ever received about my new major was, “So what kind of jobs can you get?” Surprisingly, there is a lot out there that an English major can do, besides teaching! (Check this list out: http://www.insidejobs.com/blog/100-careers-for-english-majors-they-do-exist-really)

I have been home for a little over a month now and this is what my days consist of:

  • Wake up at seven (I don’t want to become lazy. When I get a job, I want to be able to get up in the morning! Also, I want my applications to be looked at; so waking up early it is!)
  • Eat breakfast. It’s the healthiest meal of the day!
  • Spend anywhere from 2 to 7 hours looking for internships, depending on how many new editing/publishing internships become available a day.
  • Do research on the internship companies I am applying to.
  • Search for a part-time job. I need. money.
  • Clean the house
  • Read a book, articles, magazines, or anything that keeps my brain stimulated
  • Eat dinner and unwind with the family
  • Spend another hour or so looking for internships that were posted later that day
  • Write for my blog if I have something to say about what I’m reading or experiencing.
  • Go to bed. Tomorrow is a new day, which means new opportunities!
  • Repeat.

While at school, I learned how to read carefully, write, edit, research, and think in different perspectives. However, one thing school didn’t teach me is that while there are jobs out in the real world, it is incredibly difficult to get the job you want. Why? Because employers want people with 5+ years of experience.

Yes, I understand why employers want people who have experience. What doesn’t make sense to me, is how are we supposed to gain experience if no one is going to hire us?! Another thing I understand is internships. In college, I literally did not have the time for an internship. My last three years as an English major consisted of taking four or five literature/writing courses at a time, working two jobs, and trying to find time to breathe.

Also, most internships last anywhere from three months to a year. I think that is an appropriate amount of time to learn things to gain valuable experience. The hard part about internships are that most them (especially the good ones) are unpaid! For me to get a great internship, I have to move out-of-state, find an apartment, work 30-40 hours a week for this internship without getting paid, and then find another job in hopes of being able to support myself. Yikes!

While it does seem like the negatives outweigh the positives, it’s not bad! At least there are positives! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can land an internship that has the opportunity to turn into a full-time career. That would be ideal! The most important thing regarding whether the internship is paid or not, is that it is still experience!

The best thing you can do if you find yourself stuck in the same position I am currently in: stay motivated! I don’t have to wake up early every morning, spend hours looking for internships, read things so I can critically think about them and write about it later; I want to! That makes all the difference.

Hang in there, English major! Something will come our way!