The following Saint Vincent College English Alumni have gone on to exciting, interesting, and diverse careers after they graduated. Whether you wish to pursue teaching, law, publishing, or writing, the English Department will prepare you for any career path that you might choose and work with you to make your dreams a reality.
Ben Summers, Doctoral Student
I recently was accepted to The College of William and Mary's Computer Science doctorate program! I'll be teaching and studying the insides, outsides, and communication networks of computers for the next 3 to 5 years!
I am lucky enough to have received some very substantial scholarships and a teaching aide position so I'm not going to have to pay much (or really anything) for school. It's a sweet deal and I can't express how excited and honored I am to be accepted to such a prestigious school. This summer I'll be attending concerts, reading as many books as I can get my hand on, and working as a full-time software engineer for Iron Bridge Integration!
On the English side of my two majors, I was recently published in Pittsburgh Craft magazine and have continued to write for Sunken Treasures Music Blog. I hope to continue writing about beer, music, and movies because, really, can I have a bigger dream job? And now that people are actually paying me, there's no reason to stop!
I absolutely believe that my English major helped me get where I am going. SVC gave me the best possible nerd to "normal person" translating skills; I know that my ability to explain complex computer science concepts in simple terms is a major advantage. Additionally, my training in English has given me some great opportunities in non-computer science areas. My time writing for The Review gave me the journalistic experience I use everyday for Sunken Treasures and my other music writings. I know that my articles, which have been spotlighted by The Flaming Lips, Gotham Publishing, and Grave Mistake Records, are chosen because of the eloquence, creativity, and technical skills stressed by the English program. My journalistic experience opened the door to my publications with Pittsburgh Craft magazine, writing as the London AIFS Student Blogger ( http://blog.aifsabroad.com/author/gruntbladegmail-com/ ) when I studied overseas (as well as my publication for the AIFS official blog ( http://blog.aifsabroad.com/2013/05/23/a-very-rock-and-roll-tour-of-london/ ). It's amazing how much I've had published in the few years I've been here and I cannot express how thankful I am for everything I learned and was given by the department. Not many students, no matter what the school, can say their copy was published as a cover story for a magazine that has a distribution in one of the major cities of the US!
I'd love to pass along Sunken Treasures Music Blog where I write as Marco Esquandolas ( http://sunkentreasuresmusic.com/ ) and mention all the achievements of the Coverlet Concert Series to bring major Pittsburgh bands to SVC for free. It's the perfect cross of my organizing, music love, and time as a writer for Sunken! And, in my opinion, is the coolest thing that has happened on this campus.
Jenna Miley, International Educator
After I graduate this May, I will jet off to France for the next year. I was accepted as a scholarship student at the International College in Cannes, which is on the beach in the South of France. At the college, I will work for about twenty hours a week in the library in order to compensate for daily French language courses, meals, and lodging for three months. I was also accepted into the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF), which is sponsored by the French Ministry of Education. At the end of September, I will start a job teaching English at the secondary level in the Academy of Créteil, a region in the suburbs of Paris. Also during the fall, I plan to start my applications for graduate school. I would like to pursue a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, and my long-term goal is to become a college professor.
Pursuing an English major has definitely helped me achieve my immediate plans for after graduation. The Teaching Assistantship Program in France is very competitive and I know that my major in English greatly enhanced my application. Obviously, learning proper grammar rules is fundamental to teaching English as a foreign language; however, the English major encompasses much more. During my time at St. Vincent, the English Professors aided me in becoming a more confident public speaker, a more inquisitive reader, and a more skillful writer. My English major has also allowed me to cross cultural barriers and explore the world. As an undergrad, I was fortunate enough to study abroad in both France and Russia and to study each county’s respective national literature. Ultimately, my major in English has effectively prepared me to reach all of my life goals and has opened up the world to me for exploration.
Joseph A. Carroll, Law School Student
After graduation, my next major step is law school. Starting this fall, I will be attending the Penn State University Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Until the semester starts on August 18, I will continue working as a legal assistant at my family’s law firm, Carroll Law Offices, in Somerset, Pennsylvania and continue working as a church service pianist and organist at Grace Lutheran Church in Stoystown, Pennsylvania and Trinity Lutheran Church in Hooversville, Pennsylvania. In the long-term, I obviously hope to graduate from law school and pursue a successful career in the legal profession, meaning that wherever I end up practicing law and whatever type of law I end up practicing, I genuinely, honestly, and ethically help my clients to the best of my abilities.
I am exceedingly confident that my English major was instrumental in my success up to this point and will be invaluable to all of my future achievements. My English coursework has taught me to think deeply and write concretely.
Specifically, the methodology of two classes which form the backbone for literary analysis, Literary Criticism I and II, mirror the common pedagogical method used in the study of law of learning the origins and theory of law and the more practical application of the modern manifestations of that history and development. Beyond teaching the history and progression of literary criticism, these classes required me to write essays and term papers which demanded mastery of both the theoretical underpinnings of a given method of literary criticism and the specific application of that method to a text. The formation of well-written arguments, analyses, and the application of intricate, historically developing methodologies in relation to complex, lengthy texts will help to prepare me for the similar task presented in the law of examining complex fact patterns and legal principles with the goal of constructing a meaningful argument to further my client’s needs.
In particular, in my 40-page Senior Thesis, I canvas a large body of scholarship on Ernest Hemingway in order to contribute to the current understandings of Modern masculinity and religious symbology. This cumulative project of the English major allowed me to refine and enact the innumerable lessons I learned about writing, reading, and thinking in my earlier coursework.
The skills I developed as an English major and relationships I formed with faculty were vital to my success on the LSAT, my non-English courses, my job as a legal assistant, and my acceptance at ten top-tier law school—seven of which offered me full tuition scholarships.
Yet, likely even more valuable than these tangible benefits of my English major, the faculty and other students of the English department have drastically expanded my awareness of and appreciation for literature, movies, music, visual art, politics, religion, the usage of medieval weaponry in class, Klingon Shakespeare, beagles, babies, and baseball. I find that my everyday appreciation for the world around me has been legitimately and, often, oddly improved by my English major. Beyond developing a nearly irresistible desire to correct grammar and style errors in advertisements, newspapers, and Facebook posts, my English major experience has helped to foster my general curiosity and thirst for knowledge which I consider essential to being a lifelong learner and allows me to more fully appreciate references and allusions to various cultural and artistic works made in daily conversations, TV shows, movies, and books. The value of the relationships I have formed with the remarkable, quirky, and compassionate faculty and students of the English department cannot be overstated.
Overall, my English major has sharpened my ability to read, write, work, and think—skills that lay the foundation for success in practically all walks of life, whether it be law, teaching, business, music, poetry, or parenting.