Writers at Work– What Can an English Major do for You?


Ashleigh Bethea, Staff Writer

For those of you who missed it, the Writers @ Work forum was a big success. Skye Earls and Claire Anderson gave rousing speeches on what it is like to work for massive corporations and how to maintain one’s sanity while working in high profile careers. These honored alumnae took turns fielding question like how receiving an education at a smaller institution like Presbyterian College affected their transition into the professional world, and what kind of advice they could offer for future graduate on finding work with an English major.

Clare Anderson, who graduated in 2004, spent her time after PC working as a journalist in Columbia. She did work in the city of Harlem and was rewarded with experiences both frightening and enlightening. One of the ways that Ms. Anderson carved her place in the workforce was applying to positions across the country. Her fearlessness and flexibility were key factors to her personal success in her career path. Anderson also noted that PC offered her an effective foundation for writing and analyzing subjects of research.

Skye Earls opened her speech with some good advice to PC students. She encouraged everyone to be open-minded and accepting of changing circumstances. She urged the audience to try many new things and enjoy the experiences of adulthood without getting to hung up on planning. She reminded the listeners that all the planning in the world could come undone in a day, so it is best to be both resilient and hopeful when trying to define your career.

Ms. Earls is a multitalented and well-rounded individual who graduated from PC with minors in Media Studies, Journalism, Spanish, and Political Science. One of her biggest issues in her early career was meeting deadlines and scheduling time was a crucial aspect of life and continues to be so. Ms. Earls admitted that experience, networking, and taking risks were the key elements in landing a good job.  Having a supporter or a person willing to vouch for your efforts and strengths is another tool to success, says Earls. She says also that having a small-school education from PC was beneficial in that it offered her very personal and supportive peers and instructors that she doubts she would have found anywhere else.