Vocation and Career PlanningAn English major can do almost anything! This reality provides a great deal of freedom in your career planning, but it can also be overwhelming. Throughout your college experience, the English Department and the Career Center can assist you in thoughtful reflection and planning to help you determine your goals and work toward them.
___ Meet with your advisor. Discuss your interests and reasons for selecting English as your major, as well as any careers that interest you.
___ Explore campus employment related to your major and career interests.
___ Get involved in extracurricular activities related to your interests (e.g., The Concordian, AfterWork, KORD, Djembe, etc.).
___ Schedule an appointment at the Career Center to explore career possibilities related to your major.
Sophomore Year: (All of these plus any you missed your freshman year.)
___ Discuss your vocation with your advisor and faculty mentors.
___ Revisit employment, volunteer, and extracurricular involvement. Are you being challenged?
___ Visit the Career Center to discuss co-op/internship possibilities in your field(s) of interest.
___ Find summer employment/academic pursuits related to your major.
___ Begin preparing a portfolio of your work.
Junior Year: (All of these plus any you missed in previous years.)
___With your advisor, discuss the classes you are planning to take and how they connect with your vocation and future plans.
___ Schedule an appointment at the Career Center to review your résumé/cover letter.
___ Identify and interview people who are doing the type of work of in which you’re interested.
___ Apply, interview, and begin a co-op/internship experience.
___ Take on a leadership role in your extracurricular/campus activities.
___ If you’re considering graduate school, begin researching schools and assembling applications. Determine deadlines. Prepare for admissions test (GRE, etc.).
Senior Year: (All of these plus any you missed in previous years.)
___ If you’re considering graduate school, submit applications (well before the deadlines).
___ Determine the type of position you’re interested in obtaining, as well as a profile for the type of organization with which you’d like to seek employment.
___ Request letters of recommendation from faculty, advisors, and employers. Ask for permission to use them as a reference in the job search process.
___ Make an appointment at the Career Center for a practice interview, job search strategies, and a résumé review before applying for full-time jobs.
___ Attend Career Fairs, employer/alumni presentations, on-campus interviewing, and networking events sponsored by the Career Center or English department.
Marketing Your Liberal Arts Education
As an English major at a Liberal Arts college, you possess the skills and abilities that employers are seeking. The key to marketing yourself is to demonstrate your past success in these areas. For each of the skills below, identify specific experiences or achievements in your life (academic, work, extracurricular) that demonstrate each ability. Keep in mind that the list below should reflect all four years of your college life, but it is a work in progress.
Solid writing and speaking skills
1. 2. 3.
Ability to think critically and creatively
1. 2. 3.
Ability to collaborate and cooperate
1. 2. 3.
A strong work ethic
1. 2. 3.
Demonstrated honesty and integrity
1. 2. 3.
The Career Center has tools and resources to help you with your job preparation.
Examples of resources found on www.ConcordiaCareerCenter.com:
What Can I Do With This Major?
- O-Net: Occupational Information Network
- MonsterTrak Internship postings
- Résumé & Cover Letter Guides
- Timeline for Grad School Preparation
- GRE Information
- LandIt – Job site for MN college students
Examples of Books in the Career Center Library:
- Résumés for First Time Job Hunters by the McGraw Hill Editors
- Résumés for College Students and Recent Graduates by the VGM Editors
- Get Into Grad School: A Strategic Approach by Kaplan Books
- Perfect Personal Statements by Mark Alan Stewart
- One Hundred Best Nonprofits to Work For by Leslie Hamilton
- The Global Citizen by Elizabeth Kruempelmann
- America’s Top Rated Cities by Grey House Publishing
Finding Your Place in the World
Your first job out of college involves much more than just finding a paycheck. As you prepare for your job search, there are many factors you should take into account, including:
Type of position you’re seeking. Read job descriptions carefully. What skills are necessary to be successful in this position? What talents do you want to utilize on a daily basis?
Work culture of the company or organization. Consider what type of company you want to work for – what aligns with your goals and values? Do you want to work for a large or small organization? Are you interested in a corporation, a nonprofit, or a government entity?
Work environment. In what type of daily work environment will you succeed? Do you like a structured routine or a more fluid schedule? Are you interested in a highly professional setting or a more casual workplace?
Geographical location. Job search strategies for a nation- or region-wide job hunt are very different from those limited to one area. Identify which areas or types of areas you’re interested in seeking work.
Salary and benefits. Consider the cost of living in the area you’re planning to reside. Develop a budget of the necessary costs (rent, transportation, student loans, etc.) as well as your occasional/optional expenses (cable tv, gym memberships, travel, etc.). How does the proposed salary range for the positions in your field match your budget? What other benefits (retirement, health insurance, etc.) factor in?
Some career paths chosen by recent Concordia Alumni who were English Majors are listed here:
|Job Title||Type of Organization|
|Client Relations Supervisor||Personnel firm|
|Marketing Coordinator||Public relations firm|
|Product Development Specialist||Apparel company|
|Administrative Assistant||Church agency|
|Accountant||"Big Six" Accounting firm|
|Publishing Assistant||Educational magazine|
|Production Assistant||Public radio|
|Technical Writer||Software firm|
|Marketing/Sales Representative||Electronics firm|
|Citizen Assistance Analyst||State Attorney General’s Office|
|Assistant Editor/Technical Writer||Publishing firm|
|Customer Relations||Healthcare corporation|
|Account Executive||Credit firm|
|Customer Service Representative||Shipping company|
|Supervisor||Word processing center|
|Management Service Analyst||Insurance company|
|Assistant Editor||Trade magazine|
|Communications Specialist||Business firm|
|Membership Development Coordinator||Local Chamber of Commerce|
|Living Service Coordinator||Social agency|
|Accounts Executive||Advertising agency|
|Claims Representative||Life insurance company|
|Assistant Production Manager||Television program|
|Public Relations Junior Copywriter||Bank|
|Sales Representative||Publishing company|
|News Broadcaster||Radio station|
|Marketing Assistant||Wholesale foods|
|Correspondence Clerk||Insurance company|
|Policy Analyst||Higher Education Board|
|Reference Librarian||Public Library|
|Corrections Officer||State Prison|
|ESL teacher||International school|
|Research Information Officer||State university|
|Airline Accounting||Travel agency|
|Editorial Assistant||Publishing company|
|Training Specialist||State university fire service|