~from intern Katie Haggstrom
Double Major: English and Journalism & Media Communication
You mentioned that up until last year you wanted to be a news reporter. What made you change your path?
Like most liberal arts students, I have had several professional identity crises. I always planned on reporting for a newspaper after graduation (and that remains a viable backup plan), but last year I realized my heart wasn’t in it. After working for various newspapers, I found that reporting felt stifling, and was just a substitute for my actual goals regarding more substantial writing. I found that I enjoyed my writing in literature classes and creative workshops much more than reporting, and my English classes were a better fit for my voice as a writer. Being a double major is a great compromise because I get a chance to test my chops in a variety of genres — both professional and creative.
What is your biggest piece of advice for peers or underclassmen considering a MA in English?
Having just finished my applications last month, I urge students to get started early and be selective. First, it is a long process considering the various drafting, editing, and testing that is required. Make it a priority early to ensure your best work is showcased. Second, be aware that the application requirements vary, so you will have to spend time tailoring the documents to each program, so the workload increases substantially with each program you apply to. If you’re like me and are applying while also taking classes, working, attempting a social life, then applying to 10+ programs is not reasonable (or affordable). Try to pair down to the necessities to maintain a shred of sanity.
What’s your favorite book, poem, quote, lyric, genre, author?
Favorite Book: Today my favorite book is Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. That is subject to change tomorrow.
Quote: “Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth” – Albert Camus
Poem: “This World is Not Conclusion” – Emily Dickinson