After reviewing the videos on iMovie in order to start making a collaborative video for the English department and interviewing more people after these reviews, there are certain ideas that I have noticed almost every alumni touches on. The most common shared idea is that in the job market, it doesn’t matter what you major in, but how you use your major to sell your skill sets. Essentially, most alumni believe that your undergrad degree does not determine your career but what you decide to do with it will. This can be proved not only through the anecdotes of individual alumni but by the diversity of their careers. Reid Benes designed helicopter cockpits. Susan Butterworth works on QVC selling gardening tools. Scott Barsotti writes plays that are put on around the country and Megan Flanagan works in a software start-up as a PR manager. Of course, many alumni that I have interviewed attended some kind of graduate school in order to specialize in their fields but their ability to do well in these vastly differing fields was in part a result of their Denison English degree.
Subsequently, most alumni mention the myth surrounding English majors and their limited career options (teaching or making coffee) and almost all of them advise against believing it. In fact, the biggest struggle most alumni faced was not finding a career in their desired field but deciding what career path they wanted to follow. There are so many options open to a liberal arts student that it can be difficult for a graduate to choose their career. Additionally, some alumni advise current English majors to try multiple fields of work before settling into one position. I have spoken with few (if any) alumni who were dissatisfied with their career or choice in major.