Sun. Jun 16th, 2024

Not sure what you want to do with your English degree? Tired of hearing comments about your future as a barista? Interested to hear about a few of the many careers that are available to students with a degree in English?

Check out the annual “What Can You Do With an English Degree” alumni panel on Tuesday, April 1 from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. in the Philips Autograph Library. You will be amazed at the wide variety of opportunities available for English majors.

This annual event is organized in large part due to the efforts of Dr. Eleanor Shevlin. Through the English department’s vast alumni records, Dr. Shevlin maintains contact with West Chester English major graduates and invites various alumni to visit the school each year to share their experience in the professional world to current West Chester students majoring in English.

The diverse experiences of each of the alumni panel speakers in their post-graduation plans and career choices allows each individual to offer advice, guidance, and suggestions to current English majors and students interested in pursuing an English degree who might feel pressure from multiple facets to decide on a career.

An English degree often has a stigma of being useless; however, English degrees offer much more than first meets the eye. An English degree enhances several highly marketable skills, including writing, communication, research, and critical thinking. These skills can be applied to nearly all fields, as the panel speakers will soon illustrate. Past speakers have found success in such feilds as business, law, education, and freelance writing.

This year’s alumni speakers similarly come from diverse feilds. The panel will consist of such speakers as Casey Oscar, a System Support Tech Analyst for Boeing; Brandon Walcott, an attorney at the Law Offices of Brandon D. Walcott, LLC; Beth Kline, the Director of Continuing Medical Education at the Institute of Musculoskeletal Science and Education; and Carla Hostetter, a librarian and published author.

Each speaker will be given the opportunity to talk about their personal experience for brief segments, sitting along a table in front of the audience. Following the presentations, there will be an opportunity for those in attendance to ask the speakers questions about their career choices and, in turn, receive answers and advice from each of them. The Q&A session is also an opportunity to speed-network with the alumni speakers.

Students pursuing an English B.S.e.d. major are also encouraged to attend. Even those students interested in hearing more about what an English degree has to offer are encouraged to attend.

The panel is sponsored by West Chester University’s Department of English and the Twardowski Career Development Center.

If you are unsure about your future career path, or if you are just looking to explore new career ideas, make sure to check out the “What Can You Do With an English Degree?” alumni panel. You will be surprised at the opportunities that await you.

Jennifer Appell is a third-year student majoring in English writing. She can be reached at

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