The plight of the English major:

Campus career expo edition


Sarah Emily D'Agostino, A&E Editor

Career Expo’s are intended to provide students with networking opportunities to possibly gain internships or even employment after graduation. Bloomsburg University hosts expos that are marketed for certain majors every semester. Their attempt at providing students with these interactions with professionals is a good idea in theory, but the execution of the expos at this university are sub-par and disappointing. 

As an English major, there is a stigma against us that we can go down two routes: writing/editing or teaching. The hardest part about being an English major is telling people that English your major. 

When attending the Law, Legal, and Government expo last week I was shocked at how the professionals attending the event responded to all of the English majors who showed up. English majors are taught how to write well, to read with advanced comprehension, and to communicate in multiple mediums. These are skills that are often sought after for companies that do any type of communicating. 

The number of metaphorical doors that were slammed in my face was unsettling. I was faced with frequent professionals that told me their company was “not hiring teachers” or “I don’t think we have any positions for writers.” All I have to say to that is I am not an education major and I know for a fact that writing is one of the most important aspects of many legal organizations. 

English majors go on to becoming lawyers, politicians, and marketing professionals every day. Do you know why that is? Because English programs place a huge emphasis on being able to use words to incite emotion and conception. Those with English degrees make up over 25% of law students or lawyers according to research done by Seattle Pi.  

Even if we put my qualifications for these jobs aside, the fact that these professionals were so ready to basically laugh at students that were merely trying to attend a career expo to see what jobs there are in the real world was astonishing. I am appalled by the actions of these adults who asked (or were asked by our university) to attend these expos.

A fellow English major also attended this expo and was offered interest by numerous companies. Not because he was an English major though. He asked numerous companies how his degree would benefit the positions that they were speaking about with him and they all came up empty. 

It was quite disheartening to watch. He ultimately left the expo, but it’s terrible that these professionals were all so hasty to make assumptions and ignore the major and passions that English majors do have.

I know that if I was a Criminal Justice major or a Political Science major they would have been eating out of the palm of my hand. Little did any of these professionals know, I am a Political Science minor and have thought very strongly about going into law, not because of my minor but because of my major: English.

I understand that not every government or legal organization is going to seek out English majors, but the fact that they assumed I was going to be a teacher or that their company couldn’t benefit from writers is kind of sad. I know people who have gotten degrees in English and have gone on to be the CEO at major companies or have spearheaded marketing campaigns. 

My English Seminar class made it mandatory to attend this expo and all I have to say is that I am glad it was mandatory. I know that in the real world there are going to be times when you are going to be in positions with people you don’t exactly like and the fact that I continued to talk to each company that was present (no matter how uninterested in me they were) has proved my resiliency and my to focus on what I need to get done to get hired. 

I know that the idea of these expos are to benefit the students, but I think that the university can do a better job at advertising for these expos, informing the participants of all of the majors that will be in attendance, and just do a better job at bringing in more companies and organization that can connect to a wider variety of students. 

Overall, I was disillusioned at this expo and the lack of encouragement for English majors. 

Sarah Emily is a senior English major and is the Arts & Entertainment Editor for The Voice.