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The Department of English is deeply invested in the success of our students beyond their undergraduate careers. To this end, we offer one-on-one career advising appointments; a host of internship- and job-hunting resources; and evening workshops and other events designed to bring together students, alumni, and other Columbus area professionals. Each term, we also teach a 3-credit-hour, semester-long career preparation course for English majors. The course begins by asking students’ to identify and reflect on their strengths and preferences before inviting them to explore complementary job activities and career fields. Students then examine specific work environments (e.g., corporations, non-profits, government organizations); the value of attending graduate or professional school; and the role that internships, undergraduate research, and networking play in career development and advancement. The course concludes with instruction in how to create strong resumes, cover letters, and portfolios and conduct successful interviews over the phone, via Skype, and in person.
In addition to providing advice and support to students seeking internships, the department grants academic credit toward the English major for internships that allow students to explore potential career fields and/or to acquire the professional skills necessary for post-graduation employment. While English majors may earn upper-level credit for a wide variety of professional experiences, participants in the department’s Professional Writing minor program complete a capstone internship specifically focused around the completion of writing projects for a Columbus area business, nonprofit, or government organization. Many of our students are both English majors and Professional Writing minors, thereby enabling them to complete multiple internships as part of their undergraduate curriculum.
Our 75+ professors study and teach courses on business, professional, and technical writing; film; folklore; critical theory; rhetoric and composition; narrative and storytelling; literacy studies; digital media; linguistics; and every historical period of British and American literature. The department’s creative writing professors offer workshops in screenwriting, fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry, while our faculty in popular culture studies introduce students to cutting-edge approaches to video game theory, comics, graphic novels, science fiction, and fantasy. In addition to teaching small, discussion-based courses, our professors regularly mentor students engaged in independent research and writing projects. Faculty also hold regularly scheduled office hours each week and are eager to involve students in one-on-one conversations about their research and teaching.
The department’s three professional advisors—MaryKatherine and Nadia—are available to meet regularly with students throughout their undergraduate careers and to connect them with academic, personal, and professional support within the department and across the university. The advising team works with students to select their courses each term; to decide on majors and minors that will support their academic and career goals; to explore job and graduate school options; and to introduce students to professors, alumni, and peers who share their research, creative, and professional interests. The team also helps students access tutoring and counseling services as well as a wide variety of other resources here on campus (e.g., disability services, student health, and financial aid).
Most importantly, MaryKatherine and Nadia are accessible to students on a daily basis. In addition to scheduling one-on-one appointments with undergraduates, the team holds daily drop-in hours so that students can seek immediate answers to their questions and/or support during emergency situations. Located in the department’s main office in 421 Denney Hall, the advising team has a combined 20 years of experience advising undergraduates, and each member of the team has at least one advanced degree in the field of English Studies. Alumni Mentoring
The Department of English connects current English majors with Ohio State English alumni through the Buckeye English Alumni Mentoring Program (BEAM). Each participating student is paired with an alumni mentor, and undergraduates at all levels are welcome to participate. Student mentees communicate with their mentors at least once monthly, and because our participating alumni live around the world, these communications take many different forms (e.g., email exchanges, Skype and phone conversations, and in-person meetings). Students are encouraged to seek advice and support from their mentors and to see these interactions as opportunities to find out more about the alumni’s undergraduate experiences, post-graduation career paths, and current work. More information about BEAM, including an interview with a participating alumni mentor, is available here.