Jennifer Brown (B.A. ‘93, M.A. ‘95), Jera McGraw (B.A. ‘98), Carly Stithem (B.A. ‘14, M.A. ‘16), and Brooke Williams (M.A. ‘11) share their career paths at the 2017 Alumni Connections Career Panel.
When completing our 2017 Alumni Survey, graduates could signal interest in assisting us with a career panel or online visit for graduate and undergraduate students in English. Brooke (Schultz) Williams (M.A. ’11) was one of many alumni who offered an enthusiastic “Yes.” Last November, Brooke returned to K-State for the first time since graduation to join fellow alumni Jennifer Brown (B.A. ‘93, M.A. ‘95), Jera McGraw (B.A. ‘98), and Carly Stithem (B.A. ‘14, M.A. ‘16) for our 2017 Alumni Connections Career Panel. Following that conversation, we asked Brooke to put into writing some of her thoughts about the link between her English degree and her career path since graduation.
It had been six years since I graduated from Kansas State University, and when I first thought, “How have I utilized my English degree?” I wasn’t sure I could provide the “right” answer to those students asking me the question. As someone who had never formally studied literature to the degree that Kansas State forced me to study, my mind was opened wide to the various paths one can take with an English degree. It wasn’t until I sat on the Alumni Panel with three other English degree holders that I realized it’s not about having the right answer to the question. It’s about utilizing the degree to fit your chosen path.
Ever since my graduation from K-State in May 2011, I have taught online college courses, I’ve worked at an internet marketing company, and, for the past five years, I have worked for Indiana’s dairy farmers as a communications liaison. Thanks to my English degree, I had a strong foundation for each job. Most recently, as a Communication and School Wellness Manager, I am more confident when it comes to written communication (an email to a business partner, a letter to an award-winning teacher, or a blog post on our company page) as well as verbal communication (producing a weekly segment with the Indianapolis Colts for our health and wellness initiative, Fuel Up to Play 60). Due to the abundant amount of reading, writing, and full class discussion while in Manhattan, I can wholeheartedly say I would not be the same professional I am today without the attention to detail that my K-State professors paid to the work I submitted and the feedback they provided.
Whether you become a technical writer, go on to law school, teach at a community college, or end up working for hard working farmers, a degree in English Literature can open doors to numerous possibilities if you are willing to open your mind and follow the path that personally feels right.
– Brooke (Schultz) Williams (M.A. ’11), 1 February 2018
Brooke (Schultz) Williams (M.A. ’11) is the Communication and School Wellness Manager for the American Dairy Association of Indiana, where she can join her passion and knowledge about sports and nutrition with her skills as a communicator.