Our alumni have gone on to distinguished and diverse careers in academia and secondary education, journalism, publishing, writing and editing, law, public relations, nonprofit communications, and other professions that require rigorous critical thought, creativity, and expertise in writing and communication.

Here, alumni, faculty, and potential employers can connect with one another, while current and prospective students can learn more about the rich and rewarding places the Master's in English at Georgetown can take them. We've grouped our alumni by profession here for your ease, but note that many of them, if not all, work across two or more of these categories, reflecting the dynamic and interdisciplinary nature of the Master's in English.

If you are an alum of the program and would like to share your professional accomplishments with us, please fill out this survey, or if you would like to connect with others in your field, please contact the Program Administrator. Current students should also be in touch if interested in making professional connections with alumni of the M.A. English program.

ALUMNI SHOWCASE


BUSINESS, DEVELOPMENT & NON-PROFIT

Kathie Fording, MA '89

Consultant, Licenscing/Brand Development | JLK Brand Licenscing 
Westport, CT
Connect with Kathie on her website jklbrand.com

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"It taught me to dig deeper into content, analyze it further, look beyond the writing."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Don't be discouraged that an English degree (undergrad or grad) doesn't "train" you for anything--it trains you for EVERYTHING."


Ben Gross, MA '15

Founder | The Norfolk Group, LLC
Virginia Beach, VA

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"Communication is a key to success. As are critical thinking and historical awareness."


Portrait of Cheryl Kester Cheryl Kester, MA '94

Director of Grants, Fundraising | Walton Arts Center
Fayetteville, AK
Connect with Cheryl on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
At GU I had a special opportunity in that my advisor was very interested in technology and how that would intersect our field. He was especially captivated by this new thing called "the Internet." We tried to anticipate how the Internet would impact the teaching and study of literature, but today's reality was beyond what we could imagine in the early 90s. After I graduated, I immediately secured an administrative position in higher education working in IT, partly because of my early exposure to the Internet. An advanced degree was helpful (if not essential) for being employed by a college at that level. I spent more than a decade in higher education administration, sometimes teaching in the English department. Of course my master's degree was required for that. But my next career change was on the horizon. I was introduced to the grants profession in 1999 and have never looked back. After a few years building that college's grants office, I joined a consulting firm, where I focused my practice on winning federal grants. After the founding partner retired, I acquired the firm, and I still maintain some of my clients even though I have returned to working for someone else. Writing a good federal grant proposal is much like writing a thesis, and sometimes feels like a project as large as a thesis! I once hired an associate who complained that "writing these grants is like writing research papers all the time." Yes. Yes it is.

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
The nonprofit world and philanthropy are often called the "third sector." There are many career opportunities that enable you to leverage your unique skills, education and passions into making a difference in the world, without sacrificing your ability to make a living. It is a huge, influential sector that will probably only continue to grow. Similarly, the grants profession is also growing rapidly as there is great demand not only for qualified proposal writers (asking for the money) but also for grants managers (making sure we spend the money properly).

For those interested in entering the grants profession, I have lots of advice (was a consultant for too long). Find a local chapter of the Grant Professionals Association or the Association of Fundraising Professionals and find some grants professionals who are working in the field. Those chapters offer regular professional development/education and networking. Look for development coordinator positions where you can be on staff with a nonprofit, learn about fundraising, and get some exposure to grants. Offer to intern with a nonprofit, especially if that organization has a grants professional who can mentor you and give you some hands-on experience. Volunteer to write some proposals for a smaller nonprofit who may not have staff resources, but only if you have done your homework and read at least a few books on proposal writing (which is completely different from academic writing). I have a great reading list to offer to aspiring grant professionals, but start with "Winning Grants Step-by-Step."


Ann Frenning Kossuth, MA '90

Youth Programs Director, Environmental Education | Friends of the Middlesex Fells Reservation
Medford, MA
Connect with Ann on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"My Georgetown degree helped me intern at Georgetown University Press, become accepted into the Radcliffe Publishing course, then work for Cahners Publishing Company, and later Merriam-Webster Inc."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"English is an incredibly flexible, helpful discipline - but don't skip Rhetoric or Linguistics!"


ALBERTO LORENZO, MA '14

Assistant Director of Training | Alteristic
Miami, FL
Connect with Alberto on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"The Georgetown English M.A. program was crucial in my professional development. It challenged my writing, my critical thinking skills, and it opened the doors to a network of highly engaged diverse individuals who, like me, had a love for the discipline. To this day, I still keep in touch with a great number of folks from my cohort. I'm also extremely thankful to Dr. Ricardo Ortiz for his guidance and support during my time as a student at Georgetown."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Be flexible, open-minded, and ready to try whatever as long you keep your goal in mind. Keep asking yourself why you want to do this and come back to the drawing board every time things go south."


Robert Shure, MA '76

President, Community Speaker, Funeral Home | Robert E. Shure, Inc.
New Haven, CT

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"Better able to understand individual emotional needs and wants... and help those I serve journey through their respective lives better equipped to endure road blocks and 'road hazards.'"

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Immerse yourselves not only in the the "classics" but equally in global literature, history, socio-economic, religious, and political trends, and be proficient in relating such information by means of the written word (including literature, poetry, journalism) and digital means."


Nathan Tinker, MA '92

CEO | Life Science Network, INC
New York, NY
Connect with Nathan on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"Prepared me to move on to a PhD program--I use MA skills (deep reading and textual analysis; textual synthesis; clear writing; broad research, etc) every day in my career."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Think of your schooling as training--you are developing a unique and marketable set of intellectual skills that readily (if not always obviously) translate into the business world."


Portrait of Caitlin ZinsserCaitlin Zinsser, MA '05

Engagement & Talent Data Analyst | Willis Towers Watson
Oak Park, IL
Connect with Caitlin on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"I have to "translate" data into an understandable and interesting story. Having spent so many years working through critical texts, and making them comprehensible to others, I felt up for the challenge!"

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"A degree in English can take you anywhere - including a career working with numbers in Excel. And that's not a bad thing!"


EDUCATORS, ADMINISTRATORS & EDUCATION TECHNOLOGISTS

Portrait of Dr. Peter AdmirandDr. Peter Admirand, MA, '01

Assistant Professor, Theology & Coordinator of the Centre for Interreligious Dialogue | Dublin City University
Dublin, Ireland
Connect with Peter on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"I still draw upon courses I took in the M.A. program when writing my own books and while teaching university courses such as "Literature and Theology" or "Religion and Gender"."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Perhaps understandably, there is more focus now on job skills, employability, and career choices, but there is also something essential about challenging, life-enriching opportunities, and I believe the M.A. program at Georgetown offers that--and yes, it also offers those job skills and employability aspects for your next big project."


Portrait of Christian AguiarChristian Aguiar, MA '15

Assistant Professor of English | University of the District of Columbia Community College
Washington, D.C.

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"The MA program offered me the opportunity to grow both as a scholar and as an educator. The rigorous coursework I was able to pursue in literary criticism, theory, and working-class studies has given me a firm footing in the discipline. What was much more important for my professional development, though, was the opportunity to take coursework in writing pedagogy within the department and through CNDLS, then apply that in a variety of teaching positions at Georgetown. I was lucky enough to work with the Community Scholars Program as a TA and later as an instructor, to teach in the Institute for College Prep, to work as a tutor on campus, and to pursue other positions that allowed me to develop my own approach to teaching."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Teaching writing requires a sort of apprenticeship, so it's critical that you seek out a variety of teaching experiences. It's great to be a funded teaching assistant, but it's also valuable to teach summer courses, to work with high school students, to do adult literacy work, to work as a tutor or in academic support services, etc. If you want to teach, make sure you're already teaching in some form."


Sarah Bartlett Wilson, MA '02

Instructor, Rhetoric & Composition | University of Missisippi
Oxford, MS

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"TAing and teaching in the Community Scholars program was the first time I felt "at home" in a classroom. I knew then that I wanted to teach writing, and the best lessons I learned about teaching came from those classes. My mentors were fabulous, and the course in teaching composition with Jim Slevin was life changing."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Get as much experience as you can in as many different settings as you can."


Lisa Chinn, MA '09

Lecturing Fellow, English Literature | Duke University
Durham, NC

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"I'm currently working as a writing and poetry scholar after graduating from Emory University with a PhD in English. Georgetown was integral to my success at Emory and beyond. Georgetown honed my abilities to read and interpret difficult texts while it also fostered a deep sense of the life of the mind both inside and outside the classroom."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Have a strong backbone, and really focus on what you can bring to your field."


Laurie Cooney, MA '88

Freshman Admissions Recruiter | University of California-Berkeley
Los Angeles, CA


Maggie Debelius, MA '93

Director of Faculty Initiatives, CNDLS & Teaching Professor, English | Georgetown University
Washington, D.C.


John DiMoia, MA '98

Associate Professor, Department of Korean History | Seoul National University
Seoul, South Korea
Connect with John on LinkedIn


Portrait of Molly FreitasMolly Freitas, MA '08

Assistant Professor, English & Deputy Director, Graduate Scholarship Program | United States Military Academy at West Point
West Point, NY

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"The Georgetown M.A. program provided the necessary bridge for me to move from undergraduate work to the Ph.D, which I went on to complete at Tufts University. I was positively challenged by my professors and peers alike, and provided institutional support to pursue my interdisciplinary academic interests in American women writers and the visual arts. I was also fortunate to receive various positions in the department and the college administration--including as a student director of the Writing Center and as a teaching assistant--which helped me in my eventual academic career path, which combines teaching, research, and administrative leadership."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Do everything. Put your heart and soul into your classes (and make sure to take ones outside of your specialization) and thesis, but also work in college administration. You will leave with a diverse set of skills (and possibly a bunch of new interests!) which will both prepare you for a Ph.D. program and make you more marketable down the line."


Anne Gala, MA '18

English Teacher, Secondary Education | Purnell School
Tewksbury, NJ
Connect with Anne on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"Georgetown really allowed me to gear my course work toward my ultimate goal of teaching secondary English, and the faculty was incredibly helpful in suggesting courses or projects that would prepare me for the classroom and also look appealing to future employers. I would say my capstone project especially, and the ability to adapt a humanities project on a digital platform, intrigued a lot of schools that I was applying to, which made me stand out as a candidate."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"I would encourage teachers to talk with prospective employers about their experiences outside of the classroom while at Georgetown, because I found that the schools I interviewed with were very interested in the part-time jobs I had while I was a graduate student. I worked with undergraduate students on service and immersion trips through the CSJ and also helped with poetry events at the Lannan Center, both of which were similar to the programs many private schools have or are interested in having. These positions also showed that I was interested in engaging outside of the traditional classroom environment, which is often required for teachers at many schools."


Jim Gilroy, MA '79

Retired | Former Director Yates Field House at Georgetown University
Falls Church, VA

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"Right out of school I worked as a news correspondent for a small county newspaper in upstate New York, so all the writing prepared me well for that. I eventually ended up with a career in campus recreation [...] To lead any organization we need to develop clear communication skills, both written and oral, and I don't know if there is any better preparation for that than through a Master's program in English."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"I still feel that English, and any liberal arts program can prepare anyone for any career. We learn to read critically, to think, to communicate clearly."


Matthew Gorgans, MA '14

Teacher, K-12 Public Education | Norcross High School
Dunwoody, GA

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"The Approaches to Teaching Writing course was particularly useful for me as a high school teacher. I'm also grateful that I completed the capstone option and chose an applicable topic -- I'm still using some of my research."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Volunteer at a local school -- practical experience is the most important."


Emily Jones, MA '15

High School English Teacher | Middlesex School
Concord, MA


Lauren Kaczmar, MA '08

Academic Advisor | The George Washington University
Washington, D.C.

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"The program gave me the writing and research skills needed to be a polished professional and a successful Ed.D candidate in the field of Higher Education Administration."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Gaining teaching and tutoring experience, as well as having strong organizational and administrative skills are essential in helping students navigate their college experience."


Portrait of John Paul KanwitJohn Paul Kanwit, MA '96

Director, Campus Writing Program | Indiana University
Bloomington, IN
Connect with John Paul on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"The English M.A. program provided me with a good idea of what graduate study in English would be like. As a result of my experiences in courses at Georgetown, I decided to pursue a Ph.D. at IU Bloomington. As I continued through my Ph.D. and after, Georgetown faculty provided me with invaluable advice and guidance. Above all, Georgetown faculty inspired me to love Victorian literature, the Early Modern Period, and teaching students how to write well."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Be open to a range of experiences in teaching and administration at all levels, including in secondary schools. While a master's program in English literature might seem fairly narrow, it provides the analytical and writing skills to succeed in a variety of fields."


Shea Kinser, MA '13

Summer Education Program Advisor, Stony Brook After-School Program & CIS Summer Programs | Community Preservation and Development Corporation
Washington, D.C.


Tara Kohli, MA '13

Operations Director, CESR East | University of Southern California


Portrait of Anna Kruse, MA '09Anna Kruse, MA '09

Assistant Director for Special Projects & Strategic Integration | Georgetown University
Washington, D.C.
Connect with Anna on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"During the English MA program I discovered the 'digital humanities,' which I found fascinating and energizing. That served as a bridge to learning technologies and pedagogy more generally. I can't overstate how important I've found my background in English to the work I have done since graduating. Each position has entailed communication design, project management, and partnership/relationship management, and facility with language and nuance has been key on a day-to-day basis."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Never stop expanding your skill base--go both wide and deep. Grow skills in all the technology you can, and most importantly learn how to learn technology. Get comfortable with ambiguity and shifting priorities. Take initiative and learn how to prioritize (urgent is not always important, so don't let urgent overtake your day). Perhaps most importantly, find the team dynamic specific to your organization and bring to it whatever value it's most lacking: harmony, motivation, creativity, support, decisiveness."


Katherine Larsen, MA '86

Professor, Writing & Media Studies | George Washington University
Hyattsville, MD
Connect with Katherine on LinkedIn 

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"I went on to get a doctorate; now teach at the University level."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Love teaching and the life of an academic or rethink your career choices."


Todd Lidh, MA '92

Provost & Dean of Faculty | Lees-McRae College
Newland, NC

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"I learned from scholars both how to read and how to teach."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Seek out people who enjoy the work and learn from them; if someone expresses negativity about the work, make a note and move on."


A. David Lewis, MA '02

Instructor/Manager | MCPHS University
Arlington, MA
Connect with David on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"Working intensively with faculty helped ready me for the academic rigors of doctorate study. "

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Be open to sideways progress. Innovative, transferable skills are valuable — most professionals don’t rise directly into their positions."


Portrait of Sean MooreSean Moore, MA '95

Associate Professor of English, 18th Century British & Early American Literature | University of New Hampshire
Newburyport, MA
Connect with Sean on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"[It] [d]efinitely [helped] academically, but it also had great placement into Ph.D. programs. I never had theory as an undergraduate, and the M.A. program definitely gave me that. Moreover, the professors at Georgetown really cared about me, and mentored me to the extent that I could get into a good Ph.D. program."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Pursue a Ph.D. in something like book history so you can work in a library or similar institution if there are few faculty positions in the future. If you want to be a professor at a research university, you have to go to one of a handful of graduate programs in the top 10 or else your application will not rise to the top. Also, take advantage of the many opportunities to work in universities and other cultural institutions in D.C. Leaving D.C. may have been one of the worst mistakes I made in my life, but I only did so to go to a program down south."


Rachel Morgan, MA '10

Assistant Professor & Writing Center Director | University of Providence
Great Falls, MT


Portrait of Alex Myers, MA '15Alex Myers, MA '15

English Teacher | Phillips Exeter Academy
New Hampshire
Check out Alex's work at AlexMyersWriting.com

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"The classes at Georgetown got me to read material that I would not have read on my own--and also got me to revisit texts that I hadn't read for years. Both of these aspects were really healthy and helpful in getting me ready to teach English to high school students."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Be flexible and willing to stretch your areas of expertise. I teach at boarding schools, which expect you to live in a dorm and coach as well as teach. So be ready for that... and also be ready to be a generalist. For instance, if you studied African-American literature, be open to the idea of teaching an African-American history course--be confident that your Georgetown education prepared you for that!"


Portrait of Jen Nguyen, BA'09 & MA'14Jen Nguyen, BA '09, MA '14

Director, Student Center for Academic Achievement | California State University East Bay
San Francisco, CA

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"I am currently the directory of a hybrid math and writing center at a Bay Area public university. I feel very indebted to the MA program. I now teach an approaches to tutoring and learning class that is based off of Norma Tilden's infamous Approaches to Teaching Writing class - her choice of readings and our class discussions have been the backbone of my philosophy in working with students. Additionally, I opted to do an online capstone project with Professors Jennifer Fink and Maggie Debelius, which has been absolutely instrumental to my professional life. A vast majority of university work is conducted online - running a website, tracking data of center usage, online tutoring, etc. Creating a website - despite some of the headaches - gave me the technical expertise to complete projects like re-doing my center website. Who knew an MA English program could be practical?"

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"If you're interested in heading into the writing center (and generally university administration) world, I would highly suggest you take on opportunities in grad school to 1) work in a writing center, 2) work on web development either for websites or online tutoring platforms (it's all the rage!), 3) spruce up your quantitative skills because assessment is a huge buzz word in higher education, and 4) immerse yourself in as much pedagogical reading as humanly possible (there's never enough time in the day to delve into great readings when you're working). I would also suggest surrounding yourself and staying connected with the wonderful professors in the Georgetown English department. I was so lucky to have been surrounded by them twice - as undergrad and grad student - and feel very influenced (in a good way) by Norma Tilden, Maggie Debelius, Jennifer Fink, David Ebenbach, Dana Luciano, and Dinaw Mengustu."


Patricia O'Connor, MA '84

Professor Emerita, English | Georgetown University
Vermont

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"The foundation I gained with my MA in English with a specialization in Composition assisted me greatly in my ability to teach in the challenging world inside a maximum security prison education program. I later explored the power of words in the prison setting through further study in sociolinguistcs, earning my PhD in 1994."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Take a broad array of courses; seek out internships, practica, and engaged practice in the community."


Monica Peloso, MA '91

School Board President
Colorado Springs, CO


Portrait of Eurae Muhn Primosch, MA'13Eurae Muhn Primosch, MA '13

Part-Time English Professor | Montgomery College
Gaithersburg, MD 

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"My coursework in the English MA program at Georgetown had a prominent impact on my ability to be successful in my current position. Courses like Approaches to Teaching Writing and Approaches to Teaching Literature provided a platform for me to join the current discourse surrounding reading and writing pedagogy at the post-secondary level. The literature and excellent teaching practices I was exposed to in my other courses, ranging from Dickens to Human Rights & World Literature to Class Fictions (just to name a few) have also shaped my current curriculum and teaching philosophy. Finally, the experiences I had while working as a Graduate Writing Associate and Writing Center Tutor deeply influenced the impetus behind my Capstone project, which served as a springboard for pursuing, attaining, and thriving in my role as an English professor at Montgomery College."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"I encourage you to reach out to other alums who are already teaching at community colleges--some may be on hiring committees and others would be happy to provide more information about their departments. Also, don't be afraid to directly reach out to department chairs. Sometimes this is a more efficient way to begin the hiring process."


Portrait of Dr. Victoria N. SalmonDr. Victoria N. Salmon, MA '87

Associate Dean for Academic Graduate Programs, Emerita | George Mason University
Alexandria, VA

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"James Slevin was my mentor and served on my dissertation committee at George Mason University. His course on composition theory inspired me to teach at the college level and to work with the professional development of faculty. I began my career at NOVA and moved to GMU to teach, mentor others. I began teaching and researching composition theory and it’s relationship to graduate students’ writing theses and dissertations. Beginning 1998, I taught Mason graduate students in multiple disciplines on the dynamics of writing terminal degree papers. From there, I worked in various colleges at Mason. Finally I became the associate Dean for Academic Graduate Program’s in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. I created 7 graduate programs for the College and mentored students and faculty. When I retired the College had 9 highly regarded graduate programs in the arts. The University endowed an award in my name. At this point, I retired from from the administrative position, but I still teach graduate students in one of the College’s programs. Professor Slevin encouraged me, taught me, pushed me to move forward."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Consider every opportunity. Believe in serendipity. Believe in yourself."


Jennifer Sauer, MA '94

English Teacher | EAGLE School of Madison
Madison, WI
Connect with Jennifer on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"The program's emphasis on the theory and philosophy of teaching writing has been instrumental in helping me to contextualize my teaching and to make it responsive to students' individual needs and realities. The opportunity the program afforded to hone my critical thinking and practice my own writing gave me the confidence and the skills I needed to be adaptive and flexible."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Don't pigeonhole yourself! I never intended to work in the business world, so when the opportunity presented itself, I was hesitant. While it wasn't my "forever career", I learned a great deal about myself, my preconceived notions, and a sector of our economy that I knew nothing about. If you hope to teach, develop and maintain your own writing practice (I'm speaking to myself here, too...). It's so much easier to be an authentic teacher of writing and reading if the students know that you are working and growing along with them."


Heather Schell, MA '91

Assistant Professor, English | The George Washington University
Washington, D.C.

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"[There was] excellent mentorship, far better than in my undergrad or PhD experience. I'm still friends with several of [the] faculty from the MA program."


John Sebastien, MA '99

Vice President for Mission & Ministry | Loyola Marymount University
Los Angeles, CA
Connect with John on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"After completing my Master's degree at Georgetown, I went on to earn a Ph.D. in Medieval Studies at Cornell University. From there I landed a job at a sister Jesuit institution, Loyola University New Orleans, where I held a number of positions between 2004 and 2017, including tenured professor of English, Deputy Director of the University Honors Program, Director of the Common Curriculum, and eventually Vice President for Mission and Ministry. As a student of religious literature during my time at Georgetown, I developed skills and competencies that prepared me to take on all of these academic and administrative roles. I never expected to be a Vice President for mission and ministry, but my commitment to Jesuit education and my experience as a faculty member made me a surprisingly suitable candidate for promoting values-based education both within and beyond my campus community."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Higher education is a field in transition at best and in crisis at worst. Current master's students with an interest in pursuing an academic career either as a teacher-scholar or administrator should seek to diversity their skill sets as much as possible and be open to a variety of ways of contributing to a university community. The coveted tenure-track faculty position is becoming an endangered species, but there are meaningful careers to be had in higher education for those who are flexible and creative."


Kyle Stedman, MA '07

Associate Professor of English, Rhetoric & Composition | Rockford University
Rockford, IL
Connect with Kyle on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"The first year of the M.A. was hard for me: I was reading theory I was unfamiliar with (and which everyone else seemed to understand better than I did); everything was new and hard. But after a semester, I started to realize how lucky I was: hard as it was at first, I was laying crucial groundwork for professional English studies in the context of fellow students and faculty who actually cared about me and who actually wanted to help. I hear of other schools where people feel isolated, lonely, or bullied, and Georgetown's English department was always the opposite."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"If you want to pursue a PhD in Rhetoric and Composition, choose a PhD program that gives you a broad base of knowledge, lots of teaching and leadership opportunities, and a strong understanding of the different kinds of pressures put on writing professionals at different kinds of schools. I know at the small, liberal arts university where I teach now, I wish I had come in better acquainted with WPA and Writing Center work, but I'm glad I took classes in lots of areas of writing (since I get to teach so many different things here)."


Jennifer Steele, MA '97

Associate Professor of Education | American University
Washington, D.C.
Connect with Jennifer on LinkedIn


Hannah VanderHart, MA '12

Doctoral Candidate, English & Early Modern | Duke University
Durham, NC


Portrait of Carolyn Wakulchik, MA '13Carolyn Wakulchik, MA '13

Instructional Design Lead, Product and Training | General Assembly
New York City, NY
Connect with Carolyn on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"The English MA program at Georgetown prepared me for my career as an instructional designer in an ed tech start up because it allowed me to take e-learning courses in CCT and create a capstone project. I had a writing and curriculum studies concentration; I needed the hands-on experience working with relevant technology in order to transfer my knowledge into job-ready skills. The ability to create a capstone project was a game-changer. The reality is, instructional designers work with digital products every day. Getting a chance to produce a website prior to going on the market enabled me to practice and get feedback on the type of work I wanted to do upon graduation. The fact that GU offered this alternative to the traditional thesis helped me graduate job-ready, with a portfolio and digital product in hand."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"While at GU, enroll in the e-learning courses in CCT and all of the tech workshops offered by the library. After graduation, challenge yourself to keep learning and keep making your skills relevant. Join tech meet ups. Learn to code. There are free and low cost workshops popping up everywhere. It's all about closing the gap between your education background and the kind of skills needed in the data and tech-driven education technology / alternative education industry. The professors, staff, and support made all the difference! I worked at CNDLS upon graduating, and it was a great way to hone my skills, work on faculty ITEL projects, and learn from instructional designers who were already in the work force. I'm definitely grateful for all of the support along the way, and I still keep in touch with my CNDLS colleagues to this day."


Cal Woodruff, MA '11

Teacher, English (AP Language/Composition) | Indian Springs School
Birmingham, AL

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"I have taught college and high school composition and literature since graduating in 2011. My coursework and mentors at Georgetown provided me an invaluable scholarly and pedagogical background."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Research various states' requirements for secondary education certification. In many states, you will need to complete an additional M.A. in order to teach in public schools, which account for the vast majority of jobs in secondary education. While such programs do provide valuable training, a professional degree program differs significantly from a research/scholarly one like an M.A. in English. Independent schools do, however, frequently hire graduates from programs such as ours, regardless of teaching certification. In fact, there are numerous great placement firms that can help connect you with excellent independent schools."


Dr. Kimberly J. Wright, MA '87

English Teacher | Deerfield Academy
Deerfield, MA

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"It paved the way for me to get my Ph.D. The mentors I had at Georgetown were fantastic role models for what excellent teaching is."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"If you hope to teach at a boarding school, you must be able to coach a sport or advise another extra curricular activity."


ENTERTAINMENT & MUSIC INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS

Portrait of Sucheta SachdevSucheta Sachdev, MA '03

Music Supervisor, Television & Film
New York, NY

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"My Georgetown degree provided me with the tools to think critically about the use of language; in my case, it's in television scripts and lyrics in music. As a Music Supervisor, my job is to create the soundtrack for television and film. Sometimes we use music with lyrics, in which case the use of language is dependent on the song choice, and sometimes we use only instrumental music, where we rely on the script to tell the story. My role is to make the viewer feel, to connect them more strongly with the story, and to inspire."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Adapt, adapt, adapt."


JOURNALISTS, WRITERS, AND EDITORS

LAURA BASSETT, MA '09Portrait of Laura Bassett, MA '09

Politics Reporter | Huffington Post
Washington, D.C.
Follow Laura on Twitter 

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"I cover women's rights issues. The MA program strengthened my writing skills and gave me a strong background in feminist and class theory that informs my politics reporting every day. I frequently have to appear on TV and on panels to discuss and debate women's rights issues, and the experience I acquired participating in classroom discussions and giving presentations in the MA program greatly contributes to my comfort speaking publicly on these topics." 

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"You have to develop a portfolio of clips to land a journalism job. If you are able to do an internship at a publication you respect, do that. Otherwise, write freelance stories with unique angles on news topics of interest to you and pitch them as widely as you can. The more you are able to get published, the better chance you have of landing a full-time reporting gig."


Stacey Church, MA '15

Technical Writer
San Diego, CA 

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"Georgetown's English M.A. program equipped me with the keen eye for detail and research strategies that transfer well to a variety of career paths, which for me happened to be technical writing. My career is reading and writing intensive, and being able to pore through complicated material, pull out relevant details, and create a variety of documents has served me well. I also think that the seminar style classes, paper presentations, and conferences significantly developed my oral presentation skills, which have come in handy a number of times in my career!"

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"If you're specifically looking into technical writing, there are plenty of certificate programs and online courses that can help you land a job in the field. When applying for positions, mention projects you've done that involve non-academic writing. Your GU background goes far on your resume, but being able to show that you can tackle different types of projects gives you that extra competitive edge--many technical writers (myself included) are also tasked with content marketing, communications, and a variety of other projects that involve "wearing many hats." For some companies, a background in a specific scientific or engineering discipline is required. If you're like me and that's not the case, don't be disheartened. There are plenty of companies that just need good writers who can communicate complicated material simply. It also helps to enjoy learning how things work!"


Portrait of Colin Dwyer, MA '13COLIN DWYER, MA '13

Producer/Editor | NPR
Washington, D.C.
Connect with Colin on LinkedIn 

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"It may never have trained me how to edit audio or arrange a home page, of course, but it prepared me for life in a newsroom in every other meaningful way. It taught me how to think critically about complex issues, to find angles into inquiry beyond the obvious. It taught me how to conduct myself in intensive conversations with extremely intelligent peers — to quash the impulse to feel intimidated, to learn from them by listening, and to feel confident enough to add thoughts of my own when they're worthwhile. It taught me how to defend ideas I believe in, to answer professors (nowadays, editors) whose sharp questions are intended less to cut me down than to help sculpt those ideas into something better." 

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Don't be daunted by having a lack of experience, either in journalism or radio. I certainly had none when I started. At NPR, at least, the staff is a motley group, and I suspect it's the same situation at other organizations, as well. The people at NPR come from a vast range of interests and backgrounds; what unites them, generally, is just a knack for words (which any Georgetown MA student has already) and a persistence that occasionally verges on the foolhardy." 


Elisabeth McKetta, MA '04

Author/Freelance Educator | Self-Employed/Harvard Extension School
Boise, ID & Cambridge, MA
Check out Elisabeth's work on her website

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"Georgetown's English M.A. was essential to my life as a writer and educator: I learned from great professors (especially Gay Cima, Matthew Tinkcom, Bruce Smith) who were devoted in equal part to students and to their own research and writing. These joint devotions inspired me, and Georgetown gave me the time, knowledge, and skills to begin pursuing a life of author/educator. Georgetown helped me become a better reader, which in turn helped me become a better writer."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Figure out what you are willing to compromise on and what you aren't. I was willing to compromise on a full-time/tenure teaching job in order to place writing at the center of my life.

Forge your own path. If one way feels blocked, try a different way. If a big publisher doesn't want your book, try a smaller publisher or publish it yourself. If you don't get your dream teaching job right out of grad school, use the skills you've learned to share your knowledge in a different way, through tutoring, editing, or leading private classes out of your living room.

Say yes! Over and over and over, to any professional-related job anyone asks you do to. I taught writing workshops to 5th graders, kindergarteners, senior centers. I said yes to research positions, magazine journalism jobs that paid in pizza coupons, and anyone who asked to publish anything I had written. I try always to keep yes as my default, because one opportunity leads to another, and there are so many ways to build one's skills."


Portrait of Mark MianoMark Miano, MA '90

Editorial Director, Educational Media | PBS Education
Washington, D.C.
Connect with Mark on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"I am a graduate of the five year AB/MA program in English Language and Literature/Letters program at Georgetown. I started taking graduate classes as a junior, allowing me to earn my Master's degree in just one year of graduate school. The program was instrumental to my career in journalism, nonfiction storytelling, and educational media production. I not only discovered great works of literature, but was also challenged by incredible professors to think critically, write clearly, and consider a variety of viewpoints and experiences different from my own. I came out of the program a changed person."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Don't buy into the myth that an English degree is useless in today's job market. Critical thinking, communication, adaptability, and creativity are valuable qualities in any career."


Ann Parks, MA '14

Editorial Director | Georgetown University Law Center
Washington, D.C.

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"I had already gone to law school and had a career in publishing/journalism/communications before entering the M.A. program in my 40s. The English M.A. program did launch me into a very competitive Georgetown Law LL.M. program in Global Health Law afterwards, since I finished the English M.A. program with high grades and a master's thesis relating to disability. Even with Georgetown Law connections, a career in law and journalism, and a lot of other strengths, I never would have gotten in to the LL.M. program without the English M.A. degree. I would thus advise students to at least consider the marketability of their thesis or capstone project: Dickens and disability, Dickens and law, or Dickens and human rights will translate to a number of future careers. Dickens and spontaneous combustion may not. Also, between the M.A. program and my full-time job, I was used to doing an amount of writing that would be impossible for most people. After writing 30 pages per class in the English M.A. program, and holding down a full-time writing/communications job, writing in the LL.M. program was (almost!) easy."

What's your advice for recent alums who hope to go into your field?
"Don't listen to anyone who puts down English as a major or a field of study. And above all else, do not put yourself down and say things that disparage what you study or what you do for a living. Do what you love. If you don't respect English as a field of study, no one else around you will, either. Be proud of it and fight for it."


Portrait of Bridget Harrington Rector, MA '08BRIDGET HARRINGTON RECTOR, MA '08

Owner of Tall Sister Writing and Editing | cofounder of Coterie Denver
Denver, CO

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"The time I spent as a teaching assistant and as a tutor in the Writing Center helped me hone my skills as an editor. And my internship at Georgetown University Press provided great insight into the world of publishing." 

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"It's intimidating to hang your shingle as an editor or writer--there isn't a graduate program that will give you the title, so you have to assume it for yourself. So my best advice is to tell everyone you know that this is what you're doing, and then start small with any projects that come in and build from there. It does help to develop some sort of specialty or angle, though part of the beauty of freelancing is not having to overcommit to a specific topic or genre. Then do really excellent work so you continue to get word-of-mouth referrals!" 


Jennifer Shoop, MA '09

Blogger | The Fashion Magpie
New York, NY
Connect with Jennifer on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"Part of my blog revolves around a virtual book club; I regularly lean on the literary analysis and teaching assistantship skills I developed as an M.A."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Be authentic."


William Triplett, MA '81

Writer-Editor Specialist | Office of Inspector General, US Postal Service
Arlington, VA
Connect with William on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"[It provided me with a] solid grounding in language and literature."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"The more you read, the stronger you'll be in just about any field."


LAW, PUBLIC POLICY & GOVERNMENT PROFESSIONALS

Sharon Discorfano, MA '94

Writer/Animal Protection Attorney
New York

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"[It] refin[ed] my skills as a critical reader and writer, the program prepared me to take on a range of roles from writer and educator to strategy and consulting."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"When you're working in advocacy and mostly with nonprofits, it's important that you have a clear sense of what you value and prioritize... and stay true to those ideas. Passion and discipline go hand in hand."


Jared Feuer, MA '03

Chief Business Officer | Welcoming America
Atlanta, GA
Connect with Jared on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"Helped me develop my communication skills and provided a rich understanding in identity and cultural expression that drives my work in advocacy."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Network and be willing to take most positions, even if they are not ideal. You can always switch into another role once you're in this difficult-to-enter field."


Kristin Hutchins, BA '88, MA '92

Of Counsel | Littler Mendelson
San Francisco, CA


Stephanie Kim, MA '92

Senior Special Counsel | U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Washington, D.C.

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"Critical thinking and analysis; conveying ideas clearly."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Public service is rewarding and meaningful!"


Anthony Pirrotti, MA '15

Associate Dean, School of Foreign Service | Georgetown University
Washington, D.C.


MEDICINE, HEALTHCARE & SOCIAL SERVICES

Portrait of Warren KrackovWarren Krackov, MA '89

Medical Director, Regional Medical Officer, Editor | Azura Vascular Care
Tampa, FL
Connect with Warren on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"While my career might seem far from an English M.A., the critical thinking and communications skills I learned a[nd] honed at Georgetown have been among my biggest assets. Indeed, I still edit and write; and the skills I attained at Georgetown have enabled me to succeed in healthcare."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"It’s a big leap to be sure, but it is doable. Once you’ve learned to think critically and to communicate, you can apply those skills nearly anywhere, I believe. Furthermore, I work with dozens of managing editors who are not themselves directly trained in a health-related field, but who are very active and are quite successful, so this is another avenue."


DANIEL MARCHALIK, MA '16

Physician | MedStar Health
Washington, D.C.


PhD STUDENTS

Harry Burson, MA '15

PhD Student, Film & Media Studies | University of California Berkeley
Berkeley, CA


Katie Collins, MA '12

PhD Student, English & American Literature | Washington University in St. Louis
St. Louis, MO


Portrait of Kelly Coyne Kelly Coyne, MA '17

PhD Student, Film & Media Studies | Northwestern University
Evanston, IL
Check out Kelly's website at https://www.kellycoyne.com/

How did the English MA program prepare you for your doctoral work?
"The English MA community has continued to be one of the most important assets Georgetown gave me. It is rare to find a group built on intellectual and professional development that is both collaborative and supportive, and I am still frequently in touch with my Georgetown mentors and fellow alumni. Because of the program, I always have a place to turn when I need feedback and guidance."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"As an academic, it’s a good idea to enter into the discourse as soon as you can, because going to conferences and submitting papers to journals allows you to get outside your head and meet people who will challenge and expand your thinking."


Cara Dickason, MA '15

PhD Student, Film & Media Studies | Northwestern University
Evanston, IL


Portrait of Mallory Findlay, MA '14

Mallory Findlay, MA '14

PhD Student, English | University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC

How did the English MA program prepare you for your doctoral work?
"I taught high school for a few years after earning my BA, so I felt a bit out of touch with academics. My coursework at Georgetown helped me update my knowledge of trends and methodologies in the discipline. The professors who mentored me provided detailed feedback on papers, which helped me decide on a specialization and develop my thinking. The work I did with those mentors allowed me to craft a writing sample and personal statement for applications to PhD programs, as well as get a head start on professionalization by putting together presentations and attending conferences. Without the experience I gained at Georgetown, beginning a PhD program would have been overwhelming. Instead, when I arrived at Chapel Hill, I felt confident and prepared."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"If you decide this path is right for you, be sure to research various programs extensively. Find universities that have several faculty members who share your interests. Reasonable funding and numerous teaching opportunities are also things to consider. Be prepared for a grueling application process and a few setbacks, but keep in mind that the process is idiosyncratic; apply to a number of places, but restrict your applications to programs you’d be enthusiastic to attend. Last but certainly not least, the personal and social aspects of graduate study should be considered. Apply to programs in locations where you’d care to live for several years, and try to get a sense of how the other graduate students interact with one another before committing to a program."


Annabelle Haynes, MA '17

PhD Student, English | Princeton University
Princeton, NJ

Connect with Annabelle on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your doctoral work?
"The English M.A. program helped me decide if I wanted to pursue a PhD and gave me the confidence and support necessary to successfully apply. The practical training and mentorship I received as a Teaching Assistant in the Community Scholars Program helped me secure a job as a lecturer at Howard University. Furthermore, my other positions teaching and working in the Writing Center provided me with a range of valuable professional experiences. I was also able to work in other departments and keep sharpening my research skills in International Development."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Don't be afraid to ask your professors and mentors for advice."


John James, MA '17

PhD Student, English | University of California Berkeley
Berkeley, CA

How did the English MA program prepare you for your doctoral work?
"The courses at Georgetown exposed me to a wide range of scholarship and theory in my fields of interest; writing the thesis allowed me to develop a novel intervention in the field, as well as a strong writing sample for PhD applications; and my advisors not only pushed me to be a better scholar, they helped me to successfully navigate the competitive process of applying to top-tier PhD programs."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Work hard, read a ton, take yourself seriously as a scholar, and do everything you can to establish productive relationships with mentors and peers."


Portrait of Claudia Marion Allen, MA '15Claudia Marion Allen, MA '15

PhD Student, English | University of Maryland
College Park, MD
Connect with Claudia on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your doctoral work?
"Matriculating from a smaller university in southwest Michigan, Georgetown exposed me to literary works I had not had the privilege of coming in contact with prior. With its overly competent faculty and staff, I received the necessary mentorship and direction shaping me into a better a thinker, a better writer, and hopefully a better scholar. I am beyond grateful to Dr. Robert Patterson for serving as my thesis advisor, to Dr. Gay Cima for being a second reader, and to Dr. Angelyn Mitchell for being my mentor. Without these crucial individuals my dreams of pursuing my doctorate would remain a figment of my imagination."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Continue to seek out experienced mentorship from those already in the field as well as those leaving it in retirement. Their knowledge, counsel, and connection will do nothing better than shape you for the journey that is academia."


Portrait of Steven Minas, MA '15Steven Minas, MA '15

PhD Student, English | University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA

How did the English MA program prepare you for your doctoral work?
"I attribute my success at Georgetown to three distinct though interrelated features of the program: the distinguished faculty, access to local scholarly resources, and the program’s structure, which allows students to pursue various areas of interest with considerable focus. When I arrived at Georgetown, I knew that I wanted to work on John Milton’s poetry under the guidance of Daniel Shore and N. K. Sugimura. But what I didn’t anticipate before arriving, and what truly prepared me to pursue a PhD in English literature, were the myriad ancillary opportunities that arose while I was in the program. Such unforeseen opportunities, along with the wide selection of seminar courses and year spent researching and writing my thesis, allowed me to understand the workload and complexity of graduate work in English studies, but also helped me to learn the art of time-management, a skill that translated into careful and judicious scholarship."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"If someone were to ask my advice about the best way to prepare for a PhD in English literature, I would tell him or her to first get an MA at Georgetown University. I would suggest this without hesitation because Georgetown’s two-year terminal MA provided me with the necessary training, guidance, and encouragement to begin my PhD work."


Danbee Moon, MA '13

PhD Student, English | University of Washington
Seattle, WA


Portrait of Jacob Myers, MA '18Jacob Myers, MA '18

PhD English | University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
Connect with Jacob on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your doctoral work?
"Before Georgetown, I had been working outside of academia for four years. The program's coursework brought me up to speed with our field's most recent research and gave me the tools to locate and name my intervention in literary criticism. Georgetown deepened my understanding of English literature and prepared me to produce meaningful scholarship. Because of the M.A. program, I entered my Ph.D. program knowing how to establish what's at stake in my research and how I can articulate why my work matters to the academy and general public alike."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"If you want to pursue a Ph.D. or a career in academia, start by talking to Georgetown faculty in your field. Georgetown's faculty contains some of the sharpest and most well-connected scholars in the country. Because the English department centers its attention on M.A. students, the faculty here are fully invested in your growth, and they can help clarify your interests, point you in the direction of like-minded scholars and criticism, and contextualize your interests within the academy. You should also take advantage of Georgetown's ample professionalization resources. With graduate-level conference funding, competitive fellowships, and work opportunities at non-profits and in the public humanities, Georgetown provides its graduate students with plenty of ways to become a better scholar outside of the classroom."


Portrait of Jewel PereyraJewel Pereyra, MA '18

PhD Student, American Studies | Harvard University
Cambridge, MA
Connect with Jewel on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your doctoral work?
"The English M.A. program and the greater D.C. area provided endless opportunities for professional growth. As a Lannan Associate, I was able to conduct research with Samantha Pinto and Robert Patterson and aid them with their book manuscripts and articles. I also worked at the Writing Center and peer mentored many undergraduate and graduate students on their writing projects and critical thinking. The best part was learning from brilliant and generous professors who cared about my development as a scholar. In particular, Christine So’s “Race, Law, and Literature” and Carolyn Forche’s “Documentary Poetics” seminars pushed me to think about literature through more interdisciplinary and social justice directions. Two standout moments: presenting a seminar paper at a poetry conference at Oxford University and serving as a Curatorial Research intern at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center!"

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"American Studies is a dynamic field that gives you freedom to explore many exciting disciplines. Before pursuing the Ph.D., I recommend gaining experience in various research and public humanities capacities: such as museums, editorial and curatorial work, law/policy, mentorship and education, or journalism (print, radio, digital). These experiences help build skill sets and a competitive portfolio, especially if you end up not wanting a career in academia. As you begin looking at schools, research as much as you can about the programs you are interested in. You’ll want to get a feel of the program’s culture and see if your prospective project matches the programs’ strengths. Build relationships with faculty, and have as many mentors and friends read your writing samples and statements of purpose. Ultimately, schools are looking for innovative and intentional researchers who have the potential to break new grounds in their fields of interest. Cultivate your talents and don’t be discouraged--you never know where you’ll get in!"


PUBLISHING, MARKETING & COMMUNICATION PROFESSIONALS

Portrait of Laura Chasen, MA '10LAURA CHASEN, MA '10

Associate Editor | St. Martin's Press
New York City, NY
Follow Laura on Twitter

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"The program certainly opened me up to a breadth of new writers and allowed me to hone my reading tastes, something that's integral to my current job for sure. On a practical level, it definitely prepped me for the massive amount of reading that I do as an acquisitions editor. I became a much faster, more discriminating reader in the program. Since the reading pile in my job is endless, this has been invaluable (and thankfully I love to read!)." 

What's your advice for recent alums who hope to go into your field?
"Reach out to people in the publishing field. Ask for informational interviews, or try to get an internship. I stumbled into an internship at a literary agency while in the Georgetown program and it ended up being crucial in securing a job after graduation. But you don't need to stumble like me, go ahead and be proactive. If you love to read contemporary literature, like fast-paced, dynamic work environments, and have good people skills and a creative mind, definitely think about the publishing field. You'll be surrounded by books and writers and book-loving people. What's better than that?" 


Portrait of Elizabeth Forney, MA '10ELIZABETH FORNEY, MA '10

Production Editor | The Urban Institute
Connect with Elizabeth on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"First, the obvious, participating in the rigor of academic research and writing field bettered my own writing and research skills. I use these skills every day as I read and think critically about the work I edit. Further, I understand the pressure the authors are under and the investment they put into their work. The experience has helped me develop positive relationships with authors." 

What's your advice for recent alums who hope to go into your field?
"Learn what it is like to be edited. Give your work to your peers and your professors asking for feedback. Then listen carefully to how that feedback is delivered. In editing, it is important to have a balanced tone and remain flexible where appropriate. Authors are more likely to heed your remarks if they understand them and feel they can talk to you about them. Having your own work edited both puts you in the author's shoes and allows you to observe different methods for feedback. Take notes on what works and what doesn't."


Denis Gaynor, MA '96

Head of Online Marketing, Echo Products | Amazon
Seattle, WA

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
[It t]aught me how to read and write critically.

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
Intern in the field, [and] follow the latest trends.


Irene Jagla, MA '10

Content Marketing Manager | The Museum of Flight 
Seattle, WA
Connect with Irene on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"After the M.A. program I thought I wanted to be a professor, so I did a PhD program, which ended up showing me that academia was NOT for me. However, I love writing and seeing real-world impacts of my writing, so marketing is ideal, and I learned how to write well from Dr. Luciano and Dr. Tilden at Georgetown!"

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"You're going to do REALLY well, better than you think. All the skills that you developed writing seminar papers--researching, editing, arguing, collaborating--will set you above other candidates."


Portrait of Ryan Walter, MA '12RYAN WALTER, MA '12

User Experience Designer | Harvard Business Review
Somerville, MA
Connect with Ryan on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"More than anything, the English M.A. program made me an empathetic, inclusive thinker. It forced me to consider perspectives outside of my own and read context into even the most seemingly straightforward situations. In the workplace, that makes me a valuable sounding board when developing digital experiences, not taking for granted, say, a registration form that only makes room for two genders."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Don't be shy about emphasizing your soft skills. Employers will value you as a critical thinker and storyteller. I never cease to be amazed how many non-academic interviews start with employers noting my English M.A. They're looking for people who can push boundaries and speak with authority."


Jon Weisman, MA '93

VP Corporate Public Relations | Showtime Networks
Los Angeles, CA

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"I think it made me a deeper thinker and it also had unintentional effects in steering me into entertainment."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"Networking and making great use of any free time you have."


TRAINER, LIFECOACH & WELLNESS

Martha desilva, MA '89

Principal & Founder | Nascent Leadership Coaching, LLC.
Washington
Connect with Martha on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"I have used my writing skills (and taught writing) throughout my HR career. I'm also a playwright and honed my dramatic chops while at Georgetown (my graduate thesis was a book of my own poetry and much of that poetry was dialogue). I've had a number of plays produced around the country and was also nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play. I still consider getting my master's degree in English to be one of the very best decisions of my professional life."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"I have a coaching certification from Georgetown and am happy to discuss that career path. As to my English degree, I did it because I love writing and I love literature and not for any particular career reason. After I earned my degree, I was an adjunct professor for five years at George Washington and I also have thoroughly relished my second career as a playwright. If you love research and want to teach at the University level, go for a PhD and do it at a top institution. If you want to write, find ways to do it in your day job, or find a way to make it a priority in your second job."


Portrait of Talane MiedanerTALANE MIEDANER, MA '89

Founder of LifeCoach.com, Author | LifeCoach.com
United Kingdom

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"I have had three books published by McGraw-Hill and credit GU with giving me the writing skills for that. One of them hit the best-seller lists as well!"

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"You'll need to get coach training as well and I'd suggest Coachville.com or CoachInc.com. Although GU now has coach training available too."


Kristine Weber, MA '89

Director, Yoga Therapy | Subtle Health, LLC
Asheville, NC
Connect with Kristine on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?
"It helped me develop excellent writing, speaking and critical thinking skills."

What's your advice for alums who hope to go into your field?
"I was really unclear about what I wanted to do after graduation. It took me several years to understand how I could best utilize my skills and talents. After graduation, I ended up spending several years living in Asia and during that time, I parlayed my M.A. into ESL teaching. Once I became clear about the direction of my career - mind-body health education - I was able to use my speaking and writing skills to gain recognition as an expert in my field. I now travel and teach internationally. My Georgetown degrees have been a foundation for the success I've achieved in my field."