Featured Alum: Jennifer Littlejohn
The Value of a Degree from St. Thomas: "The long-form more traditional English classes developed my strategic thinking and writing, while my creative writing classes strengthened my creative capabilities."
Advice for a Communications Career: "Accumulate as much experience as you can while you’re in college, whether it’s through a club, internship, or part-time job. Try to gain experience in different areas. If you are passionate about writing, try out different types of writing – advertising, PR, etc. First-hand experience has helped me most to find the right fit for me.”
Communications career skills are closely related to that of marketing and advertising, but have much broader applications. Communications careers can be found in private, for-profit companies, but also within non-profit public sectors as well. Potential job titles can include Communications Manager, Event Planner, Public Relations Manager, Sales Representative, or Grant Writer.
Communications Career Tips from Alumni
“Seek out internships and job experiences in the field as soon as possible to build skills and relationships, and to find which flavor of communication work fits your interests.” – Erica Skinner, Communications Manager
“The best thing you can do is meet people and expand your network. Connect with alumni, go on informational interviews. One connection can transform your career.” – Carolyn LaViolette, Communications Manager at MN Society of CPAs
“Take in as much as you possibly can. Even if you want to write professionally for the rest of your life, take graphic design classes, take political science classes, etc. I think it's incredibly important to be as well-rounded and adaptable as possible today. Don't shy away from expressing yourself and putting a portfolio together in college, either. If anything, it’s a great thing to keep around to see how your work has grown and transformed over time.” – Chloe Johnson, Marketing Communications Manager
Other Majors and Minors you can pair with an English degree:
Alumni reinforce the importance of taking a wide range of literature and writing courses. In addition, they’ve singled out courses they’ve found particularly useful for their current positions.
ENGL 121- Critical Thinking: Literature and Writing; ENGL 255 – Introduction to Imaginative Writing; ENGL 280 – Introduction to English Studies; ENGL 300 – Theory and Practice of Writing; ENGL 304 - Analytical and Persuasive Writing; ENGL 305 – Linguistics: English Language Study; ENGL 323 – Writing Creative Nonfiction; ENGL 326 – Professional Editing; ENGL 421/422 – Literary Magazine Practicum; COJO 111 – Intro to Communications & Journalism; COJO 211 – Communication Theories and Methods
Society of Professional Journalists; Sigma Tau Delta; Writing Center; Internship with Summit Avenue Review; Editor for LOGOS Journal in the Catholic Studies Department; Aquinas Scholars; Students for Justice and Peace Club; Tommie Media
Additional Activities and Training:
Internships with fashion companies; Internships with sports magazines