Business and Entrepreneurship
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About one third or more of our majors graduate and end up working in the for-profit sector. Most often our graduates lean towards research, marketing, sales, advertising or public relations/social media work. Some help develop website content for companies. Others work in editing and publishing. (For editing and publishing, please look at the career section Arts, Media & Entertainment). The research and presentation skills, oral and written communication skills and general ability to analyze material and make sense of it comes in handy in many industries. Additionally, our department's unique concentration on diverse voices and the exploration of politics, socio-economic issues, environmental concerns and gender issues leads to graduates who work well with a variety of people and consider many perspectives--which is critical in sales and marketing work. Our creative writers think outside the box and are able to tell stories in many modes: social media, journalistic,business format, radio podcasts, scripts and fiction.
Perhaps the most important things to consider as you choose an area of business is whether you want direct contact with people face-to-face or want behind-the-scenes administrative responsibilities. Do you want to live in a big city or small town? How formal of a work environment do you want? Are you comfortable and excited by working with numbers (budgets, analytics,etc.) or would you prefer to work mostly in words and oral communication? This will help you think about possible minors or double majors, experiential opportunities and that first job that will be a good fit.
Many business owners see English major and are excited to know you are coming to them with strong writing and communication skills. Others don't understand the transferable skills you possess and won't list English among the majors suited for a position. Do not be put off by that! Apply for the job and make sure your resume highlights your ability to read and analyze complicated documents, to communication orally and in writing and your ability to work independently. Use words in your resume that highlight your coursework or skills in new media, social media, journalism as the resume scanners will catch that and let you through to the interview where you can truly show off your English-honed communication skills.
Some possible minors/majors/certificates to consider:
The key with deciding which other major, minor or certificate to add has to do with your confidence and skills in math-related coursework. Business majors and minors require quite a bit of math in Economics, accounting, finance,etc. If you are less comfortable with numbers and still want to work in business setting, then you should consider the majors that have more to do with communication skills. Arts Entrepreneurship Certificate is a great option for those wanting to manage performing arts venues or studios. If you are okay with doing "some" math, then you might pick the middle ground with Enterprise BA or Entrepreneurship certificate.
Communication studies, Journalism, Fundraising and Philanthropy Communication Certificate, Entrepreneurial Management Certificate, Enterprise BA, Certificate in Political Risk Analysis, Business Administration minor, Economics minor or major, Informatics, Computer Science, Art minor or major, psychology, sociology, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese
TIP: Please spend winter and summer breaks learning career enhancing software through Lynda (available to students). Google Analytics would be useful for marketing, for example.
Public Relations: If you are interested in Public Relations work you should take CNW writing courses, possible Communications minor and consider courses listed from Journalism department: here
Nikki Blacksmith is a graduate who went on to graduate school in a different field and has ended up in researching the intersection of psychology and business.
In 2017 Nikki wrote: "I am currently an instructor and doctoral candidate studying Industrial-Organizational Psychology. I used to be an I-O psych consultant at Gallup, Inc before deciding I wanted to return to academia. I'll be applying for faculty tenure track positions next year. I also co-author a quarterly column (our last article here: http://www.siop.org/tip/jan15/pdf/MA.pdf) for The Industrial Psychologist ( http://www.siop.org/tip/) and am newsletter editor for PTCMW.org. Those two things may be of interest to the English students.Here is my website if you want more detail: nikkiblacksmith.com"
"Kimberly Yates, '10 English major with a certificate in Entrepreneurship, began her business because she loves to make people happy. Following the advice of her entrepreneurship lecturer to "do what you love, do what you know" she decided to open her own business. Upon graduation she purchased Gramps Frozen Custard in St Charles, IL which she soon transitioned into Kimmer's Ice Cream. Her second scoop shop opened in Wheaton, IL in May of 2015. Yates and her husband are currently workign on opening a third location in a western suburb of Chicago." (published Lifelong Innovation by JPEC, Annual Report Fiscal Year 2017)
Steven Raines '16 for information about working in sales
Also see Kate Torno for alum contacts in advertising, direct marketing and other fields. See videos on computer in corner of 308.
Pitch (an alum works there, see advisor to get contact information for Laura Keseric)
There are too many businesses to list but we will post some unusual ones to get you thinking:
Dallas Zoo (Texas) for their Communications/Marketing Intern (unpaid)
Speedway Motor Sports (Fort Worth, Texas area) has an unpaid Marketing Intern job