English Alumni 'Alt-Ac' Speaker Panel to Take Place Nov. 18

Department of English

The graduate program in the Department of English will offer a speaker panel event focusing upon alternative-academic, or "alt-ac," careers for graduate students in English and other areas of the humanities.

The presentation, followed by a Q&A session with panelists, will take place at 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18 in Kimpel Hall 102.

In a recent article published in Inside Higher Ed, Jennifer Polk and L. Maren Wood advised that one of the reasons graduate students do not pursue nonacademic careers is that they "do not know how their skills transfer to the world outside the academy."

This is a problem because "employers outside academe care little about degrees and other credentials. What matters most to them are the skills and knowledge you've gained through relevant work experience."

Polk and Wood offered three strategies for effectively promoting graduate-school skills outside of academia: "acquir[e] the language and professional style appropriate for your target job sector"; "translate knowledge into work experience"; and "focus less on hard skills and more on soft ones."

While this sounds good in print, it's even more persuasive when current graduate students can meet and hear from graduate alumni who have already succeeded at applying all three strategies, and others, to secure satisfying and well-paid professional positions in local industries and start-ups, non-profit organizations, public libraries, writing labs, and entrepreneurial ventures.

For that reason, we are excited to have the following alumni from the graduate program in English visit with our current students:

  • Jackie Lawrence, J.B. Hunt
  • Kim Marquez, Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
  • Shirley Rash, Shirley Rash Editing
  • Ashley Robinson, Interrobang
  • Jessi Schnebelen, Walton College of Business Communication Lab
  • Morgan Scholz, B-Unlimited
  • Elizabeth Walker, Walmart
  • Autumn Weese, Rogers Public Library
  • Ian Whitlow, Tyson Foods

Students in all areas of the humanities are welcome to attend. Pizza will be served.


Leigh Sparks, assistant director of the M.A. and Ph.D. programs
Department of English
479-575-5659, lxp04@uark.edu


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