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What our grads say

Dianna Symonds, UWO English class of 1977
Managing Editor, Maclean’s magazine
Arts Alumna speaks at Fall Preview 2012: Western Arts & Humanities alumna Dianna Symonds addresses prospective students at Fall Preview 2012. Dianna is currently the managing editor at Maclean's Magazine. (YouTube video)

Anthea Rowe (BA 2002, MA 2003)
Communications Manager, Network for Business Sustainability
A&H Alumni Event: How to Turn Your BA into a J-O-B: Western alumna and English grad Anthea Rowe shares her tips for finding a "real" job - from the mistakes she made to the skills you'll need. Find out what jobs are out there, why HR directors love liberal arts grads, and what you can do today to start turning your arts degree into a meaningful career. (YouTube video)

Faryl Hausman, UWO English class of 1982
Vice President Litigation and Regulatory Affairs, Rothman's Benson & Hedges
“From my perspective, the first university degree should always be an arts degree, where you learn how to read, write and think critically. Not only did my English degree give me a ‘leg up’ in law school, I believe it was my English degree that enabled me to secure senior positions in Corporate Affairs, Regulatory Affairs and Human Resources.”

Brian Francis, UWO English class of 1994
Novelist & Canada Reads Finalist
“My years at Western felt like an awakening for me on a personal and academic level. I was surrounded by great books, engaging discussions and like-minded people. In numerous ways, I look at that time frame as the true ‘starting point’ of my writing career.”

Adela Talbot, UWO English class of 2008
Reporter/Photographer, The Western News
“I always tell people that my English degree didn’t just teach me to read books and poems. It trained me to read situations and people. It taught me to communicate, to think for myself and to think critically, to listen carefully and pay attention to detail. [Western’s] wonderful faculty encouraged and nurtured these skills while fostering my creative intellect.”

Heather Desserud, UWO English class of 2007
Public Affairs Consultant, Bluesky Strategy Group
“My job involves creating brochures, writing for the website, and media relations... With English, you learn how to read carefully, how to turn research into a coherent paper, and you learn to think critically – things that gave me an advantage on the job market.”

Robert Thompson, UWO English class of 1995
Senior Writer, SCOREGolf Magazine
“I'm thrilled to have a degree that adapted well to the changing demands of the business world. Certainly my time at Western taught me how to take a great deal of information, find the most valuable elements and make sense of it — all in a short time. That's a real skill for any journalist, and one of the facets I most value and find useful from my education.”

Terry Warne, UWO English class of 2007
Promotions Manager, CBC News, Current Affairs and Documentaries
“The English degree I earned has proven to be extremely valuable. Being able to communicate well, whether with your words or your voice, will always be critical, no matter what profession one enters. And the ability to think critically--to question and analyze--is also very important, regardless of profession. I would tell potential English majors that an English degree is incredibly helpful in providing a solid foundation from which any career can be built.”

John Mellott, UWO English class of 1983
Business Process Analyst, Logistics Engineering, General Dynamics Land Systems Canada
“Throughout the years, my English degree has been invaluable. All those nasty essay and exam questions with ‘Contrast and compare…’ and ‘Analyze’ enforce modes of thinking that translate into the ability to approach a complex situation, break it down, consider alternatives, and achieve the optimum solution in nearly any context (often before you realize it).”

Jessica Clark, UWO English class of 2006
Marketing Manager, University of Ottawa Press
“Being an English major gave me both the knowledge and the skills I need for my position….

Every day I use the writing skills I developed during my degree to persuade readers, researchers and librarians to buy our books. Whenever anyone asks me about the English program at Western I speak highly of it because I received excellent instruction from my English Department professors.”

Bonita Mok, UWO English class of 2008
Marketing Coordinator, Thomas Allen & Son Publishers
"In publishing I get a chance to work with books, market them, sell them and stand behind them. It is a really fulfilling job. Everyday I use the analytical skills and reading skills, along with creative and flexible thinking I developed doing an English degree at Western. It’s inspiring to know that people are looking for graduates with a general arts degree because we are able to think outside the box."

Department of English - The University of Western Ontario
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