Trevor Ellis (BA 2012 English and Political Science)
2012 will serve as a sort of gap year for me. In the next few years, I hope to work in a field related to my degree—perhaps at a newspaper or a polling firm. In the immediate future I would like to take a break from school and do something fast-paced, such as waitering, or work for a youth-run organization. In the long term, I want to teach high school English or work in a job related to public policy. When I was at McGill, my Poetics instructor, Chelsea Honeyman, was outgoing, helpful, and instrumental in providing me with the skills and confidence to complete my English degree. If I had any advice to give to a person graduating with an English degree it would be this: do not expect to enjoy every class or everything you read, but do yourself the favour of attending class and doing the readings; in the end what you will like and what you may not like might surprise you.
Preanka Hai (BA Honours 2011)
In the last year, I have experienced an intense shift from rewriting drafts of my English thesis to completing rigorous corporate finance and strategy courses. Yet there have been consistent themes in this transition from a BA in English literature at McGill to an MSc in Management at London Business School. I can compose business reports quickly and effectively; my peers seek my editorial advice for assignments, cover letters, and resumes. My English degree also gave me the confidence to articulate myself with clarity and concision. This is a skill that is transferable—indeed, necessary—for success in whichever profession you pursue. Managers in finance, consulting, and other industry jobs actively recruit individuals who can navigate ambiguous information and extract defensible findings. The creative element of my English degree has been essential to me as I pursue a career in corporate strategy. Many business paths, including marketing and entrepreneurship, value originality. I adored my four years as a student of literature. As I pivot towards business, the skills that McGill's English department gave me still remain.