Sarah-Inman.jpgSarah Inman

“Once the habit of writing is ingrained, it can be practiced anytime,” says Sarah Inman. Inman teaches English at Delgado Community College, a Louisiana school whose student body consists of an underserved and unprepared population.  Inman admits the work can be difficult at times, but she nevertheless enjoys the fulfillment of working with a diverse student body. “As a writer I think I provide sound advice to students because I know their academic weaknesses, and, oftentimes, student writers face the same challenges professional writers do.”  Inman admits the grading isn’t always easy. At times, it can be soul-crushing.


Nick-Childs-140wide.jpgNick Childs

As a writer, director and story-builder, Nick Childs is one of the creative powerhouses behind many award-winning and well-known ad campaigns and films.


noah-ghent-3-smaller-140wide.jpgNoah Charney

Charney followed critical acclaim for The Art Thief with his non-fiction best-seller Stealing The Mystic Lamb: The True Story of the World’s Most Coveted Masterpiece, which tells the criminal and art history of Jan van Eyck’s Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (Ghent Altarpiece) , which Charney says is “the single most important painting ever made.”


m-fitzgerald-photo.jpgMeaghan Fitzgerald

A week after her graduation in 2008, Meaghan Fitzgerald moved to London. While Fitzgerald had no initial plans for the move, “three days off the plane, [she] met two young men who had just graduated from the London School of Economics and had begun a technology startup company.” One week later, Fitzgerald started as a marketing employee for the company, and she’s worked there ever since.


JRandzio140wide.jpgJesse Randzio

A post-graduation hike on Vermont’s Long Trail inspired Jesse Randzio to become an architect. About the experience, Randzio says, “when you sleep outside for a month you really begin to appreciate the essentials of shelter.” Of course, Colby doesn’t offer degrees in architecture, so the English-major-turned-aspiring-builder had to construct his resume from the ground up. He did this by teaching himself the quintessential visual design program AutoCAD and accepting an internship at Bumpzoid, a renovation company in Brooklyn, New York, where he compiled a solid portfolio. Randzio then enrolled in London’s Architectural Association School of Architecture (AA) for a 5 year Masters’ program.


RachelTobie140wide.jpgRachel Tobie

Rachel Tobie graduated from Colby in 2004, and now works in development and communications at Thomas A. Edison High School in Oregon, a private school for kids with learning differences. At Colby, Tobie was a member of Professor Peter Harris’ English class that founded the Colby Cares about Kids mentoring program. Tobie feels well-suited to the professional environment at Edison, a school that “empowers students with learning differences to experience academic success and personal growth, while preparing them to succeed in the future.” Tobie organizes the school’s donor database and fundraising events, and manages its social media platform. Most recently, she coordinated the school’s annual “Partner with Thomas Edison Breakfast.” The event drew nearly 400 guests, raising over $150,000 for financial aid, professional development, and technology updates for the school.


 

MatLebowitz140wide.jpgMathew Lebowitz

Mathew Lebowitz, founder and creative director MLCreative, a media agency, graduated from Colby in 1987 with honors in Art and Creative Writing. After Colby, Lebowitz’s creative writing talent earned him admission to the renowned Iowa Writer’s Workshop at the University of Iowa, where he earned his MFA in Fiction. Though creative writing would remain Lebowitz’s passion, he explored post-graduate careers in graphic design. Having worked as a designer for several media companies which found only minimal success, Lebowitz pursued freelance work in graphic design. From there, he built his own creative agency that gradually harnessed more clients and work through a very much organic business process.


 

JuliannaWilson140wide.jpgJulianna Wilson

For Julianna Wilson, a Colby alumna of 2008, the art of writing has become quite inseparable from daily life. “What’s most important to me is making time to write. Before work each day, I wake up at 6 in the morning and dedicate a few hours to writing. On productive days, this routine energizes me for the day ahead because I’ve already accomplished something that is personally rewarding,” says Wilson.


 

campbell-140.jpgJohn Campbell

“When we first started ASI, our biggest challenge was getting people to believe in us, getting admissions staff and heads of school to believe that two college students could, in their free time, identify, prepare and place students from one of the poorest and most politically fragile countries in the world,” says John Campbell, a 2009 graduate of Colby College. He is also the cofounder of the Afghan Scholars Initiative, or ASI (www.afghanscholars.org).


 

simon-140.jpgRachel Simon

“In one of my final workshops at Colby, Ira Sadoff said that the people who were the best writers in that class would not be the people who went on to publish books of poetry,” says Rachel Simon. “Eleven years later it is true.  The two best writers from that class are now a physician and an actor/singer.  I felt inadequate then, but found my footing in the world of poetry.” Her poetry classes at Colby College taught her “both how to read and write poems,” “discipline and workshop skills,” and provided “models of how writers live.”


 

hoogs-140.jpgRebecca Hoogs

Inspiration is very important to Rebecca Hoogs, a poet and the program director of the Seattle Writers in the Schools (WITS) program. WITS is “a literary arts education program which matches public elementary, middle, and high schools (as well as a few hospitals) with Seattle-area creative writers for year-long artistic residencies” in order to inspire students to write.


 

fajardo-140.jpgFidel Fajardo-Acosta

“Morning, sunlight, solitude, coffee, writing, pacing, writing, pacing, and yet more pacing and writing,” Fidel Fajardo-Acosta says of his writing process. Evidently this is a productive practice, giving rise to books such as Courtly Seductions, Modern Subjections: Troubadour Literature and the Medieval Construction of the Modern World (2010), and The Serpent in the Mirror: A Collection of Poems (1992). Fajardo-Acosta describes his work as “non-fiction, critical and imaginative explorations of the significance of literature,”


Jane-140.jpgJane Eklund

“Working for a newspaper is like this: Do a couple of phone interviews Wednesday afternoon, crank out a story in two hours, slap it on a page Wednesday night. Thursday morning, people are reading the story in the paper. Friday morning, the paper is lining their cat box. Obviously, the cycle is quite different for creative writing, and hopefully the cat box part doesn’t apply, but that practice of just getting the words out there and then being able to let them go is really freeing,” says Jane Eklund.


 

boyle-140.jpgGerry Boyle

“I absorbed a lot of people in my years as a newspaper columnist, roaming around, inserting myself into people’s lives. Now the characters just pop into my head, jumping out of that cauldron of humanity. I’m like a little kid with imaginary friends. Except I get paid,” says Gerry Boyle, author of the Jack Morrow mystery series, which includes nine books so far, as well as two other books in a different series. (read more…)


 

barber-140.jpgJennifer Barber

At Colby, Jennifer Barber developed ” a good work ethic” and a love of poetry, working with Peter Harris and Ira Sadoff who shared ” their own poetry and their knowledge of the writing process, with all of its joys and vicissitudes.” Since then, she has published Rigging the Wind, a poetry collection that won the 2002 Kore Press First Book Award, founded the literary magazine Salamander, and taught at various universities. (read more…)

 

 


ALUMNI INTERVIEWS


Lindsay Alston, ‘13

Major: English

Minors: Philosophy and Italian

Where are you currently working and what is your position?

Account Executive at Edelman Chicago, working on a variety of consumer brands, which have included Barilla, Jimmy John’s, Butterball, Kraft and Wrigley.

What does a typical day look like for you? 

My day to day is never the same (which I love)! At Edelman our focus is to create great stories for our clients that will resonate with our consumers. I work on a variety of consumer-based clients and we’re constantly challenged to determine how to best to tell the brand’s story and who is the best person to tell it – is it an influencer, celebrity, via media, social? Ultimately, our goal is to tell stories in a way that helps consumers build relationships with our clients’ brands.

What skills from the English major do you use in your work? What do you think the advantages are of the major?

As a Colby English major you learn to write, think critically/analyze situations and tell great stories. All of these skills have been very important to my career at Edelman.

What is your favorite academic memory from Colby?

I loved the relationships I built with my professors and classmates over a novel, hearing others perspectives and being challenged to think about a text differently.

If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice while you were in college, what would it be?

Take advantage of every opportunity – college flies by fast!


Morgan Rublee ’14

Major: English

Minor: Education

Where are you currently working and what is your position?

I am a high school English teacher at Foxcroft Academy, a small independent boarding school in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine. I teach both English Literature and English as a Second Language. 

What does a typical day look like for you? 

My typical day varies from season to season. Most days start around 7:30, and I teach a mix of ESL, Honors, and College Preparatory classes throughout the day. In the fall, I am an assistant coach for the field hockey team, and in the winter I am head swim coach. I am also taking online classes to earn my Masters in English, so I have to find time for that each day too!

What skills from the English major do you use in your work? What do you think the advantages are of the major?

I use the skill I learned from my English major everyday. In every job interview I had, people asked me why I majored in English rather than Education. For me, thoroughly immersing myself into English literature provided me with a much more extensive pedagogy to draw from in my teaching. There are only so many “ways to teach” that you can learn without just teaching, but my background in English literature allows me to introduce a large range of literature to my students.

What is your favorite academic memory from Colby?

My favorite academic memory from Colby was certainly studying abroad at Kings College London in England. I was in a class that focused solely on Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, and we read a line about the parade moving down The Strand, a famous street in London. The eerie part was that my college was on The Strand. So I was reading a 500+ year old story that took place on the same street I was sitting on–so cool.  

If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice while you were in college, what would it be?

Let’s see, one piece of advice.  I think it would be to take advantage of more independent research projects with professors. Teaming up with a professor is an amazing learning experience.


Rachel Haines, ’13

Major: English with a concentration in Creative Writing

Minor: Anthropology

Where are you currently working and what is your position?

I currently work for Scholastic as an associate editor for the teachers’ website (www.scholastic.com/teachers). I’ve been here for three years, first as an assistant editor.

What does a typical day look like for you? 

After typical email checking and a quick scan of the live website, I help my team program timely content to appear on the site, review older content for cleanliness and relevancy, and work on the major project of launching a new version of the site (completely new design and CMS).

What skills from the English major do you use in your work? What do you think the advantages are of the major?

Nearly all of the copy I write for the site needs to be clear and concise. In many cases, there isn’t a lot of room for unnecessary clauses. A lot of the writing assignments I completed at Colby taught me to write more succinctly, and that has helped me shape my writing for the web. Also, since I work with a team, I’m frequently receiving and giving feedback, and the writing workshops I attended at Colby definitely help me phrase my feedback in constructive ways.

What is your favorite academic memory from Colby?

Laurie Osborne’s Shakespeare classes and sharing poems with Adrian Blevins.

If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice while you were in college, what would it be?

I’d advise myself to let go of the social stresses and focus more on my professors. Every person in the English department has amazing talent and knowledge, and I wish I’d spent more time chatting with professors while I had the chance!


Maggie Bower, ’15

Majors: English; American Studies

Minor: Theater & Dance

Where are you currently working and what is your position?

I work at PBS/ WNET in New York City in the Education Department as a Project Associate. Essentially I handle all of the communications on PBS Education for the New York/ Long Island/ New Jersey station efforts and work on the grants and reports that fund the work of our department.

In addition to PBS, I am a regular contributor to the satirical women’s news website Reductress.

What does a typical day look like for you? 

A typical day is a busy day – which I like! Lots of meetings and writing communications for the work we’re doing in the department and trying to get ahead of some of the projects we have coming up in January. I will probably send in some pitches to Reductress this afternoon and tonight I’m having dinner with a friend from Colby!

What skills from the English major do you use in your work? What do you think the advantages are of the major?

The Colby English major insisted on clear, efficient, and consistent communications and that training is something I use constantly.

It is the best program for creating effective writers and thinkers. Our major is the best for concentrated writing practice/ critique and developing your voice. I feel like I am a better critical thinker an analyst from my time in the department.

What is your favorite academic memory from Colby?

Finishing my poetry chap book and being able to read a few of my poems at the Liberal Arts Symposium is one of my favorite academic memories. More than getting to share my work, I was so excited by the huge numbers of people that came to our reading just because they were interested and excited about student poetry! That was a really special event.

If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice while you were in college, what would it be?

Take advantage of your professors right away! Bug them at their office until they tell you to get lost. There is nothing better than a close relationship with a professor and I wish I’d started those relationships earlier. Also take more French classes, even though you’re really bad at it. And, honestly, take more risks and stay up later. I don’t have any regrets about my college experience but those are a few “I wish I hads…”.


Dakota Rabbit, ‘14

Major: English

Minor: Administrative Science

Where are you currently working and what is your position?

I am an assistant account executive at BBDO, an advertising agency in NYC. I currently support creative development and production of television, print and digital ads for the Tropicana and Quaker Oats brands.

What does a typical day look like for you? 

I am the liaison between the brands and the internal creative team at the agency, which means I’m involved at every stage of the process: from helping brands understand their target consumer, to pitching ads we think will resonate with that target, to understanding the production and shooting process, to managing a budget. Recently, I’ve had serious arguments over whether it’s funnier to have a koala or panda riding on the back of a motorcycle for a commercial and figured out how to get 75 bottles of orange juice through customs into a country where it isn’t sold for a multi-million dollar shoot.

What skills from the English major do you use in your work? What do you think the advantages are of the major?

The most important aspect is developing the ability to think critically to understand and solve problems as they come up. Just behind that is the ability to type a clear e-mail that conveys the correct tone. You are taken so much more seriously in the office if you can write strong, grammatically correct e-mails. Separately, the ability to speak about your favorite books, even in intermediate detail, will make you stand out considerably. I’m fairly confident one of the reasons I did well in my interviews was because I spent a significant portion of time discussing what I loved and hated about The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Also, it should be a mandate that every English major take at minimum one class with Cedric Bryant.

What is your favorite academic memory from Colby?

Either the graphic novel course or the Nazi lit course.

If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice while you were in college, what would it be?

Make as many connections as possible. 99% of Colby alumni and parents I reached out to were more than happy to help me learn about different career paths. If you are having trouble landing “real” interviews, ask for informational interviews or to shadow someone for the day. There’s no denying that you need to be on your game when you interview to actually get a job offer, but there’s also no denying that a personal connection can be the difference between getting the interview or not. Colby people love helping other Colby people and I would argue you aren’t maximizing your education if you aren’t bugging alumni to help you learn about jobs.


Jack Nivison, ‘14

Majors: English with a concentration in Creative Writing; Government

Where are you currently working and what is your position? 

I currently work at Hamilton College, and I am an Assistant Dean of Admission.

What does a typical day look like for you? 

One of the best parts of my job is that my “typical day” changes quite a bit so far. I have only been in this position since June, but already I have seen so much variety in the day-to-day. In the fall, for instance, I am usually not in the office, and, instead, I am traveling to different regions for which I read applications. I’m meeting with college counselors, high school students, alumni, and parents to talk to them about the college process. In the winter, I am usually in the office reading applications. I also interview prospective students and give informational sessions.

What skills from the English major do you use in your work? What do you think the advantages are of the major?

One of the main skills I use from my English major involves being able to analyze applications and students’ writing very well. These abilities come directly from the critical reading skills I gained while as an English major at Colby. I think one of the advantages of the English major at Colby is that we are able to incorporate many different facets of the liberal arts education in our classes. I remember Professor Osborne’s Global Shakespeare course as one where I was able to bring in several facets of my government/history interests into her class and my writing.

What is your favorite academic memory from Colby?

One of the courses I registered for in my senior fall was cancelled so I had to pick up a fourth course, which led me to Professor Flynn’s Poetry Writing I. I had never really written poetry unless forced to in middle school so I really didn’t know what to expect. I can’t say I wrote particularly good or interesting poetry, but I found the whole experience of not only writing my own poems but reading everyone else’s to be an incredibly fun experience. It made me wish I had tried more poetry courses!

If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice while you were in college, what would it be?

I would tell myself to branch out of my major departments – government and English – a bit more. I would have loved to have taken a history course or an art course, but I never ended up doing it. Also, I am a huge film buff so I definitely would have liked to have taken more of those courses. Basically, I would tell myself to, forgive the cliché, go outside my comfort zone. Or as is said (sung) in Disney’s Zootopia – try everything!


Olivia Gould, ‘16

Majors: Music; Theater & Dance

Minor: Creative Writing

Where are you currently working and what is your position? 

I am currently working as an actor and playwright in the Boston area.

What does a typical day look like for you? 
A typical day for me is mainly auditioning, rehearsing, or performing, often two of these in the same day.  Or, when I’m between jobs, it’s looking for auditions, making connections, and working on the play I’m writing.

What skills from the English major do you use in your work? What do you think the advantages are of the major?

Apart from the obvious, that I have written/am writing plays, I would say that the CW minor probably helped most with script analysis work.  It has helped with being able to pick out the most important words of a monologue for a cold read, or the overall character arcs that occur in a full play.  Decoding Shakespearean language is always useful.  And of course, knowing how to write persuasively, eloquently, and concisely is useful in any career context and often puts one ahead of competitors in a pool of applicants.

What is your favorite academic memory from Colby?

In the English department, I would identify Prof. Cedric Bryant’s class on Modern American Literature as the course that was the most helpful to me in improving my writing, and therefore a favorite academic memory.  Take a class with Prof. Bryant.  Literally any class, it doesn’t even really matter what the topic is, because his standards for writing are so high and he will push you to improve yours.  He is absolutely brilliant and has a natural energy that makes students work to impress him.

If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice while you were in college, what would it be?

Probably something along the lines of “Stop over-committing yourself, you crazy human,” but I don’t know if I would listen to myself, because I had so many wonderful experiences at Colby and there are so many things that I would not have wanted to miss out on.  I double-majored along with the CW minor, and was in multiple shows every semester that I was at Colby (with the Theatre & Dance department, Powder & Wig, BMR, etc) as well as multiple choirs.  There are a few things I could point to that would have been okay to miss, but I wouldn’t trade most of my experiences for the sanity I lost from the sheer numerousness of them.


Laura Parris, ‘14

Major: English with a concentration in Creative Writing

Minor: Jewish Studies

Where are you currently working and what is your position?

I work for the New York City Department of Education as a middle school English teacher at a gifted and talented public school in Queens.

What does a typical day look like for you? 

A typical day for me means being at school from 7:45am until 4-5pm and teaching 132 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. I teach five or six classes a day. However, there really is no “typical” day as a teacher, at least in my experience. Each day is a new adventure filled with so many ups and downs and unexpected turns of events. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What skills from the English major do you use in your work? What do you think the advantages are of the major?

As an English teacher, I use my English major every day! When I was hired, my principal told me that he believed I had a strong content knowledge, and all of this knowledge came from my Colby English major. However, I also use my major in other less obvious ways. To me, one of the most important skills that I learned as an English major is how to communicate effectively, whether this communication be written or verbal. This skill is incredible valuable as I am in constant communication with my students, students’ parents, fellow teachers, and administrators.

What is your favorite academic memory from Colby?

My favorite academic memory from Colby would have to be the bonds that I formed with so many of my professors. It is so evident that Colby professors care about their students, and this level of interest and compassion motivated me to be the best student that I could be. In fact, I am still in touch with several of my professors, and I can only hope to show this same level of care and dedication to my students. 

If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice while you were in college, what would it be?

I would tell myself that sometimes it is important to slow down, relax, and sleep! Self-care is really important, and I am still trying to learn how to do this.


Kat Brzozowski, ‘09

Major: English with a concentration in Creative Writing

Minor: Italian

Where are you currently working and what is your position?

I work as an Editor at Swoon Reads/Feiwel and Friends, a division of the Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. I edit crowdsourced young adult books for Swoon Reads, as well as acquire young adult novels for Feiwel & Friends. I also run the Twitter for Swoon Reads (@SwoonReads; go follow us!).

What does a typical day look like for you? 

Every day is different, but my duties could and do include: meeting with authors and literary agents, reading manuscripts, editing manuscripts, preparing copy to help sell our books, writing copy to go on the book itself, scheduling Tweets, writing blog posts, looking for new projects to pursue, and meeting and coordinating with various book departments (including marketing, publicity, sales, design, and production).

What skills from the English major do you use in your work? What do you think the advantages are of the major?

I use skills from my English major all the time! The ability to read and write critically is a huge part of being an editor, and the skills I learned about writing clear and persuasive copy is incredible useful as well. Although I don’t work on classics (maybe they’ll be classics someday!), the skills I learned about reading a book and evaluating its assets are fundamental to the work of an editor.

Most of all, the biggest advantage to being an English major is that it put me in groups of smart, curious people who wanted to sit around and talk about how books and writing works, which is basically what I do now. My English degree prepared me for a career where my ability to make my point is the basis of my whole job, because I need to convince my colleagues that the books I love are also books other readers will love.

What is your favorite academic memory from Colby?

It’s hard to pick one. I loved my creative writing classes with Debra Spark as well as every class I took with Tilar Mazzeo, especially our Jane Austen course where we put on a Jane Austen-period event at the Waterville Library, complete with food, dancing, and music!  

If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice while you were in college, what would it be?

I would encourage myself to read more popular, commercial, and bestselling books rather than just “literary” fiction and classics. With my creative writing concentration, I think my writing would have improved if I had expanded my scope of reading beyond what we learned in class and to what people really love to read, even if other people often looked down on that type of fiction.


Hannah Pulit, ’11

Major: English with a concentration in Creative Writing

Where are you currently working and what is your position? 

I work at Milton Academy, a prep school just outside Boston. I teach four English classes, am a dorm parent to 44 teenage girls, and instruct student yoga classes.  

What does a typical day look like for you? 

I have to be at assembly or a meeting by 8:00am, but I like quiet time in the morning, so I’ll usually drink a cup of tea and read the NYTimes before walking to wherever I have to be. On my way out of the dorm, I often run into students who are also heading to assembly, so it’s a nice moment to catch up with them. From 8:00-3:00, I’m either teaching class, meeting with students, chatting with colleagues, or grading papers. After school, I’ll teach yoga, or, if it’s a day off, try to make it to a yoga class myself! Sit-down dinner with the dorm is at 6:00pm. After, I’ll prep classes, then do a bit of grad school reading (I study at Middlebury’s Bread Loaf School of English) until I’m ready for bed.

What skills from the English major do you use in your work? What do you think the advantages are of the major?

Being able to express yourself eloquently and clearly will never go out of fashion; learning how to be a wordsmith is an invaluable skill. Language is power: once you are adept at its manipulation, you can do anything. Every day, I teach my kids how to read closely, think critically, and interpret deeply. The more stories we know, the more empathic we are, and in today’s world, we need a glut of empathic beings.

What is your favorite academic memory from Colby?

Visiting Professor Suchoff during his office hours and talking about Jane Austen and James Joyce and Professor Suchoff’s dogs.

If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice while you were in college, what would it be? 

Relax! I definitely was disproportionately focused on my GPA and so missed out on the luxury of being a student. Now is the time to dream about changing the world and to indulge in pretentious philosophical conversations and to make stupid choices.


Elizabeth Wyckoff , ‘06

Majors: English with a concentration in Creative Writing; Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Where are you currently working and what is your position?

I am currently a developmental editor at the Wisconsin Historical Society Press—a small, nonprofit press that publishes nonfiction books (everything from environmental histories to collections of personal essays) about Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest. The developmental part of my title distinguishes me from my colleagues who are production editors and copyeditors. After I work with an author to make large-scale edits to his or her manuscript, the copyeditor comes along with a fine-toothed comb to do the nitty-gritty editing, then it moves on to the production editor, who turns the book into something beautiful you can hold in your hands.

What does a typical day look like for you? 

I’m always in the process of seeing multiple books through different phases of the editorial process, so my days are varied. In any given week, I may be reading and making notes on a newly accepted manuscript, communicating with an author about edits, discussing cover designs with my colleagues, or marking up proofs with a red pen (so satisfying!) on a project that’s close to its publication date. I spend most days at my desk, quietly fiddling with sentences, which I love. But my job is also collaborative—I’m constantly chatting with authors, editors, designers, copyeditors, typesetters, and marketers over the course of each project. Every book is uniquely challenging and rewarding, and I’m always learning.

What skills from the English major do you use in your work? What do you think the advantages are of the major?

My degree in English and concentration in Creative Writing are great steppingstones to becoming an editor, but it took me a while to realize that’s what I wanted to do. I attended the Columbia Publishing Course in NYC the summer after graduating from Colby, and then worked in Manhattan for a year as the assistant to an agent. But I didn’t want to be an agent, and I loved writing, so I left New York to get my MFA in fiction at Oregon State University. Being a Teaching Assistant for two years taught me that I wasn’t exactly cut out to be a professor, and then a series of short-term jobs at academic publishers in different cities taught me that I didn’t want to work in publicity, marketing, or event planning. Finally, after circling around it for years, I got a job editing books and immediately fell in love. All this is to say: an English degree gives you buckets of career options and sometimes it takes a while to figure out what job is right for you, and that’s OK. In fact, it can be great.

What is your favorite academic memory from Colby?

I have some really lovely memories from English classes at Colby. Once, my freshman lit class spent an afternoon walking through the Arboretum reading passages of Thoreau aloud to each other. I mean, that’s totally a scene in Dead Poets Society. But probably my favorite memory was the day I got my first short story workshopped in my Intro to Fiction class. Later, in grad school, workshops became more complicated. But that first one in college, when I was just experiencing the magic of writing and sharing it with a supportive audience for the first time. That was an awesome feeling.

If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice while you were in college, what would it be?

I’d probably tell myself to be more adventurous and get involved in more campus activities. There are so many amazing clubs and programs at Colby. The few things I ended up doing—working in the Writers’ Center, being a resident advisor, joining the step team (!)—were so much fun and introduced me to people I probably wouldn’t have befriended otherwise. Of course, one person can’t do everything. But I always wonder, what if I’d been part of the Outing Club? Or joined Colby Cares About Kids? College is just an amazing time to try new things, and Colby, in particular, offers so many cool opportunities. I’d say: make new friends, be wide-ranging in your interests, and stay curious.