Writing was at the center

Erica Ehrenberg: Faculty

 

Describe your career path. What choices did you make? How did you use your time in college to help you along in your career path?

For many years, and maybe beginning seriously in college, I became aware of the extent to which I wanted to organize my life around writing. This basically dictated many decisions I made in college, where one of the most important experiences I had was working with one particular writer one on one for the last two years, culminating in a creative thesis. This helped set the groundwork for living days where writing was at the center-- gave me a sense of what that would feel like-- how much work it took, etc. The jobs I chose after that-- mostly teaching jobs-- were jobs in which I felt engaged with many of the same challenges and questions I had as a writer, so the two always felt very connected-- each feeding the other. This has only become more true over the years.

 

What advice do you have for English majors or English graduate students as they prepare for for careers? How can they stand out in a competitive job market?

I think a great thing an English major or graduate student can do is begin to publish--both creative work and also essays, reviews-- in places big and small. It's a great way to start to really take your own self-guided work seriously-- to make time to think about where to send work, what you might be good at writing about, etc.