Kayla

Class of 2013

Hometown: Le Sueur, MN
Major: Professional Writing, Political Science minor
Involvements: Women’s Chorale, writing tutor, teaching assistant, student newspaper, Speak-Off

Why did you choose Northwestern, and why did you choose your concentration or major?

I took PSEO classes online through Northwestern in high school, so I was already familiar with the school. I was also very attracted to the small, genuinely Christian campus and the community that happens here. I love that UNW is small enough that I get opportunities to do things like singing in a choir or being an editor for the student newspaper.

It took me a while to settle on my major. I was in the journalism program, but I wanted a way to explore different areas like technical and web writing as well. Then Northwestern introduced the professional writing major. It allowed me to choose classes to focus on my areas of interest, and it had enough electives to let me fit in a political science minor. It’s been a great fit.

How have you been stretched and challenged by your concentration or major at UNW?

The professional writing major has challenged me by exposing me to a wide variety of kinds of writing, from technical to promotional to persuasive. There is so much to learn in these areas, and my experiences help me feel more prepared and competent as a writer.

What do you value most about the English Department at UNW?

My major combines classes from other departments, sometimes making scheduling difficult, but the English Department has been so flexible in helping me take the classes I want to take. The professors are very open, and my advisor, in particular, has been unbelievably helpful.

How have you changed as a result of your concentration or major at UNW?

Through the professional writing major, I’ve become a more confident writer. I have realized how many and how varied the job opportunities for writing majors are. I’m not as much of a creative writer, but there are hundreds of other ways to use my writing skills.

What is something that surprised you about your concentration or major at UNW?

I was surprised by the wide variety of general employment arrangements, available particularly to writing majors. Yes, there are set positions within organizations, but there are also other options like freelancing. My view has been broadened to think beyond traditional work to ways I can use my passion to serve God and others through writing.

Tell us about your favorite or most influential class within your concentration or major?

I loved Technical Writing. The professor, who was also a freelance copywriter, was wonderful, and it was great to have the class taught from such a real-world perspective. Before the class, I really had no idea what technical writing was, but I found that I really enjoy it.

What opportunities have you had that resulted from your concentration or major?

My combination of professional writing and political science is unique, and it’s given me some unique opportunities. My advisor has connected me with several internship opportunities that have allowed me to experience the different areas I am interested in.

Share a distinct story, memory or class experience that you've had in your concentration or major.

Another of my favorite classes has been Advanced Grammar. I loved it, first, because I love grammar, but also because of the camaraderie with the other students. We had a lot of fun traditions and even a class mascot!

What would you share with other prospective students considering applying to be a part of the UNW English Department?

The UNW English Department offers such a unique variety of opportunities. I’m not a traditional sort of writing major, but I’ve been able to take the classes I’m interested in and tailor my major to fit my goals. If you want to learn how to make your writing skills applicable, the UNW English Department can help!

What would you like to do when you graduate from Northwestern? What do you hope to eventually do with your education? How will your concentration or major help you with your plans?

I would love to work for a publishing house, so I may pursue that when I graduate. However, I can also see myself enjoying the flexibility of freelance writing at some point. My major has given me experience in many different areas, so I can actually pursue a variety of options.

Tell us about a life-changing moment, something you’ll never forget, or anything you’d like to share.

My experience at Northwestern has been fantastic, but my interactions with the professors have been particularly life changing. They are willing to talk about anything: classes, job hunting, goals, and just life in general. I know they really care about me, not just as a name in their grade book, but as a person.