Jeremy Davidheiser, Class of 2013
Graduate Student, English, Lehigh University
I graduated from Moravian in 2009, and have since been continuing my studies at Lehigh University in hopes of becoming a professor. My honors project was incredibly helpful in my aspiration and, I suspect, helped me get into graduate programs. I also think the Medieval and Early Modern Conference is fantastic and superbly run. My presentation there provided experience giving conference presentations, writing appropriately clear and concise papers, etc. For current students, I would encourage reading theory and criticism outside of class in order to inform your understanding of literature studied in class. While it is true we get some coursework with this, it helped my writing tremendously to read academic writing that interested me at my own pace.
Kate Brueningsen Pitts, Class of 2011
M.Ed. program in Globalization and Educational Change, Lehigh University
After graduating from Moravian in 2011, I spent one year studying British Literature in Yorkshire, England. I spent an additional year living and working in England before returning to Pennsylvania in 2013. I then joined AmeriCorps as a VISTA volunteer for one year as a Higher Education Network Coordinator, linking high-need public schools with higher-ed service-learning partnerships. I was then accepted to Lehigh's M.Ed. program in Globalization and Educational Change with an expected graduation of 2016. I currently work in the Study Abroad Office at Lehigh and hope to pursue a career in International Service-Learning Administration upon graduation.
I believe that my leadership positions at Moravian helped me succeed the most, especially acting as French Club president and assisting with the Medieval and Early Modern Conference organization. The practical experience with event planning and public speaking that I gained from these positions were invaluable after graduation. For current students- focus on figuring out what you don't want to do before you try to figure out what you do want to do. You might be surprised how many twists and turns life will present you with. Don't be deterred by what you may perceive as a failure; every event is a learning experience and an opportunity to become a stronger, wiser individual.
Tracey Bennett Stanton, Class of 1983
Commercial Product Development, WellPoint, Inc.
I currently serve as a Senior Director in Commercial Product Development for WellPoint, Inc., a Fortune 100 health care company based in Indianapolis. I graduated from Moravian in 1983 as a Journalism major, thinking I would conquer the public relations or newspaper (yes, it was the 80s, so newspapers were king) world. But practicality meant I needed a job, and I began my career writing technical bulletins at Blue Cross of New Jersey. I have over 25 years of experience in product development/management, marketing and business development, mostly in the health care sector. I also owned my own business and worked as a freelance editor and marketing consultant for six years while my children were young.
Moravian gave me a solid foundation from which I built a rewarding and successful career, both in the corporate and entrepreneurial worlds. When I moved from Virginia back to Pennsylvania in 2000, I was looking for freelance work that would allow me to spend more time with my three young children. I applied for a freelance editing position with a firm in Bucks County. One of the requirements was passing an editing test – a very daunting proposition since I was 17 years out of college. I passed it with flying colors and got the job. I thank Moravian and my professors for that success. I actually did remember most of what I was taught in those Journalism classes all those years ago! As an English or Journalism major in today’s world, I would recommend working as many internships as possible – the real world experience is invaluable and employers are interested in hiring job-ready workers. If possible, try your hand in several different industries and don’t necessarily go out into the working world with a narrow definition of a successful career. Leave yourself open to possibilities and know that your Moravian education, hard work and dedication will help you find a rewarding and sustainable career path.
Jaclyn Swope Class of 2010
Publisher Account Manager, Nielson Book Research
I graduated from Moravian in 2010 after following the Writing track of the English major. Post-graduation, I took a couple of years off from school before starting a master’s course in Publishing at Kingston University in 2012. For the past year, I’ve been working as a Publisher Account Manager for Nielsen Book Research in the UK, after starting there as an intern while working on my dissertation. I always credit working at the Writing Center with really helping me to grow as a student at Moravian – beyond making me a better writer, it also influenced my desire to pursue an editorial career in publishing (even if that’s not what I’ve ended up doing!) and greatly improved the communication and analytic skills that are so fundamental to my job now. And in terms of where I’ve ended up physically, studying abroad in London my junior year definitely informed my decision to move back!
For current students, I’m torn between saying know what you want and strongly stick to it, or be open to different things you might not initially think to do. Let’s go with both! I was so sure I wanted to work in publishing that I pursued an advanced degree in it, but that led me to an unexpected job where I mostly work with numbers and data analysis for publishers, which I really enjoy and is quite different from my original editorial aspirations. Either way, take chances! And especially from a publishing perspective, but I’m sure this is applicable to every career, do your research and know what’s going on in the industry – knowledge will show through.
Sarah Becker, Class of 2010
Associate Editor for Custom Projects, Macmillan Publishers
As a graduate of Moravian's class of 2010, I credit my studies in the English department and my involvement in Greek life to my current job success. Immediately upon graduating, I moved to New York City in the hopes of pursuing a job, life experience, anything to avoid moving back in with the rents. Due to the recession, I knew that the reality of gaining employment in a field where I could make use of my English degree was very unlikely. So, I did whatever any crafty English major would do - I got two jobs as a waitress to afford the rent of my overpriced, tiny East Village apartment. In the meantime, I applied to jobs constantly and reached out to my network from Moravian. When one of my sorority sisters found out that I was living in New York trying to pursue a job in publishing, she put me in touch with her brother who worked for Macmillan Publishers. He was very helpful in notifying me of available jobs within the company and confirmed that my education and internships made me an ideal candidate. A few months and several interviews later, I was employed part time as a freelancer with the Bedford, Freeman, and Worth Publishing Group. It wasn't exactly where I wanted to be, but it was a start. I kept my serving jobs and worked A LOT, but after three months, I applied for a job as an Editorial Assistant for the Custom Publishing group and got it. It was a huge relief to finally be employed full time with benefits in a relevant job that had a solid career path. I've been with the Custom team ever since and am now an Associate Editor. Not being afraid to take chances, work hard, and network, helped me a great deal in getting to where I am today.
Meghan Decker, Class of 2008
Marketing and Communications Associate, Moravian Academy
I am currently serving as Marketing and Communications Associate for Moravian Academy. Prior to this role, I worked as Editorial Assistant at Lehigh Valley Style magazine, writing and editing a variety of content for the magazine, its website and social media outlets. My first position after graduation was as Development Communications Specialist at Gwynedd Mercy University in suburban Philadelphia, a position that sparked my interest in working in academia. I credit four internships and the time I spent as editor of The Manuscript for giving me the flexibility and attention to detail needed to succeed in the communications field. A bachelor's degree in English/Writing, I believe, provides a solid foundation for a variety of writing-based jobs, and offers graduates many different options as they grow in their careers.
Jessica Jonas, Class of 2009
MFA, Creative Writing & the Publishing Arts, University of Baltimore; Production Editor, Absolute Service, Inc.
I graduated from Moravian in 2009 with Honors in English and Sociology and earned my MFA in Creative Writing & the Publishing Arts from University of Baltimore last spring. My first book, Room Full of Strangers, was self-published as my graduate thesis. While in grad school, an internship with a literary magazine helped me find my current job as Production Editor at a publishing vendor in Towson, MD. The main thing that sticks out about Moravian is the relationships I had with my professors. Their guidance, advice, and help in creating interesting projects challenged me in the best ways. Dr. Hinnefeld was the first person to encourage me to go for my MFA. I'm excited to talk about grad school and see what is happening in the Moravian English department!
George Wacker, Class of 2003
Communications Manager, Discover Lehigh Valley
I worked as a reporter at The Express-Times in Easton through 2005 and then edited a weekly newspaper entitled The East Penn News through 2007. In 2008, I made the switch to the public relations field by accepting a position as Public Relations and Marketing Manager at Trans-Bridge Lines in Bethlehem, Pa. In 2012, I accepted my current position at Discover Lehigh Valley. Also, I founded the website LehighValleywithLove.com in 2008 and continue to own, edit , and provide content for the site. I edited Moravian’s student newspaper, The Comenian, for two years while at school. This provided me with experience not only working on deadline, but also working with other people in a group environment. I also was able to intern at the Eastern PA Business Journal while at Moravian, and conducted a field study working at The Express-Times while still in school. Both were tremendous in allowing me to learn how to be self-sufficient in the workplace and to hit the ground running.
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