I spent last Friday afternoon in the company of some very educated and like-minded individuals during my debut on the English department's external advisory board. Approximately twenty of us, most of whom earned one or more degrees in English, met to discuss changes to the current curriculum, find gaps between the professional world and student life, and brainstorm ideas to entice more students to graduate with a degree in English. Unlike a lot of majors, an English degree doesn't send you on a direct path toward earning a pay check. You have to be creative and broaden your interests beyond reading and writing.
I'll admit I was a bit nervous to attend the meeting. It's been a few years since I stepped foot on NDSU's campus, and my day job isn't like most. Plus, I was probably the least educated one there having only earned a bachelors. Yikes! Regardless, everyone was incredibly kind and open to hearing anyone's ideas. I even came away from the meeting with the name of an editor who was a graduate student there not too long ago. I'm looking forward to next year's meeting!