Emilie Johannes, B.A. English, 2011
Emilie Johannes graduated from UD in 2011 with her B.A. in English and an environmental
science concentration. Upon graduating, she returned to her home state of Alaska as
a technical writer for an energy research organization then for an independent Federal
agency that dispersed grants to fund projects in rural Alaska. While deciding on her
next career move, she discovered a marine resources management master's program at
Texas A&M University at Galveston that combined natural resource policy, management,
and science courses. Emilie decided to take the risk of leaving a job for school and
return to Texas for two more years (with a beach and harbor view this time).
"I still felt burnt out from my academics at UD a year and a half after graduating
and the thought of two more years of school seemed to be a bit daunting, but I viewed
the process as an investment, one that, thankfully, paid off." The summer between
her two years of grad school, she interned with BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. and was
offered a job to begin after graduating in 2014, where she currently works.
"As a freshman at UD, it was often hard for me to see the point of taking courses
across such a broad spectrum of disciplines, as the Core required. It wasn't until
after the first year that the interconnection of required courses at UD started to
click in my mind and it was in my English courses where I especially felt them all
come together. The ability to think critically and explore an issue with a holistic
perspective were skills that I honed at UD. These skills carried over well into my
master's program and current job working in environmental, which can require careful
reading of regulations in order to determine the appropriate compliance mechanisms
for the company. The careful dissection of lyric poetry, for example, is excellent
preparation for interpretation of legal language, where one or two words can greatly
change the meaning of the larger body of text.
"The addition of the environmental science concentration was one of the best decisions
I made to complement my English degree. As I went from upper-level English courses
to science courses and back, the integration of the two disciplines helped provide
guidance for a career path -- an intimidating but necessary thing to consider as a
college student. I believe English is an incredibly versatile degree, and the development
of communication skills that essay writing and classroom discussion provide are invaluable
for any job."