Major Monday: Communications and French

“What can I do with a communications major?”  That’s a question we’ve been hearing quite a bit in the guidance office recently.  It turns out that our French teacher, Mrs. DiVincenzo, has some experience in that area!  Hopefully her answers will help anyone thinking about the majoring in communications, or – of course – in French!

1)  What was your college major and where did you go to school?
I graduated from UMass Amherst with a double major in Communications and French & Francophone Studies (and a minor in Modern European Studies)

2)  Was this your original major?  If not, what was your original major and why did you decide to change?
I went into UMass with the comm major because, although I always wanted to be a teacher… I wanted to go into advertising and make LOTS of money!  After doing an internship the summer before my junior year (sales related) I decided that I did not like lying to people.  As I was a few classes away from finishing the comm major (and I enjoyed the classes) I decided to keep at it and add the French major and study abroad for a semester.

3)  What made you choose your major?
I always enjoyed teaching/coaching and French was one of my favorite classes in school.  And it blends well with my passion for traveling!

4)  What were your favorite classes in college?
Mass communication classes (studying the effects of advertising, etc)… I took a few anthropology classes that were also very interesting (the study of culture, etc)… there were a few theater classes that were a lot of fun and helped with public speaking type of situations.

5)  What advice do you have for students interested in the same major?
Comm classes are very interesting, but the comm major in general is not super useful when trying to get a job.  Most job offerings will be entry level (many which don’t even require a degree)
For the French major, there’s essentially 2 options: teaching and translating (which are difficult to come by and are often part time).
Thanks for your input, Mrs. DiVincenzo!  If you’re worried about job prospects with a certain major (but it’s something you love studying), combine it with another of your passions.  Internships are great learning experiences.  We so often talk about them possibly leading to future jobs, but they will also give you an idea of it’s what you really want to do for the rest of your life!

Major Monday: History

History is the feature once again for Major Monday this week.  We hear from Mr. Tucker, who is the Social Studies Department Coordinator.

1. What did you major in in college?  Where did you go to college?

I majored in history at Lowell State College, one of the predecessor schools for UMass Lowell.

Coburn Hall The original Lowell State College

Coburn Hall
The original Lowell State College

2. Is this major your original major?  If not, what was your original major?  Why did you decide to change?

History was my original major.

3. What made you choose this major?

I was not well-informed about college work while in high school.  I had some sense that I would become a lawyer and thought history would provide some preparation for that field.

During law school, Mr. Tucker realized that being a lawyer was not the right fit for him.  He eventually returned to school where he earned a Master’s Degree in History and became a teacher.

4. What classes/topics did you enjoy studying the most while in college?

The classes that I enjoyed and, I think, benefited most from were in philosophy, something I knew nothing about before entering college.  Serendipity can be an important part of a college experience.

5. What advice do you have for students looking to study your major?

Develop a strong habit of close, thoughtful reading, a habit that includes regular writing about what one reads.

To read more about history as a major, check out this blog post!

50 States, 50 Colleges: Maryland

College in the spotlight: Washington College

Location: Chestertown, Maryland – Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Baltimore are all within driving distance!

Casey Academic Center

Casey Academic Center

Washington College is in an ideal location.  Major cities are about a 90 minute drive, so students can experience city life whenever they want.  Also, the school lies on the Chester River, which offers opportunities to students in more ways than one!  The waterfront allows for research in numerous areas, such as history and environmental studies.  It also provides recreational opportunities for both the club and varsity programs, such as rowing, kayaking, and wakeboarding.  Concerts and festivals hosted by Washington College are held on the waterfront as well.

View of the waterfront

View of the waterfront

If you are a history buff, you may want to visit.  It was established as the Revolutionary War was coming to an end and was the first college of the independent United States.  George Washington served on the Board of Visitors and Governors and provided the school with the funds to purchase science equipment.  Chestertown is an American colonial town, so students live in an 18th century historical atmosphere of buildings and brick walkways.  Washington College keeps the history alive by integrating it in the academics and through events on campus, such as the Birthday Ball, which is an event to celebrate George Washington’s birthday.

Bronze George Washington Statue

Bronze George Washington Statue

Washington College has a lot to offer its students!  There are over 40 majors to choose from and the teacher to student ratio is 12:1.  If you prefer a small school (about 1,400 undergraduate students) where teachers are going to know you by your first name, this place may be the perfect fit.

A fun fact – Don Steele, who graduated from Washington College in 1991, is the Senior Vice President for Fan Engagement and Multi-Platform Marketing at Comedy Central.  He recently returned to campus to speak to students about the details of his career.

A fun video – Click here to watch a music video created by students of Washington College.  It highlights the beautiful campus and all that the school has to offer!

For more information about Washington College, click here!

“Knowledge is, in every country, the surest basis of public happiness.” – George Washington