Browse Stories by Career

Carey Gibbons  | Reference Assistant | Graduated in 2002

I struggled at first in declaring a major at SUNY Geneseo. I was drawn to English lit., especially plays, but I had no idea what I was going to do with an English major. My love of Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde won out, and I graduated with a degree in English in 2002. Part of what I loved about Geneseo was that in taking all of the general education classes outside the English major, I learned that there was plenty I could do with an English degree in a variety of fields. I went on to study playwriting at Western Michigan University and graduated with an MFA in 2005.

Margaret Giordano  | Graduate Student | Graduated in 2011

Reading has always been a passion of mine, yet it never occurred to me to pursue English as a degree until I was well into my sophomore year at Geneseo.  I arrived as an undeclared major and explored my options by taking classes in several disciplines before I realized that English was the only class where I truly enjoyed myself.  I was fortunate enough to explore Broadway with Tom Greenfield, learn about the African-American experience with Beth McCoy, and immerse myself in Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy with Dr.

Kate Harlin  | PhD Student at U of Missouri | Graduated in 2012

After Geneseo, I spent a year back on Long Island working in a small marketing firm, and applying to graduate schools. Marketing was not for me, and I really missed being in a classroom, so despite some gentle advice from some of my beloved Geneseo professors about the miserable job market landscape, I went all-in and applied to MA and PhD programs across the country. A year later I landed in Columbia, MO for an MA/PhD in English literature focusing on literature of Africa and the Diaspora.

Patrick Morgan  | Graduate Student | Graduated in 2010

[Chair's note: Pat had a bit more to report than we had room for here. In particular, he wanted to offer some advice to our undergrads. You can read his full text on the department blog at] The hardest thing about connecting the skills I learned as a Geneseo English major with my life after graduation is knowing where to stop. I could write a book on the subject.

Alyssa Stefanese  | Assistant Hall Director for Living-Learning Communities  | Graduated in 2015

I decided to major in English because I have always had a true love of literature, been an avid reader, and wanted to explore these passions in an academically rigorous setting. Intentionally in my undergraduate career, I believed that my English major would prepare me to attend law school in pursuit of a career in educational law. However, I knew deep down that my enthusiastic and sympathetic personality was more inclined to educational activities than legal ones.