Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 1.39.33 PM

Photo provided by Elizabeth Palmer.

She graduated from Ball State in 2014.

She majored in English Studies, with a minor in digital media.

She worked as one of the English Department‘s PR Interns, producing content for this very blog.

Today, Elizabeth Palmer tells us how she used her skills as an English major to secure a position at Coldwell Banker, a real estate company.

1. What I Learned as an English Major

Courses like Editing and Style helped me balance my writing voice with concise, coherent arguments.

I owe a lot of my growth as a writer to Amit Baishya, who, unfortunately, is no longer teaching at Ball State.

Learning to communicate effectively allowed me to showcase my other skills, like design and multimedia storytelling.

Opportunities at Ball State, like the Digital Media minor, helped me utilize my skills in more engaging educational settings. 

My Virginia B. Ball Center seminar (Strengthening Opinions about Animal Responsibility) also gave me an opportunity to thrive in an entirely new learning environment. 

To learn more about the Virginia Ball Center, click here.


I knew I wasn’t destined to be an English teacher (even though so many people told me I should be), and branching out into Ball State’s immersive learning projects allowed me to prove that.

2. Finding a job is hard, but not impossible

The last two months before graduation, I spent all my time providing sample work, researching, and interviewing for a job I was so sure I was going to get.

When the time of the interview came, I spent over two hours in the office meeting employees. I even spoke with the HR director and interviewed with the marketing manager.

I left that interview confident I’d secured a future at the company. I was so sure I wasn’t going to be one of those college graduates scrambling to find a job after graduation.

I was wrong.

For a few days, I was beyond upset. Honestly, I’m still a little jilted by the experience.

What was I supposed to do? I had a part-time job lined up in Fort Wayne for after graduation, but I dreaded the thought of wearing a blue polo and name tag for the rest of the year.

In the six months following graduation, I applied to at least three jobs a week. I waited. In many instances, I never even received a rejection e-mail.

Eventually, my mom saw an ad in the classifieds for a marketing job. Even though I knew very little about the company, I applied, wrote a professional cover letter, and attached a resume that showcased my design skills.

The next day, I received an e-mail from Coldwell Banker. They wanted to set up an interview for the following day. I went in for my first interview on Tuesday, had my second interview on Friday, and was offered the position the next Monday.

3. Own the Interview

My interview for Coldwell Banker makes it sound easy. Granted, getting an interview can be easy, but the tricky part is owning the interview once you get there.

Some people say it’s ridiculous to be nervous about an interview. All you have to do is talk about yourself, after all.

For others, interviews aren’t so easy. Those people have to remember: no one knows you better than yourself. 

I also think it’s important to appreciate the present, rather than brooding about the future.

I spent my last semester at Ball State fretting about finding a job, and it became almost impossible to enjoy undergrad life. Do not do this. Enjoy what time you have in the little bubble of college life.

You are surrounded with opportunities at your fingertips, and you can only figure out what you want if you participate.