Degree: BA English '19
Research Interests: Creative writing, publishing, editing, screenwriting/film, game design
Co-ops: Employee Benefits Co-op, Conner Strong & Buckelew
Extracurricular Activities: The Triangle; Drexel Writers Room
Awards: Drexel University Dean's List
Tell us about your recent courses, trips and/or co-ops.
During my junior year, I was offered a co-op position at the health insurance brokerage Conner Strong & Buckelew, where I was able to learn and adapt to an entirely new environment. Though it was an office job, with a communications focus, in a field of work that is vastly different than many of my interests, I was still able to navigate and apply myself where I felt most useful. My writing, editing and determination helped me find and develop a role for my abilities on co-op.
In the fall of 2018, I had the privilege of studying abroad in London for three months. It was my first experience outside of the United States, and I was able to travel to various wonderful places in the United Kingdom, learning about the history and culture of Europe through a contemporary English lens. The courses I took were British Theatre, History of Modern Design, British Life and Visual Media, and British Politics.
Recently, at Drexel, I have been taking courses in higher undergraduate levels of English and philosophy: Philosophy of Aesthetics; Environmental Philosophy; Literature and Science; Modern African Literature; The Brontes in 1847 and even some more unique ones like Tolkien: The Books Versus the Movies and Our Vampires, Ourselves.
What have been some important elements of your experiences as an English major?
The most significant element of my experiences as an English major at Drexel has been finding my place … I felt very self-motivated, and on my own, for a majority of freshman year — not really knowing exactly what I wanted to do with my career, but also recognizing that it doesn’t have to be purely one thing. It wasn’t until I found the Writers Room community that I began to find confidence in my creative interests as a whole. Not only was I a student, but one who was able to appreciate who he is as an English major.
Throughout many courses, I have been reacquainted with a love for reading, writing, and contemplating serious topics — many of which are foundational for me as a writer in any medium. Some of my favorite moments of learning have been a result of exposure to new things — formally studying politics, philosophy, anthropology, and creative writing with some of the most prolific, encouraging doctors and professors I’ve ever met. The diversity of what it means to be an English major is one of my favorite parts of the identity. It’s a position where I, as a writer, can seek to understand other things through an essentially literary comprehension.
What has made your experience at Drexel special or unique?
What’s unique about my experience at Drexel is that I began my career in game design. But I didn’t just “end up” in English. It was a conscious choice, based on what I value ultimately about my education, what I’m grounded in wanting to know. I come from a background of self-dedicating artistic influences, some of which are still delegitimized regions of literature in an academic setting. What I’ve come to realize by the end of my undergraduate career here is that I am primarily a storyteller, and although there is a lot to learn from a more multi-faceted experience in school, I’m glad I have a literary lens through which I’m able to understand more about myself and my passions as a creator.
Which element of your Drexel experience do you identify with most, and why?
I think I identify most with a sense of self-determination as an English major. Even though I’m shaped by the communities I’ve joined here at Drexel, I never would have made it this far if I didn’t learn how to be self-driven. And not only to succeed, but to stay inspired. That being said, ambition can be good, but it can also be general and misleading. What’s important is that you remain aware of your own desires and beliefs, keep pace with what you can handle, and determine for yourself what it means to succeed.
What advice do you have for a high school student looking for an undergraduate program?
I would suggest to you that no experience is the same. There’s no one who can tell you exactly what to expect — and that can be exciting. Don’t compromise your true passions, even if you don’t realize them yet. Be adaptable, on your own terms. You don’t want to look back on your years and wonder if you’ve gone too far down a wrong path. Above all, be open to trying new things. College can’t be a place where you’re comfortable all of the time. Take risks, within reason. You’ll surprise yourself with how far you’ve come.