Transferring to North Carolina A&T State University and majoring in English was an easy decision to make.
Figuring out what I wanted to do with my nurtured writing abilities, now that was something that needed a little thought.
Unlike an accounting or engineering degree, being skilled in English Literature doesn’t automatically translate into a job.
Many thought I had few choices: either work as a teacher, or either be so good at writing, that I could live off my future best seller novels.
“It’s not always clear to somehow their literary talents can make a sustainable living.”
It’s not always clear to somehow their literary talents can make a sustainable living, and there are limited resources out there to help guide students to a career path. However, A&T Assistant Professor and Director of Technical Communication, Dr. Kimberly C. Harper, wants to add to those limited resources for current English students in a unique and fresh way — a podcast dedicated to English students about English Alumni.
A one-woman show, featuring English alumni guests, the podcast centers around those who have graduated with an English degree and gone on to pursue a career in one field or another. A poet, a blogger, a Language Arts teacher, a novelist, a traveling ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher and an entrepreneur in writing services are just some of the few paths that have been taken by A&T students with English degrees.
“I was on overload with all the negative images that were being depicted in mainstream media…”
Dr. Kimberly C. Harper
Dr. Kimberly Harper has an idea to tell these stories to inspire English students who may have doubts about their future and also to fight the negative stereotypes of black men and women.
“I was on overload with all the negative images that were being depicted in mainstream media…we need to start telling those daily narratives,” says Dr. Harper. “[I] want to give a platform for those that are doing positive things.”
The concept of the podcast serves three purposes:
- To bring a platform to those who are doing impactful things within the black community
- Provide a safe space for dialogue about current social issues and solutions, and;
- To make English students understand that they can put their degree to use
“This podcast gives you a sense of what’s possible, a resource for those who need certain information outside traditional sources,” says Dr. Harper. “So if we can have a podcast where we have someone with access, [the podcast] has made that available.”
The show is set to air in the beginning of next year under Dr. Harper’s production company, Omera.