Our Literary Careers Mission Statement outlines what the graduate students of the English Department need to do now in order to flourish on the job market and how we will help facilitate that work. We see this project as a restoration of the basic social contract implied in graduate education, in which students undertake a supported apprenticeship and prepare for an intellectually fulfilling, gainful career. Therefore, the Literary Careers Program has assembled a team of professors, administrators, and graduate students to adapt to a new economy in which scholarship, technology, and communication all have critical roles to play. The following are our learning goals for every student, both graduate and undergraduate, in the Harvard English Department:
- Learn to name and discuss (in cover letters, CVs, resumes, and interviews) the transferable skills that we develop in our degree program: e.g., storytelling, writing, project management, self-teaching, communication, remote education, curriculum development.
- Develop an awareness of specific career fields that value these skills.
- Identify and practice skills that will empower us to navigate these fields, through supplemental coursework, internships, and extracurricular activities. E.g., video editing, website design, coding, publishing experience, pedagogy experience in K-12, design, facility with adobe suite, etc.
- Familiarize ourselves with internship opportunities, deadlines, and already existing departmental and alumni connections in conjunction with these career fields.
To implement these learning goals, the Literary Careers Program is building an infrastructure for career placement from the ground up. In the medium term (2-3 years) we expect that this infrastructure will bolster undergraduate enrollment, clearly illustrating the professional benefits of studying English. In the long term, we hope that this information will also prove valuable to those of us who do obtain academic positions, helping us advise undergraduates, place our own future graduate students, and offer public industries and education new opportunities to learn from this brilliant generation of literary scholars.