More Inteviews and Tips

Betty Andropolis, an Administrator Assistant at NU, completed an English Degree at Niagara in the Fall of 2009.
Why did you decide to pursue an English Degree and what do you plan on doing in the future?
Since I'm an older student the typical situations don't apply.  I am still thinking
about pursuing my masters with a concentration on assisting students with their
writing skills, but I also wanted to mention that through the courses I've taken, my
oral and written communication skills have improved. I know that if I ever wanted
to leave NU I'd be in a better bargaining position because of the degree.

I also wanted to share one of my favorite quotes that I believe sums up the
advantages of an English Lit degree:

Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man ~
Francis Bacon

Josh Maloni, an adjunct professor at NU and the faculty adviser for The Niagara Index, gives some advice and information about his success since he graduated from Niagara with a degree in English.

1. Can you please tell me about yourself? (degree(s) you graduated with, previous jobs and a description of your current job)

Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Niagara University, and
Master of Arts degree in magazine, newspaper and online journalism from Syracuse University and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication.

I have written for a half-dozen Western New York publications; I worked full-time for Greater Niagara Newspapers; and I am currently the editorial/production coordinator and entertainment editor for Niagara Frontier Publications. I freelance for a Web site, Suite101. And, as you know, I am an adjunct professor and the Index adviser at NU.

My job duties include paginating two weekly newspapers, redesigning our Web site ( and ensuring the editorial and production departments are on the same page when it comes to the creation and presentation of our products.

I cover several beats, and I write television, business and food columns.  

2. How did you get your first job after you graduated college?

I began as a freelance writer, and worked my way onto various newspaper staffs. I built a resume, learned to network, and established myself as a credible journalist.

3. How did your English courses prepare you for your former or current jobs?

Mainly, these courses honed my creativity. Working on the Niagara Index was the most valuable learning experience for me at NU.

4. What advice do you have for English majors who are trying to figure out their future plans?

Learn to communicate. Regardless of your career path, the ability to effectively communicate thoughts and ideas is a big key to success.

Don't allow outward circumstances to dictate or limit your path.

An English degree is a wonderful tool and achievement, but it's up to you to build your own success in life.

Margaret Park Bridges is a published author and has worked as an editor for both
small and big publishers. She has more than 20 years
experience in print production,
11 of which were spent as a managing editor or
copyeditor in textbooks and trade books.
1. When you were an undergraduate English major, did you know
you wanted to go into publishing?

As an undergrad, I had no idea what I wanted to do after
school. It was only after I graduated and moved to New York City that I started
to look for a job, which isn’t a career strategy I’d advise for most people. I
interviewed as publishers, literary agencies and ad agencies.

But I did do one wise thing: I found out from my college which older alumni worked in
publishing, and I contacted some. One alumnus connected me with a friend at Simon
& Schuster, where I ended up getting my first job: in the school and library trade
sales promotion department.

2. For young people considering book publishing as a career,
what would you say are the most important things to know?

Don’t expect most publishing jobs to be too glamorous.
Although they are certainly highly publicized examples of trade book editors who
have made names for themselves by “discovering” a successful author, most work
tirelessly and anonymously for meager salaries. Editors and other publishing
employees tend to be very well read.

3. What is the most gratifying thing about your work?

It’s gratifying at the end of the project to hold a real published book in my hand,
sometimes one that includes my name in the masthead on the copyright page.

Also, like any job, it feels good to be praised for hard
work and smart strategies. But books are products that often last a long time,
so quality is important.

Books, often produced within about nine months, are sometimes likened to babies,
and you want to be a good parent. You want to send them out into the world looking
their best, so they can contribute beauty and knowledge to others.