Using That English Degree

J Philip Faranda July 5, 2010

The old joke goes something like this: The Engineering major asks “how shall we build it?” The Business major asks “how much will it cost to build it?” The English major asks “Do you want fries with that?”

Villanova University class of 89Since graduating college with a BA in English, I get kidded about the fact that my degree is not exactly the precursor to big things in industry. There is no job waiting for an English major the way there is a nursing or marketing position for people with those degrees. English is a good discipline for pre law or teaching, but it isn’t job training. It’s not vocational; it is educational but limited in its pragmatism. My father told me to get an education first and a job training second. I think he hoped that I would go back to school and get a masters in something that would get me a real job. Sorry Dad. 

However, I think that I actually do use my degree far more in real estate than most people realize. You can’t quote Keats or Shelley and convince someone that a Formica counter top is really fine; but English is the spine of communication. That’s important in marketing, and it is crucial one on one. I write killer home descriptions, not because they are flowery, but in their economy of words and their vivid accuracy. I have sold tens of millions without ever resorting to that awful EIK abomination. 

Beyond that, the language is my canvas and stock in trade. Blogging is the icing on the cake; I never wrote the Great American Classic, nor did the NY Times ever ask me to write for them twice a week, so I self publish right on this platform.  I went into sales right out of college, which is sort of the stereotypical liberal arts plan B at age 21, but I approached it with my eyes open. And the opportunity to actually do what I love, write, daily, and have it become part of how I engage in commerce is a dream come true. I write for my living. That is what any successful English major would want. I am a better broker because of that. 

I would therefore assert that I use my degree daily, and it gives me an advantage over my competition. 

 

Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

 

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