Yeshiva College Hosts Alumni Panel for English and Writing Students
On March 29, students and professors of English and Writing gathered in Furst Hall to hear several distinguished alumni of Yeshiva College discuss the impact of their English education upon their career paths and experiences after graduation. Facilitated by Professor Lauren Fitzgerald, chair of the English department, the panel discussed several questions likely plaguing the minds of many students studying literature and writing instead of more career-oriented programs like pre-med or accounting.
Members of the panel included Ben Abromowitz (YC ’12; Sarah Lawrence MFA ‘15), editorial associate at Vanity Fair, Aaron Roller (YC ’06; Harvard Urban Planning MA ’08), Director of Special Projects at the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services, Matthew Schneider (YC ’03; Fordham Law ’07), Associate General Counsel at Silver Point Capital and investor in Broadway shows, and Sam Singer (YC ’03; AECOM ’07), attending neuro oncologist at the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center.
Professor Fitzgerald asked the panelists to reflect upon their experiences as English majors and articulate the impact of their literature and writing studies upon their careers. Dr. Singer noted that when he began writing research proposals in medical school, he was surprised by the frequency at which his classmates’ papers were returned covered in red ink while his own papers earned him the high regard of his professors. Abromowitz claimed that his English classes, as well as his work in the Writing Center, taught him how to communicate about writing more effectively and contributed to his ability to work with others to improve their writing. Schneider felt that his background in literature, narrative, and writing gave him credibility in the Broadway investment scene among investors who had spent their entire careers working in the industry.
Each of the panelists took the opportunity to thank their former professors, many of whom attended the event, and encouraged current students to take full advantage of the world-class education we have available to us at relatively miniscule student-to-professor ratios. When asked if there were any classes they wished they had taken during their time at YU, Roller and Schneider agreed that financial literacy, or even a course in Microsoft Excel, could have prepared them to enter government and law, respectively.
While each panelist had a unique perspective on how their English studies at YU influence their day-to-day responsibilities, they all agreed that becoming well-rounded people who can express their thoughts efficiently and effectively has proven to be the most valuable takeaway from their undergraduate education.