How I Used My English Degree (or, How Those Management Kids Made the Biggest Mistake of their Life): A Guest Blog by Jake Meyer

Feature Writer Jake Meyer was born in 1986. His winning streak continues to this day.

Since graduating from Bucknell in 2008, I’ve gone on to have a lucrative [1] career in social media.  Professionally surfing Facebook has a taught me a lot. [2] But in this 140 character or less world we’re living in, the written word is king. [3]

Everyday creative writing is rewarded with likes, comments, and shares. You know what doesn’t get rewarded in a broad social forum? Accounting. Investment Banking. Financial Asset Management. We are writing our memoirs one status update at a time. All of us have Investment Banker friends. Their newsfeeds are pictures of cars, their offices, and the occasional Old School reference. Have you seen what an English Major’s Twitter feed looks like? Dear Williams Carlos Williams – put my plum back: you’re the worst roommate ever. Or something to the effect of what these guys are doing, tweeting pieces of classic literature. Effing hilarious.

It’s amazing: Management majors spent four years learning how to make money. English majors, on the other hand, spend four years learning how to be interesting. [4]

It’s never been more lucrative to be interesting. Facebook grossed billions in ad revenue last year and they aren’t even trying. In 2014, Doritos isn’t even going to buy TV ads (!!); they’re just going to buy Facebook media. Studies are valuing a “like” at a $3.60. [5] English majors get 10 likes per Facebook comment in their sleep. We can offer 36 dollars in advertising revenue per post. Management majors offer a tenth of that value.

Control over the written word has become a greater commodity than it ever has been. The ability to concisely turn a phrase is the single most sought after skill in the world. There are a million accounting majors. But how many truly funny writers are there? Not that many. Trust me.

So my advice to the incoming class of 2015, who will be arriving on campus all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed [6] this August: major in English. Do it for the money. [7]

[1] This basically means I can shop at Trader Joe’s.

[2] People are tired, Bridesmaids was funnier than The Hangover 2, Pippa is the slightly hotter Middleton.

[3] Slightly more important than it was before.

[4] Famous words uttered by Bucknell Professor of English Harold Schweitzer, copyright pending.

[5] Amazingly, I actually read those studies. Not all of them, though, as I can’t do that and find time to watch the Real World.

[6] Drunk

[7] Is this entire article a rationalization? Maybe. Is it wrong? No.


One thought on “How I Used My English Degree (or, How Those Management Kids Made the Biggest Mistake of their Life): A Guest Blog by Jake Meyer

  1. This is amazing! I particularly like all the footnotes and the Schweitzer quote. I remember him saying something similar in the survey course I took with him.

    I also will never forget taking Poetry 204 with you. “It is 8 o’clock in the morning and Jake Meyers is writing about his favorite subject, Jake Meyers.” Best class-written poem ever. 🙂

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