Rachel Navarre ’06
How did you choose your area of study?
Literature and writing have always been my strengths. I also loved that the curriculum was diverse, and flexible enough to explore my other interests of Italian language, religion, and linguistics. The department made it easy to spend a semester in Italy and develop an original thesis topic.
What did you think of the faculty?
The small class size that allows students to engage with the talented faculty is a phenomenal asset. I particularly appreciated the classes that were unfamiliar and challenging to me. The professors at Lake Forest College do a great job of pushing you to grow.
More information to share?
Briefly describe your current work
As a student, I wanted to pursue a career in publishing. Thanks to an excellent internship senior year at a Chicago-area scholastic publisher, I was hired as a copy writer and content editor at another publisher within a few months of graduation. After a few years, I relocated to Oregon and took an entry-level position at a small software startup called MustHaveMenus. Eight years later, I manage two product groups and serve on the executive leadership team for that company.
Has the study of English impacted your life beyond the job? If so, how?
In the current political climate, I’m grateful for the formal training in critical reading: identifying bias and persuasive techniques, questioning omissions, tracing sources, and separating my emotional reaction from my critical assessment.
Do you have any advice for students pursuing English studies?
You won’t regret it. Few people get paid to write stories or read books or lecture on Chaucer, but don’t limit yourself. An English major’s skills in effective writing and critical thinking are highly valued in the public and private sectors. Plus we’re tough to replace with robots.