Sarah Castle is a 2010 ECU graduate who works at a small private wealth investment company brokered by Ameriprise Financial.
Where are you from and what brought you to ECU?
The Annapolis, Maryland, area. I am a third generation Pirate! My grandfather attended East Carolina in the late ’50s, followed by both of my parents who met at ECU in the ’70s , leaving me to continue the purple and gold legacy from 2006-2010.
What did you study while you were here, and how did your interest in this area begin?
I studied the English language, American history, Shakespeare, linguistics, and writing. I became interested in pursuing my Bachelor’s in English through the course studies of linguistics. I excelled and enjoyed using the International Phonetic Alphabet to accurately pronounce any word in any language.
What have you been up to since your graduation?
Since graduation in 2010, I have found employment in several different fields. Immediately following graduation, I worked for a law firm doing mortgage modifications. Then I went on to teach special education in the Annapolis, allowing me to give back to my home community. Following that, I gained my license to sell health, life, and variable annuities and was introduced to the world of sales. Most notably perhaps was when I was directly contacted and referred for employment by a financial firm which specifically hired me based on my degree in order to fulfill writing demands to keep clients engaged.
What recognitions/achievements are you most proud of and why?
Receiving recognition from the English department at East Carolina for being the most dedicated and highest achiever in my American history class was a pretty big deal for me. The professor I had was one of my hardest but he pushed me to the tip of my potential and it has long stood rewarding. I have remained in contact with my professor and together we have edited one of my research papers written about Thoreau for a number of years, using it as graduate school application material and the like.
What elements of your education in the Department of English have been most instrumental to your success?
The English department at East Carolina assisted me to develop skills such as implementing effective grammar, manipulating the written word, and exercising research techniques which have led me to excel in several areas of business and communication in the professional setting.
What was most rewarding/exciting about your time in the Department of English?
My most rewarding time with the Department of English was choosing to study overseas in Manchester, England for a semester. Upon the advice of my mentors, professors, and advisors I chose to finish up my required courses in the first semester of my senior year so that I could open my eyes to the world outside of America in my last months of study. It was the number one decision I made in my undergraduate career and I could not thank the English department more for pushing me in this direction!
What would you say to someone considering coming to ECU to study English?
As a graduate holding my Bachelor’s degree in English, I would say to any incoming English scholar, remember “if you can write well, you can do anything.” My mother told me that a long time ago and as it turns out, she was right. Having a strong command of any language will allow you to advance in the work force, in the social sense, and can capture your memories in time. With enough creativity, you can find a need in almost every profession so do not hesitate, take your English background and run with it! Oh and, Go Pirates!