Major Spotlight: Shirin Fatima
Hometown: Rogers, MN
Why did you choose to major in English?
I chose to major in English because I love getting lost in stories. Literature has the ability to transport one to a different time, place, and mind. It allows one to develop a deep understanding of the world and push boundaries of imagination. I have a curious mind that is always yearning to learn more about art, music, business, science—all through the study of English literature.
What has been your favorite part of your experience in the department?
I really enjoy how close-knit the English department feels like. It is always welcoming and homey. The professors provide students with the spark of immediate intellectual excitement while simultaneously building toward the larger end of a liberal education.
"I have a curious mind that
is always yearning to learn
more about art, music,
through the study of
Are you pursuing any majors, minors, internships, or fields of interest outside your English major?
I am double-majoring in Finance and English. Finance is about uncovering a puzzle and cultivating a story behind the numbers from financial statements. Being an English major, I am able to effectively communicate the connection between idiosyncratic events to a macroeconomic phenomenon. English has enhanced my analytical capacity in both my personal and professional life.
Additionally, I am a Mental Health Advocate in Carlson School of Management. It has been incredibly important for me to raise awareness for mental illnesses and the various resources on campus. I feel my English major has strengthened my ability to spread information and further the conversation about risk factors, symptoms, treatment, and prevention.
What English course would you recommend for majors? For non-majors who want to take an English class?
"Children’s Literature" would be an excellent class for English majors! It was really exciting to learn about the origin of favorite fairy tales, and how they adapted over time. For instance, the little mermaid was actually murderous! On the other hand, any creative writing course would be valuable for non-English majors. Creative writing pushes one to interact with their imagination through colors, scents, sound, textures, eyesight, and touch.
What is something about the English department that most people wouldn’t know?
The English department contains the magical door to Narnia.
If you studied abroad, what did you take away from the experience?
I was actually lucky enough to study abroad in Japan this past winter break. It was an enriching experience where I was thrown into a completely new culture and society. I felt quite humbled throughout my trip because I didn’t speak Japanese, so I had to rely on social cues and hand gestures. I learned that the world is incredibly vast, and there is just so much to see!
Best book you've read recently?
Persuasion by Jane Austen.