Major Spotlight: Sara Donlin

This junior speaks four languages and won a scholarship to Korea this past summer
Image of major Sara Donlin

Year: Junior
Hometown: Edina, Minnesota

What has been your favorite part of your experience in the department?

I love attending the alumni and career panels! It's so interesting to see all the different paths an English degree can take you.

How do your studies in English relate to your professional experiences and ambitions?

My English studies have helped foster my creativity and critical thinking at the same time. With my Critical Language Scholarship in Busan this summer, I have recently started considering a path in the foreign service or international relations. However, my childhood dream of writing creatively for a living still stands!

"Studying another language
while having a background in
literature makes grammar
much more interesting."

Are you pursuing any majors, minors, internships, or fields of interest outside your English major?

I'm also pursuing a minor in Asian Languages & Literatures, specifically in Korean. Studying another language while having a background in literature makes approaching concepts, like grammar, for example, much more interesting. Native speakers tend not to learn conjugation and grammar rules since it is something that is grasped naturally, so studying a language with a textual analysis lens helps me be more conscious of my writing.

What English course would you recommend for majors? For non-majors who want to take an English class?

Shakespeare is required for all English majors, but I really, really enjoyed that class, so much so that I'll be pursuing Shakespeare when I study abroad in Glasgow next semester! It reinforced my love of storytelling and was my first time studying Shakespeare outside of a high school English class. For non-majors, I would recommend "American Novel from 1900." You read a great variety of books, from American classics, like The Great Gatsby, to more contemporary pieces that make you question what makes a story "American."

What's your favorite piece of writing?

Is it cheating if I say Harry Potter? The amount of wonder and detail in the Harry Potter series is truly inspiring. More recently, I've really enjoyed Victoria Aveyard's Red Queen series.

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