Graduating Senior Spotlight: Q&A with Sarah Horner

Sarah Horner in a black turtleneck, standing in front of a dark red curtain

Hometown: Plymouth, MN

Major(s): Strategic Communication and English

Minor(s): Creative Writing, Editing & Publishing Certificate

What brought you to the University of Minnesota and how did you end up choosing your major(s) and minor(s)?

Like most high schoolers, I felt drawn in lots of different directions and wasn’t quite sure how to narrow down my interests. The U of M’s strategic communication major was attractive to me because I figured if you’re a good writer and communicator, you can work just about anywhere. Once I figured out I wanted to go into publishing, I realized how lucky I got when I chose the U of M. I’m pretty sure we’re one of the only colleges in the country that has a specific editing and publishing program for undergraduates, and Minneapolis is a major hub of independent publishing. Also, I was obsessed with concerts in high school and couldn’t bear to leave the awesome music scene in the Twin Cities.

Tell us about a class you still think a lot about.

I was in the class that produced The Tower, an art and literary magazine, during my junior year. With the help of our advisor, we facilitated every stage of the production process, from encouraging submissions to editing pieces to designing the issue. I loved getting to read all the creative work submitted by fellow students. It was also so valuable to learn how the publishing process works through hands-on, real-world experience.

What has been your favorite part of your experience with your department(s) and within your major(s) and minor(s)?

Though my learning abroad program wasn’t specific to either of my majors, I got to take some incredibly cool English classes at the University of Glasgow last fall. One was on modernism & gender and another explored the fantastic & the real in Scottish literature. I loved hearing the perspectives of peers with lived experiences that are drastically different from mine. It was also interesting to see how much variation there is between the English degree in America and the English degree in the U.K.

What is your dream job? How is your liberal arts education helping you reach your post-graduation goals?

My dream is to work in publishing or the arts, which are career fields that require individuals to be well-rounded, versatile, and creative thinkers. CLA has taught me how to be all of these things. I loved getting to explore all sorts of different interests during my time in college rather than having to focus on honing one specific skill. Because of my liberal arts education, I have endless career opportunities, and that is a great comfort to me.

What's next for you? What are your post-graduation plans?

Honestly? I don’t know! It’s the time of year where my peers start to celebrate their job offers and grad school acceptances, and it can be hard not to panic about not having anything lined up. However, I know I’m well-equipped to enter the workforce, so I’m trying to allow myself to take my time and trust that things will work out. I think it’s necessary to breathe and reflect on what I’ve already accomplished. Plus, I’ve got a bit of a travel bug, so I’m hoping to spend some time this summer exploring new places.

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