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Yashika Issrani '20

Yashika Issrani is a junior English major, pursuing a specialization in Professional Writing and Technical Communication (PWTC). She currently is a member of the Student Advisory Board. View her LinkedIn profile to learn more or to connect with her!

What made you want to become an English major and how did that decision come to be? What has your journey looked like so far?

I always knew I wanted to become a lawyer but didn't know what major I should particularly take in preparation. I really don't know how or why I decided to become an English major. A voice inside my head just told me I should go with it. I trusted that voice because I knew it was a major I could succeed in, considering my passion for reading, my analytical eye, and my writing skills. Moreover, I justified my choice of major within a practical lens. I was confident that this major would prepare me for a rigorous career in law.

My classes thus far have provided me with a very holistic education as I have encountered and connected material from various disciplines including political science, economics, psychology and so forth. This experience has informed my view that the English major is an integration of a plethora of topics and can apply to many career paths.

Are you pursuing any specializations? Which ones and why?

I am pursuing a certificate in Professional Writing and Technical Communication. I chose this one particularly because I am not a creative writer. I do not spew out eloquent prose as I would like to, and I am very formal in my writing style. Fortunately, that is what a career in law would require: professional and concise yet detailed writing. So I chose this certificate to refine my writing skills. It's a great way to make the most of my major!

So you are on the Student Advisory Board, correct? What made you want to be a part of it? 

Yes, I joined the Student Advisory Board at the beginning of this semester. I sought this position out because as an English major, I am aware of the insecurities and criticisms students in this major often face. I took up this leadership role to help my peers understand that English is a practical major and has the potential to land you a job in various fields. Additionally, I thought it was a great opportunity to be a voice for English majors, communicating ideas to the Department about how to better support us.

What would you say to others who are interested in joining the Advisory Board?

I would highly encourage others to join the Student Advisory Board. Since we are responsible for assisting in the planning of events, we get to meet and network with professors, alumni, and other students. It is also a great opportunity to represent and help out your peers. The overall experience allows you to gain valuable skills that you can apply anywhere!

What suggestions do you have for the English Department? 

The English Department is phenomenal. I appreciate that the professors are accessible and the rest of the department is also easy to approach. The Department makes many efforts to support students, especially through career-related events. My only suggestion would be to hold more of those events later in the day.

Can you speak about your other extracurriculars, internships, and interests? How do these complement your English education?

Freshman year, I was involved in the Student Government Association (SGA) as a Special Assistant for the Social Justice and Empowerment Committee. It complemented my English education, as we would frequently talk about social issues in class and interpret their implications. We would also do this in my committee. So, I was really able to apply and connect my conversations in both settings.

Last summer, I interned at a law firm. It was a writing-intensive internship where I drafted case summaries, Memorandum and Articles of Association, affidavits, and other legal documents. Being an English major came in handy at this internship where I had to be meticulous in my writing.

What's next for you (professionally?)

Law school! I will pursue a J.D. after I receive my Bachelor’s and progress to fulfill my lifelong dream of being a lawyer.

What is your favorite book/author and why?

My favorite author is Jhumpa Lahiri. I may be biased because we share the same origins but that is exactly why I admire her work. She highlights the conundrums of the Indian immigrant life, which is something I can personally relate to.

Interview by Cayli Armstrong, Digital Communications Intern
Published November 2018; Updated September 2019