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Meet: Daja Hansel-Coates

What do you currently do (or plan to do), and how do the skills you acquired and practiced in the Writing & Linguistics courses benefit this plan?

Directly after graduating from Georgia Southern I got TEFL certified and became an English teacher in Costa Rica. I originally learned about TEFL/TESOL in my careers in Writing and Linguistics class at Georgia Southern. My skills in writing, communication, and experience with presentations have benefited me immensely in my new work.

My experience in creative writing classes helped me to become more organized in managing my time to complete tasks which comes in handy when planning lessons and creating new activities for my students. I also have a lot of experience with grammar which is useful now because I teach grammar. I felt extremely prepared for this field of work thanks to the Writing/Linguistics major.

Why did you decide to major/minor in Writing & Linguistics as opposed to other majors/minors?

Originally I majored in writing because I have always loved stories and poetry. I thought this major would provide me with the chance to improve my writing skills both professionally and creatively (which it did). I knew very little about linguistics in the past, but those courses exposed me to a whole new field of work that both interests and inspires me. There were few other majors I looked into because I was focused on picking something that I was passionate about, writing. Through this major I was able to find a new passion for language and decided to become a double major; this decision has led me to near fluency in a second language, and the opportunity to live and work abroad.

How well did your experiences at Georgia Southern prepare you for graduate school and/or employer demands?

Georgia Southern always challenged me, especially in my Writing & Linguistics courses. Due date after due date, essay after essay, presentation after presentation. All this hard work made me an organized, driven, and dedicated student and worker ready and willing to pursue graduate studies. The professors truly care about all of us and I was constantly encouraged by them to be better and to pursue my dreams whatever they may be.

Unlike friends of mine with majors in other colleges, I really was able to get close to my professors, received real advice in my career path, and created positive relationships with men and women I consider role models.

What advice would you give to students considering a major/minor in Writing & Linguistics?

My advice is DO IT. Writing skills are transferable over a number of career fields and there are so many amazing classes offered under this major. I learned a variety of things through the readings, class discussions, and research assignments that I never expected to learn in a creative writing course. If you want to grow as a person, writer, communicator, and critical thinker this department has everything you could ask for.

The Writing and Linguistics department at Georgia Southern really is where I found my voice, and is what has led me to where I am today and I am very happy! Thanks to the outstanding role models I would like to become a professor myself in the future, I only hope I can provide my future students with the same quality of education as I was given as a Writing and Linguistics major at Georgia Southern!

Last updated: 3/30/2022