She opened the document on her desktop and started at the top. The first sentence looked good, but oops … there was one mistake. “Don’t forget your commas,” Lilly thought to herself. By the time she was done, the engineering report looked like a Picasso painting with red ink.
“Although my editing isn’t on an earth-shattering scale, I like to think that I’m leaving things in a better state than I found them, one engineering report at a time,” Lilly said.
After graduating from Huntington University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Lilly (Theiss) Neal moved to Louisville, Ky., where she works as an administrative assistant for Donan Engineering Company. The company determines the causes of structural failures, fires and explosions, roof damages and collapse, and product and component failures. Employees turn in their engineering reports to Lilly, and she checks the reports for any grammatical errors and makes them understandable to the layman.
“I’ve become the company’s corporate writing coach,” she said. “I tell the engineers how they can improve their writing skills, and I wrote a manual for the company on how to write better.”
Lilly became “hooked on phonics” during her literature, creative writing and composition classes at Huntington. Lilly credits her history and structure of the English language class with Dr. Linda Urschel, professor of English, as having the greatest influence on her dedication to editing.
“I started out as a journalism major, but I preferred checking grammar and reading to writing,” Lilly said. “I found it interesting to apply the English language and its rules to fix other people’s writing.”
She got a taste for copyediting during her summer internship in 2006 with the Old Brooklyn News in Cleveland, Ohio, and even got to write a few articles for the paper.
Thanks to the personal attention she received from her professors and the skills she learned in her versatile major, Lilly was able to use her talents to land herself a position just six months after graduating from Huntington.
“Everyone needs to know how to communicate well, and an English degree helps you develop those skills,” Lilly said. “I never thought I’d end up at an engineering firm. It just goes to show you that you can go anywhere with an English degree.”
Discover what Huntington University can do for you.
Are you interested in an English degree from a Christian college? Tell us about your dreams and aspirations, and we'll respond immediately with a custom viewbook made just for you! Build one now!