Senior Profile: Idalia Hodge

Senior ProfileIdalia Hodge is on the English language and literature track and is currently interning at the Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office in the District Screening Unit.

What internships and outside of class projects have you been involved with?

I decided to take on an internship at the State’s Attorney’s Office in Montgomery County, Maryland, to finish my remaining credits. In just the first week I was shocked at how prepared I felt, only having taken one legal discourse class the semester prior.

The internship consists of a lot of writing, research and communication, which are skills I’ve learned, practiced and achieved during my time as an English major. I used the basics of writing memos, using legal language that I learned from the legal writing class I took last semester and I quickly picked up researching cases and gathering evidence.

Part of the internship consists of speaking with victims, prosecutors and legal assistants, which I was surprisingly comfortable with considering my lack of experience in the industry. This internship has shown me how all the reading assignments, presentations and research papers I’ve done throughout my time at the University of Maryland have not only prepared me but has helped me to build confidence in myself.

To you, what has been the most valuable part of the English major?

While finishing up my last semester as an English major, I’ve started realizing the many ways in which this major has prepared me for the workforce.

[My response to] the question “What will you do with an English degree?” has been transformed entirely. I can really do anything I want with my degree. My abilities to read and retain, research and produce, communicate efficiently and adapt to anything have all been learned and practiced as an English Major. To anyone considering a degree in English, understand there are no limits to what you can do. Once you have these skills, doors will open.

What has been your favorite class in English and why?

My favorite English class that I have taken is ENGL359C, which was “Queer Comedy” with Professor Martha Nell Smith. It was a class I signed up for on a whim. I decided I wanted to see what other classes were offered as English credit and I was extremely happy with what I took away from this class. I learned so much and I continue to share what I've learned about comedy, why it's so important and how it's used today.

It really is difficult to pick a single class out from the bunch. Reflecting back I can say a few of my favorites have been: “Women & Jewish Literature,” “African American Literature” and a course on “Citizens, Refugees, & Immigrants.” It's been super satisfying to see the range of classes provided for English majors at UMD and I am going to truly miss studying and taking all the awesome classes that have been available to me.