Senior Profile: Olga Petrovskikh

Senior ProfileSenior Olga Petrovskikh is double majoring in English, on the Language, Writing, and Rhetoric track, and general biology.

Why did you decide to become an English major?

I decided to become an English major in the middle of my junior year when I had the realization that I will have completed all my graduation and biology requirements by the end of the year with no clue what to do after. English and writing had always been passions of mine so after neglecting them for so long, I decided that I'd dedicate my senior year to studying something I love.

What clubs, campus groups, internships, outside of class projects have you been involved with?

I've been a member of UMD's ballroom dance team, UMD's oSTEM chapter, and volunteered as a reporter and anchor for WMUC's Weekly Roundup. I've been working at the Writing Center since the spring of my sophomore year, and am currently interning with the Dickinson Electronic Archives. Outside of campus, I volunteered in UMMC's shock trauma ORs and interned at a private law firm.

What has been your favorite class in English and why?

It's hard to pick a single class! I enjoyed studying poetry in ENGL 439D with Professor Smith, who really taught me how to appreciate it. I liked learning about rhetoric and persuasion by reading literature from Ancient Greek writers in ENGL 487 with Professor Valiavitcharska and applying what I learned to my speeches. I also unexpectedly found myself drawn to the gothic literature I read in ENGL 455 with Professor Rosenthal.

What is something you read during class that impacted your worldview? 

I became extremely conscious of how much power record keepers and archivists have to alter public perceptions of historical events after recently reading "Markup Bodies: Black [Life] Studies and Slavery [Death] Studies at the Digital Crossroad" by Jessica Marie Johnson for ENGL 388D.

What skills (professional, creative or other) do you think you’ve gotten from the major?

Every class I took required writing, critical analysis, and research skills.

What is your dream job or career?

I'd like to be a patent lawyer.

What are you passionate about (or even curious about)?

Too much. Everything. Picking a major was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make.

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

The English major has opened up an entire new world to me stretching across various disciplines. I never feel limited with English, and it certainly helped me come out of my shell.