Senior Profile: Preston Foster Jr.

Senior ProfilePreston Foster Jr is an English major minoring in Professional Writing and Army Leadership Studies.

Why did you decide to become an English major?

When I first joined UMD I was focused on STEM majors due to my success with math and science in high school. After a lot of reflection, however, I realized writing came more naturally to me than anything else. I also became interested in law school, and English is the perfect major for that!

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

I'm involved in Army ROTC at UMD, and I'll commission as a Second Lieutenant in the National Guard this May. Right now I'm a part of our public affairs department, which does social media posts for our program and plans camaraderie events, such as military balls and volunteering opportunities for cadets. I've also been involved in the Federal and Global Fellows Program, Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society, and the Society of Physics Students!

What has been your favorite class in English and why?

ENGL384 (Concepts of Grammar) without a doubt. It was a very challenging and time-consuming course, but it was definitely worth it! I learned so much about linguistics and how crucial it is for helping us understand the English language.

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

I read Native Son by Richard Wright for an African-American literature course, and it's still one of my favorite books to this day. The story is told very vividly, and it sets a precedent for literature through the controversial topics it discusses.

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

The three biggest skills I've gained are professional writing, interpersonal skills, and critical thinking. As an English major, you learn to analyze information and form your own opinions in a constructive manner, which is invaluable in today's world. This has also made me a very open-minded person, which has helped me get along with people from many different backgrounds.

What is your dream job or career?

Since I plan on going to law school in the future, working as an attorney for a federal agency (NSA, FAA, SEC) would be a dream job for me. The flexible work hours of the federal government would help me manage my obligations in the National Guard as well.

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

I'm very passionate about ethics and leadership. As a lawyer, I'll have to grapple with many issues as to what is right or wrong; as a future Army Officer, I want to be the best leader I can be and help others do the same!

What has been the most valuable part of the English major?

I would say it gave me a much better appreciation for reading and writing. As simple as that may sound, these two skills are valuable in any job or career field when you can do them well.