Senior Profile: Sofia Cabrera

Senior ProfileSofia Cabrera is an English major on the Language, Writing, and Rhetoric track with a double minor in Professional Writing and Rhetoric.

Why did you decide to become an English major?

I have always been fascinated by the study of communications, particularly in writing. There are so many components to reading and writing that can serve great purposes, pull on heartstrings, and change the course of humanity. I chose the English major to learn all I could about these components and hopefully become a greater communicator.

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

I had the honor of interning and working at the Writing Center in Tawes for a little over a year. I was also a member of the Terrapin Theatre Troupe in my sophomore year. Currently, I am interning for Voice of America in Washington, DC in their marketing department.

What has been your favorite class in English and why?

There are so many amazing classes to choose from that I can't choose just one! I especially loved Engl416: Literature of the 18th Century with Professor Tita Chico, Engl388W: Writing Center Internship with Professor Thomas Earles, and Engl487: Principles and Practices of Rhetoric with Professor Vessela Valiavitcharska. These courses in particular really challenged my ways of thinking, reading, and learning. All three professors always came to class prepared, encouraged deeper discussions of the materials, and challenged me to do better when I thought I had done my best. They also created a very welcoming and friendly environment that made me excited to go to class.

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

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley! Somehow, this book was assigned to me at least once every year during my time at UMD. It amazed me how with each rereading and new class discussion, the story became deeper and more intricate. Frankenstein unravels questions of creation, sociology, human desires, and many more that bring to light so many hidden turmoils in the human psyche. It opened my eyes to the burdened anxieties of humanity and the core of society in a way I never thought a fictional piece of literature could. I could go on about it for days!

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

English courses have spurred and refined my skills in everything from organizing and editing to communicating and critical thinking. Thanks to the English major and the experiences I gained through the English department, I am an adaptable, creative, and active learner and worker. My favorite skill I've gained through the English major is my ability to communicate effectively on any platform, written or verbal, through public speaking, professional document creation, and constructive discussions.

What is your dream job or career?

I hope to work in Public Relations, particularly with the government in relation to Latin America. I would also love to work in the Department of Education to help perfect the educational system for young minds. On a more dreamlike note, I hope to someday publish my own novel.

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

I am extremely passionate about psychology and sociology, particularly with a focus on child development. I have worked with children since I was fourteen as a preschool teacher, and I have always been fascinated about how people think and learn to handle their environment. Whenever I had the possibility of taking an elective course at UMD, I chose psychology courses to better understand the little minds around us. Due to this interest, I am also a big advocate for child wellness and safety.

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

When I first declared as an English major, I had a lot of people ask, "What will you do with an English major?" I always scrambled for an answer, usually something along the lines of "editing" or "transcribing."

Now that I am weeks away from getting my degree, my answer is immediate: "I can do anything."

The English major to me is a compilation of the best skills, challenges, and projects. There is no career an English major can't pursue if they take their studies head-on. With the right amount of vigor, passion, and excitement, an English degree can take you anywhere.