English Graduates & Entrepreneurship

The videos on this page are part of the A Way with Words DVD, which profiles English graduates running their own businesses. The profiles show that running your own business isn’t just about understanding cash flow and tax forms: it’s a way to succeed financially while doing what’s important to you.

Although an English degree won’t teach you how to run a business, English graduates have the skills needed for entrepreneurship. Studying English gives you communication skills, cultural knowledge, and the power of independent thought.

Catherine Litchfield

Catherine Lichfield

Profession: consultant on independent and short films
Studied: English Literature, University of Hull
Take-away: “When you actually realize you can do anything, it’s very difficult to know where to go.”

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Cherie Federico and Dale Dorley

Cherie Federico & Dale Dorley

Profession: editors of a literary magazine, Aesthetica, which they established; run events like poetry festivals
Studied: University College of York St. John
Take-away: Cherie: “We have to use our creativity to come up with business ideas.” Dale: “We get letters every day from people saying what we’ve built has changed their lives.”

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Diana Hatcher

Diana Hatcher

Profession: independent financial adviser
Studied: University of Hull
Take-away: “The sheer discipline of it, the amount of reading you do, I think it makes you quite confident. You can tackle anything, really.”

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Julie Hilda

Julie Hilda

Profession: television industry
Studied: English Literature, University of Edinburgh
Take-away: “Take every opportunity to learn something new.”

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Marvin Close

Marvin Close

Profession: screenwriter for TV and theatre, including Coronation Street, Emmerdale, The Story of Tracy Beaker
Studied: University of Lancaster
Take-away: ”[If you want to be a writer] there’s going to be loads of people out there who all want to do what you’re doing, so you’ve got to be ahead of the bunch.”

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Caroline Pitcher

Caroline Pitcher

Profession: award-winning children’s / teens’ author
Studied: English and European Literature, University of Warwick
Take-away: “If you are a writer, you will write no matter what.”

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Miles Salter

Miles Salter

Profession: freelance writer
Studied: English & Drama, Film, and Television at University College of York St. John (Leeds)
Take-away: “One of the purposes of an English degree is to enable people to be fluent communicators, and that is such a fundamental skill and not to be underestimated.”

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The English Subject Centre website has more information about the A Way With Words: Creativity, Enterprise, and the English Graduate DVD.

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