Student and Alumni English

Jennifer (Salamone) Tierney

What kind of professional work have you been doing since graduation?

Since graduating, I have had three major jobs. I spent three years as an abstract writer/editor and Quality Control specialist at EBSCO Publishing. I then worked for three years as the Manager at the Andover Bookstore. And for the past four years, I have been working at Crimson Hexagon (a social media analytics SaaS company in Boston), first as Knowledge Manager (a type of corporate Librarian) and now as Engineering Operations Manager.

To what extent has the English major helped you do this work?

I’ve found that at all of these different companies, I have always been able to adapt into whatever role I was interested in or asked to step into. This adaptability is definitely something that was strengthened as part of my time in the English program. And the courage to advocate for myself was also something I gained confidence in at Merrimack. Learning how to construct and present a strong argument has been invaluable to me since graduating and as I have said at every English major Career Night that I’ve attended since graduating, the most important skill that any person in today’s workforce can have is the ability to communicate. It is how you land a job, how you create confidence among coworkers, advocate for compensation changes, prove you deserve a promotion, lead projects, and an infinite number of other example scenarios. If I had not built such excellent communication skills at Merrimack, I would not be as successful as I am today. I have specifically been chosen to lead projects and teams because my supervisors (all the way up to the CEO) and my colleagues believe that I have excellent communication and organization skills. Writing papers is an amazing practice for a future in project management, a skill set that is becoming increasingly sought after in today’s market.

Have you earned any advanced degrees since your undergraduate graduation? If so, what are they? If not, do you plan to pursue graduate study in the future?

I have a Master’s of Science in Library and Information Science (MSLIS) from Drexel University. I have also continued my professional studies by taking classes in project management and leadership.

What did you like best about the Merrimack English major?

I loved the exercise of taking a piece of writing and exploring it completely—of reading something and then constructing well thought out points in support of an argument. And when I think back on that time, I am so glad that I was given the opportunity to explore so many different topics, periods, and authors.

What advice would you give current English majors?

If you are not sure exactly what you would like to do after graduation, do not fret! Unlike the Civil Engineering majors (my husband, Joe Tierney ’08), we do not have one distinct and clear path into the world of employment. But that makes us a very valuable commodity indeed. We can fit into so many different roles and follow our interests and passions as they change over time. Focus on learning how to think, how to reason, how to argue with respect and conviction! Then you’ll be able to find success no matter where you land. Good luck and enjoy these amazing years!