Agelina Del Balzo

Angelina Del Balzo, ’11, Graduate Student/Teaching Assistant, UCLA

What’s been your career path?

After Wellesley, I moved to New York for a job and started the process of applying to graduate school. I worked in MBA admissions for a year, doing administrative work. I moved to Los Angeles to start working towards my Ph.D. in English, where I’m now finishing up my second year. My work is divided between my own research projects, the various requirements of the degree, and my work as a teaching assistant for undergraduate survey courses. What I like about graduate study is that you change from being a consumer of knowledge as an undergraduate to a producer of knowledge, asking questions about texts that are of interest to you and finding the best methodologies to do so.

How did your English major prepare you for your career?

The rigor of the major at Wellesley made me more than prepared for the Ph.D., despite the fact that most of my fellow students entered with a masters degree. On the most basic level, the breadth of the English major gave me the broad background in literature needed for graduate study; I felt confident in my graduate seminars that I had a solid understanding of the field. Doing an honors thesis gave me experience with a large independent project that helped me discover my own interests and abilities as a researcher.

Were any internships particularly helpful to your job search?

I interned in the literary department of a regional theater company after my first year, which helped me discover exactly what my career goals are. The other summers, I spent on language study so that I could pass the language requirements of the graduate program my first year of study.