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Melissa Gutierrez

English, B.A. '11
Biola gave me a strong foundation in Jesus' teachings and actions, and the English program specifically taught me to think critically about the story and character of Jesus.

How did your program at Biola prepare you for your career?
I got an English degree at Biola, which I used to get communications jobs after college. While I have recently switched professions and am going back to school for a masters in counseling, those jobs gave me a good foundation to explore my life as a young adult while having money, health benefits and great working experiences in a bunch of different fields (nonprofit, corporate, educational, etc). From that platform I was able to think critically about what I really wanted to do professionally and what my calling really was, and eventually make the jump to going back to school again. Also my creative writing classes have given me a huge edge in my expressive arts therapy masters program.

What did you appreciate most about your time at Biola?
The way the English Department professors taught me to really look at all aspects of humanity and creation critically and thoughtfully.

How did Biola equip you to be a more faithful follower of Jesus Christ?
Biola gave me a strong foundation in Jesus' teachings and actions, and the English program specifically taught me to think critically about the story and character of Jesus. I take that very seriously and pursuing that is what eventually led me to the helping professions, instead of working in business/marketing.

What advice would you give to students considering your degree program?
Use college resources to make sure you are doing what is in line with your values and personality! I wish I had explored a bit more in college to get myself on a slightly better foot vocationally. Also it is okay to switch what your interests and career goals are over time, but do think about what that will mean financially down the road. My English degree gave me an awesome foundation but I had no clue about vocational programs and how to get a more technical/professional degree until 10 years later.