Alumni Stories: Eric K. Auld

We all know the job market is tough out there. Eric K. Auld (M.A. 2010) has turned lemons into writing lemonade by turning his job-seeking experience into material. Auld’s essay on a fake Craiglist experiment, in which he posted a job ad and received 600-plus responses, has made quite a stir. It first appeared on  Thought Catalog, was subsequently re-published on national sites Lifehacker, AOL Jobs, and The Daily Beast. He was then interviewed on NPR’s Talk of the Nation and KPCC’s Pat Morrison’s show. A piece in The Guardian in the U.K. is forthcoming.

Daniel Nester of the English Department spoke with Eric K. Auld on Stated magazine, just published yesterday. Here’s their exchange about his experience as a graduate English student at The College of Saint Rose:

Can you tell us about your experience at Saint Rose? What brought you here?

I started grad school at another school in New York, but didn’t really like the large program and I felt consistently uncomfortable and unsure of myself. I left there and applied to Saint Rose for the following semester, since I only lived an hour from Albany. I got in and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. There were only 20 or so students in the entire program and I loved the intimate learning environment, as well as the lengthy discussions with teachers and classmates. The whole experience was both relaxing and eye-opening.

I guess the question I want to ask, since I do teach where you received your Master’s: Do you regret going to graduate school? Or did going to graduate school actually give you a sense of direction regarding which direction you want to take in your career? Or something else entirely?

I don’t regret grad school at all. I went in expecting a powerful learning experience, and I received exactly that. I’m mostly thankful for how it strengthened my writing abilities; I wouldn’t be the writer today were it not for the people at Saint Rose. I knew that I wouldn’t get rich with a Master’s in English, but I also knew that the degree would give me the necessary tools to succeed as a creative writer and thinker after graduation.

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