Our Department of English alumna Esther Moreno, a shareholder at Akerman Senterfitt, sat down with Alumni Board President William Diaz-Rousselot to reflect on her time with the Department of English, and to share some hard-won advice with the newly minted FIU English alums.
WDR: What year did you graduate from FIU and what was your major?
EM: I graduated in 1995, English major and Political Science minor.
WDR: What are some of your fondest memories as a student at FIU?
EM: I have great memories of being in the Honors Program (not a college at the time). The two professors that were most impactful were Dr. Carmelo Pinto-McIntire (Shakespeare, Milton) and Dr. Campbell McGrath (Creative Writing).
WDR: What final did you dread the most?
WDR: What were some of your favorite classes at FIU and what made them special?
EM: Any creative writing course and Shakespeare Tragedies & Comedies. The professors!
WDR: What was your favorite spot to study on campus?
EM: Outside by the library or by one of the lakes.
WDR: As you walk on campus today, what’s the one thing that leads you to the inevitable, “back in my day there was no FILL IN THE BLANK?” (e.g., the multi-level library versus the two floor library).
EM: STARBUCKS! Parking, Football team, Law School, you name it – the growth at FIU is really amazing.
WDR: You are Shareholder at Akerman Senterfitt, which employs 550 attorneys in 19 offices nationwide. Which skills from your English degree helped you to forge your career? Are there lessons from your days at FIU that you still apply today in your role as Shareholder?
EM: The ability to read and analyze voluminous material, as well as to intelligently write about and articulate complex issues. As for the second question: work ethic and passion – love what you do and work hard.
WDR: As you look back at your time as an FIU English major, is there something you miss, something you look back on with nostalgia?
EM: Reading for your own personal pleasure.
WDR: If you had a piece of advice for today’s graduating English major, what would it be?
EM: Think broadly, be open, do not limit yourself to a “traditional” career path – don’t be linear.
WDR: How are you involved with the University today?
EM: I’m a member of the English Alumni Board and the Dean’s Advisory Board for Arts & Science.