Brian Hughes Gives Back to LVC That Taught Him So Much
The career paths that an English major can follow after college are almost as limitless as the English language itself.
Brian C. Hughes ’97 can certainly attest to the versatility of an English degree, as today he is an associate director in the Global Academic division of the Oxford University Press in New York City. After graduating from LVC, he initially started seeking editorial publishing positions. However, he discovered that his degree skills and experiences gained at The Valley also were very useful in marketing, and in the process uncovered a new passion.
While attending LVC, Hughes was involved with student-run organizations such as La Vie (student newspaper), Green Blotter (literary magazine), and WLVC (radio station). He also fondly recalls working at the Allan W. Mund College Center desk and with the Phonathon. It was through these extracurricular activities that he gained skills pertinent to marketing. Being the face of LVC in these positions prepared him for a successful career.
“I’ve now been in marketing for nearly 20 years, and when I travel or meet with prospective clients or authors, I am the face of my company,” said Hughes.
For Hughes, his favorite aspect of The Valley was that it was a small and inviting campus. The school felt like a home for him, and that atmosphere made all the difference in his studies. With the small class sizes, he found that professors in his department had more time to mentor and encourage students.
“My advisor, Marie Bongiovanni [professor emerita of English], brought real-world experience to our classes, which gave us an idea about the many career paths available with an English degree,” Hughes said. “The faculty came not just from academia, but also from the real world. They have worked in diverse industries and bring students insight into how we can apply our education in diverse ways.”
Today, Hughes is grateful for the time he spent at LVC and all the professors who influenced him and taught him skills that helped him reach his position at Oxford University Press. His positive experience at The Valley is what motivates him to give to the school, including his time via the alumni network, something he recommends all students should explore.
“Utilize the alumni network—do internships and informational interviews; this will help you understand an industry and what is required to get hired. I’ve had the pleasure of hiring two LVC alums in my time at Oxford University Press, one of which came from an internship request and the other an informational interview,” he said.
Hughes also makes annual donations to The Valley Fund to give other students a chance to have the same experience he did.
“As with most giving—every little bit helps,” Hughes said. “Knowing where the money goes at LVC is what drives me to give and encourage others to as well.
“The scholarships provide so many bright students an amazing education in a first-class environment. The longer you’re away from LVC, the more you appreciate what it did for you.”