Sequel: Kaleb Eisele
Welcome to Sequel, a series spotlighting our talented alumni and the strides they’ve made in their field post-graduation.
Empathy. Imagination. Flexibility. Drive.
Not all of us are born with these qualities in such abundance as Kaleb Eisele – but all of these qualities can be sharpened by an English education. Although Eisele’s life after graduation has taken many unexpected turns, he is joyful about his ability to earn a living and pursue creative projects that delight his readers in Charleston and beyond.
Eisele wanted to be an x-ray technician when he began college, but his love of writing wouldn’t fade. “I had always been heavily involved in literature and story telling, but it wasn’t until I got married, took a year off, and enrolled at the College of Charleston that I finally committed to the major I wanted to do,” he said. “I’d grown up proofreading and editing business documents for my parents, writing poetry and walking out of the library with too many books to safely carry – but I let the worry that I wouldn’t find financial success keep me from studying English for a while.”
This anxiety about earning potential is common among English students, but Eisele is living proof that there are some things more important than a dollar figure. “A degree isn’t a ticket to a good income,” he explained. “If you’re in it for good grades or bragging rights you should look elsewhere. But if you’re looking to permanently expand your mind and pick up the mental tools for a versatile life then I highly recommend [the English major].” Eisele’s skills in communicating, long-term planning, and critical thinking have propelled him to success at his job with Gregory Pest Solutions, but they’ve also continued to fuel his writing. On any given day, Eisele may be working on several different projects, some named and some nebulous. His photojournalism project Humans of Adventism has enjoyed great success on Facebook. Modeled on the famous Humans of New York series, Eisele uses the project as a place for members of his faith to tell their story.
English courses can shape the way we think and approach our jobs. Eisele believes that English classes at the College helped strengthen his capacity for empathy and taught him to pull from “the unending chasm of information” around us. This curious, analytical mindset can translate into any career path. For students considering the major, Eisele recommends seeking out a mentor who is using their English experience to the fullest. “Look beyond their job title and into how they influence the world.”
In his (rare) free time, Eisele enjoys exploring the forces that shape the lives of Millennials. He’s particularly intrigued by “the impossible potential of technology, the total absence of privacy, the feeling of being forced to work outside of our respective systems for the good of the people around us.” This moral responsibility is something that preoccupies a lot of Eisele’s time. Regardless of your major or your success on paper, the imperative to do good in the world is an irreplaceable value of higher education. “It’s our responsibility to use our voices and our influence to impact our communities in whatever way will be the most helpful,” said Eisele. “That means speaking up when someone is mistreated. It means challenging our own institutions when they value money or tradition over human life. These values are integrated into everything I do, and my education is what gives me the ability to use them.”