Jimmy Showers, wearing a black shirt and black wool coat, facing the camera with a small smile.

Revamping a dream with AGRADE: An interview with English major Jimmy Showers

The Accelerated Graduate Enrollment (AGRADE) program at Wayne State University provides the opportunity for dedicated undergraduate seniors to enroll in undergraduate and graduate classes simultaneously. Outstanding English majors aspiring to become authors and playwrights, prepare for a graduate degree or to simply advance their language and literacy skills are encouraged to apply to the AGRADE program in English. We spoke with Jimmy Showers, B.A. ‘24, a member of AGRADE, and asked him to describe his experiences with AGRADE and Wayne State.  

How did you land at Wayne State University?  

After spending a while in Detroit working as a musician, I went on tour and the tour was sadly ended by COVID-19. I was forced to decide what my next steps were and I decided to go back to school; I enrolled online at Oakland Community College (OCC). I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I was interested in copywriting or English. After studying at OCC for a few years, I enrolled at Wayne State in the winter of 2023.

Why did you choose to major in English?  

I took a creative writing course at OCC and I enjoyed reading. Short stories by Tobias Wolff really made me obsessed with how the author made writing emotional and the process behind writing and creating stories. 

How did you learn about the AGRADE program? 

From Royanne (Royanne Smith, undergraduate advisor for the Department of English). I enjoyed the English program a lot and I learned that I could continue in English and pursue a career or just go further in English.  

What are your goals for using your bachelor’s degree and potential master’s degree? 

My goals are to become a better writer and hone my craft. I want to explore career opportunities that complement writing and use the skills I develop. I have done some grant writing for Wayne State and that has helped me think about how I could use my degree. 

How has AGRADE helped you meet some of these goals?  

AGRADE has helped me get internships and the courses I am taking count towards my master’s degree. The additional work and projects I get through AGRADE also help with goals and adds opportunities to work on my interests.  

What are some things that you are proud of in your journey through college and AGRADE?  

I'm proud of becoming a better close reader and as I have progressed through college, I have started to find my voice in writing. AGRADE has definitely helped me find my voice in writing through the additional projects and writing I have done.  

Jimmy is expected to graduate in 2024 with a bachelor of arts in English honors and has applied for the master’s program for fall 2024. 

– Nyana Allen