Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Mitchel Edwards

Mitchel Edwards ’10 has developed an application for the Android phone called Automated Away Text. His major? English!

What does your app do? Automated Away Text sends an automatic and customizable text message to those who call or text you to let family, friends or coworkers know when you are unable to answer phone calls or text messages. The app also allows control over who and who does not receive your automatic text.

The inspiration: The idea came to me out of the blue. I am a firm believer that creativity cannot be forced through conscious effort. My favorite book is Psycho-Cybernetics, which helps you learn how to give problem-solving or idea-getting tasks to your subconscious mind, sending it off on a search while you do other things, and have it return with useful material you might never have obtained through conscious thought or worry.

Getting it done: I had this great idea for an app, but I didn’t know how to develop it, so I hired a mobile application development company. The team worked closely with me to produce the app I envisioned. The whole process took a few months. I wanted the app to be flawless and for nothing to be rushed or overlooked.

Mixing disciplines: I believe more than ever that an English degree is beneficial in the business world, because the floodgates of communication have opened between consumers and businesses. Social media have caused a massive cultural shift, and my writing skills and ability to communicate clearly have helped [me expand] my customer base quickly. Anyone can have a great product, but if they cannot effectively interact with people for feedback, or clearly communicate how their product or service could benefit people’s lives, then no sale will be made.

Favorite Wheaton class: I really enjoyed Professor Mark LeBlanc’s course “Computing for Poets,” not so much because I am a poet, but because it showed me that I didn’t have to have a background in technology to pursue my idea.