Major: History & French
Where do you work?
What is your job title?
The American University of Paris - International Admissions Counselor
How long have you had this position?
What are your key duties?
8 months - recruitment, vetting & decisioning applications, financial aid, visa support, housing support, traveling & representing university
What kind of additional training does this job require besides your degree?
Trainings in the database systems; guidelines on governmental regulations for student visas in France
What is a typical day like?
Does your job involve travel?
Typical day involves reading/decisioning applications, helping students with questions/concerns during application and arrival stages, strategic planning in regards to the United States as a recruitment region, visiting & meeting with students both undergraduate & graduate. I travel about 5 months out of the year around the US, and occasionally to Paris for trainings/meetings with other staff.
What do you like most about your job?
What do you like least?
Meeting & helping students, acting as an advisor. There are always difficulties in dealing with students who are making a major change by moving abroad for their undergrad/grad education, but nothing is particularly negative.
How do you feel Philosophy has prepared you for this occupation?
Do you think Philosophy has prepared you better than other majors might have?
Philosophy has really helped in my logical analysis and approach to problem solving. I also feel that Philosophy made me more apt to scrutinize my students' applications with an objective, yet critical eye. I feel that it was a combination of Philosophy and History that have prepared me for the career track prior to this position, as well as this position.
Is there anything philosophical about what you do?
I think in a broad sense, being able to speak intelligently about problem solving & bureaucratic issues, as well as using logic in daily life and in the work sense is philosophical. However, my career doesn't require me to draw upon my knowledge of philosophical works on a daily basis.
What attracted you to Philosophy?
Why did you choose to major in Philosophy?
Philosophy seemed to me a way to access a very primal way in which my brain functioned. It was like gaining new maps to access ways of analysis that weren't subject
specific. I minored in Philosophy because the development of these ways of analysis and criticism were invaluable to my other work as a student and, now, professionally.
What advice would you give to an up and coming student considering majoring in Philosophy?
Philosophy allows you to develop skills that are border-less. I don't believe I've ever met a philosophy major that says, "Well, I know how to write a paper for Philosophy because that's what I studied, but everything else is lost to me." I find that the courses I took built simultaneously both basic and refined modes of approaching problems that have enriched me in my professional, personal and academic lives.
What would you say to someone who was worried about the job prospects of Philosophy majors?
Most majors cannot guarantee job placement as a result of their study. But I do think that Philosophy majors are viewed as people who are intelligent and well-read, at least in my work community. I've lived most of my life post-graduation abroad, and I can say, that a philosophical mind is one of the easiest ways to access other cultures and create connections that will put you into position for career opportunities.
Do you consider yourself a philosopher?
Not as a métier, no, but perhaps as an avocation.
What is the number one thing you learned from your experiences as an undergraduate Philosophy student at NMU?
To reiterate, I believe it was modes of processing, analyzing, and critiquing problems, policies, and situations.
What are your current hobbies/interests?
Travel, Running, Reading, Music
Anything else you would like to say?
I have to attribute most of these positive experiences to two specific professors who had a profound effect on the way that I both approach conversation and analyze my own thoughts and feelings, as well as those of others; Dr. Jim Greene and Dr. Donald Dreisbach.