Mike Brown

Mike Brown
Major: Political Science
Minor: Philosophy
Graduate: 2005

Where do you work?
What is your job title?

Philadelphia, PA: Veterans Jail Diversion Coordinator for the Department of Behavioral Health

How long have you had this position?
What are your key duties?

2 Years: Responsible for linking veterans involved in the criminal justice system up to behavioral health services in the community. Track and follow their treatment needs for the court. Train Philadelphia Police Officers in crisis intervention with veterans on a monthly basis.

What kind of additional training does this job require besides your degree?
Research, understanding what treatment works for Veterans with PTSD and other mental health issues. I am a veteran as well, so I think that helps.

What is a typical day like?
Does your job involve travel?

Working with providers and clients to develop treatment plans, writing reports for the court, and assisting Veterans as needed. I travel to conferences around the country whenever there is one that will help m e with learning or job improvement.

What do you like most about your job?
What do you like least?

The fact that I get to help people, and train Philadelphia Police Officers is the best. That I work in a big bureaucracy and it takes time to get solutions.

How do you feel Philosophy has prepared you for this occupation?
Do you think Philosophy has prepared you better than other majors might have
I believe it gave me a great base of knowledge to begin my professional career with. I know that I can write better, figure out arguments quicker, and at the end of the day I believe that through the study of Philosophy I figured out a lot about myself. Yes, I think it did a good job preparing me for work in government, especially in the field of ethics.

Is there anything philosophical about what you do?
I studied Ethics during my time at NMU and there is A LOT about my job that has ethical implications.

What attracted you to Philosophy?
Why did you choose to major in Philosophy?

The draw to philosophy was simple for me, being in a classroom of people who are willing to pose serious questions about knowledge, morality, and ethics was and still is something that draws me toward philosophy. I chose to minor in it after taking an intro to philosophy class, and saying to myself, this is something that I want to learn more about. 

What advice would you give to an up and coming student considering majoring in Philosophy?
As with anything you get out what you put in. I wish I could continue to work with Philosophy students and professors as a career. Having said that, my advice is to challenge yourself, be prepared to re-think who you are as a person, and get to know all of the great professors teaching in that department, and finally think about getting a higher degree than just your undergrad.

What would you say to someone who was worried about the job prospects of Philosophy majors?
I would say that with all professions, get your foot in the door, think about higher education, and work hard. It is not necessarily about the major, it is about who you are as a person that separates you.

Do you consider yourself a philosopher?
I will always be a philosopher in training.

What is the number one thing you learned from your experiences as an undergraduate Philosophy student at NMU?
I learned that philosophy is a relevant subject, that it can be used in any profession, and it can open your mind to new ideas. 

What are your current hobbies/interests?
Reading, the outdoors, and of course as always the quest for knowledge.

Anything else you would like to say?
Thank you NMU for helping me become a better person and thank you Philosophy Department for challenging me and helping me become who I am today.