Madison graduated with Distinction in Philosophy and Research Honors in 2013. Under the direction of Jessica Berry, she wrote her Honors Thesis, "What Is Marriage For?" Madison is applying to law school and hopes to obtain a JD/MA in Philosophy.
Honestly, the reason I became a Philosophy Major was because I wanted to go to law school and I heard philosophy majors score the highest on the LSAT, and it seemed interesting enough. However, I soon realized I had much more personal interest in philosophy than it simply aiding my chances into getting into a better law school. Many people think of philosophy as this other worldly type of thing that they either cannot or will not understand or as something that really garners no meaning or worth in “the real world.” Philosophy to me, however, is something that taught me how to think and react in the real world. It taught me to analyze situations and arguments logically and creatively, and how to take a position on a situation or argument and logically, soundly, and validly support it. My time in the Philosophy Department at Georgia State taught me that you should never be afraid to ask questions or challenge an idea.
The reason I stayed a Philosophy Major: all of the reasons listed above, my incessant curiosity, my love for healthy and thoughtful debate, and the brilliant faculty in the Philosophy Department. Make no mistake, a B.A. in Philosophy at Georgia State is not an easy achievement, it is a challenge. However, I would take this challenge again and again.
I leave my undergraduate career at Georgia State with a newfound confidence in my analytical and writing skills (among a plethora of other things), which gives me an edge over others who did not have the same training. Next, I plan on taking the LSAT, going to law school for Fall 2014 (and hopefully, into a J.D./M.A. Philosophy program), and taking it from there.
Jeremy graduated in December, 2011 with a double major in Philosophy and Finance. He is now working at McKesson consulting in Charlotte, NC as an implementation consultant for a hospital software system.
Graduating with a BA in Philosophy was a great career decision and a great asset when I was applying for full time jobs. My finance major helped get my resume on people's desks, but lately in interviews people wanted to talk more about my philosophy degree. The partners at the valuation firm thought that my philosophy degree was more useful in my position than a finance degree because I was able to understand the purpose and essence of the work instead of just the numbers. I was also able to effectively criticize the way that the valuation process worked, which really impressed them. The job that I'll be starting shortly thought that philosophy was valuable to the mindset of consulting because I can easily grasp concepts and solve problems.
Classes offered in the Department of Philosophy (especially Philosophy of Law and Ethics) were the most challenging and engaging classes that I took while at GSU, and the professors were able to offer great feedback to enhance my arguments. The skills I developed during my Philosophy coursework boosted my writing skills, analytical capabilities, and ability to solve problems; all of which are essential in the workplace. I have yet to meet an employer who doesn't value logic, creativity, and critical thinking, so I would strongly urge anyone studying Philosophy to enter the job market ready to display these assets to potential employers.
Christopher Fidalgo is a philosophy major who graduates Spring 2012. He wrote an Honors Thesis titled "Art, Gaut and Games: the Case for Why Some Video Games Are Art."
In my experience, philosophy fosters a certain mentality, a questioning undercurrent to my thinking. I majored in philosophy because I had so many questions I wanted answered: Does God exist? How does morality work? What is it to know something? As I continued on through the years, I didn’t find all the answers, but I started to understand and value the questions on a new level. I now had some intellectual footing to tackle the questions, even if I stumbled (and still do). I could see both sides, the pros and cons, and with no answers handed to me from my teachers, I learned how to investigate, research, and respond to the questions by myself. Now, if I face a complex issue with no clear answer, even outside the classroom, I know how to start answering it. Moreover, I know how to present my answer to an audience in a persuasive way. Philosophy fosters a desire to always learn more and to think critically through a problem. And personally, philosophy enriched my life. I’ll always be thankful for my time as an undergraduate philosophy major at Georgia State.
Kwabena is a senior at GSU majoring in Philosophy and Psychology.
Before transferring to Georgia State, I had in my mind that I would major in Psychology and minor in Philosophy. I have a strong passion for both these fields. I loved my psychology classes but when I took a few philosophy classes, my attention was captured like never before. I then made the decision to switch my minor into another major because I did not want to miss out on valuable knowledge and critical thinking skills. Also I plan on attending graduate school, and I believe that double majoring in two fields that work well with each other will be very helpful. I believe that if a student is majoring in a field that can be related to philosophy, they should go ahead and be a double major because philosophy will help with the critical thinking aspect of that primary major.
Isabella graduated with Distinction in Philosophy and a BFA in Studio Art in 2012 and is now pursuing her Masters in Philosophy at University of Houston. She wrote an Honors Thesis with Professor Jessica Berry and presented her paper, "The Myth of Art and Craft and the Definition of Art," at an undergraduate Research Conference.
I had wanted to be an artist since I was eleven years old. I knew nothing about philosophy and had never picked up a philosophical text until I transferred to Georgia State. I never imagined I would end up being a philosopher. But upon taking my first philosophy class, I was hooked. Like any other student of philosophy, life's big questions fascinate me. I do wonder what it all means and how it all works. Yet, it was the methods of philosophy that truly drew me in. I have always thought too much, and few things satisfy my intellect like dissecting arguments, finding mistakes in the logic and reasoning of others, and the copious amounts of reading and writing that philosophy requires.
The philosophy classes I took at Georgia State have prepared me well to embark on a career in academia. The faculty did a great job of honing my critical thinking skills and writing ability; I am a much better philosopher now. The faculty also made my time at GSU very enjoyable. No educator has made me laugh or entertained me as much as my philosophy professors have. Being a philosophy major at Georgia State has opened many doors for me and it has given me the chance to go on to study philosophy at the graduate level. However, I will always value my time doing philosophy at Georgia State as much for the opportunities it has given me as for how fun my time there was.
Seterria is an alumna of the Philosophy program who graduated in December 2004 and went on to get a law degree and two other degrees. She has worked in a variety of interesting careers..
After graduating from Georgia State University, I went on to Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law and earned my J.D. in 2008. I passed the bar that year and entered an LL.M. (Master of Laws) program at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC. I earned my LL.M. in Taxation with a certificate in estate planning in 2009. After returning to Georgia, I worked as an administrative law judge with the Georgia Department of Labor for almost two years. Deciding to explore more career opportunities, I came back to Georgia State University to earn my M.B.A. in Finance, which I am on track to earn this December. Currently, I practice law part-time and work for a sexual assault center helping children and victims with a variety of legal issues.
The philosophy major has definitely helped me throughout my educational and working careers. The level of critical thinking I developed in the program alone has been greatly beneficial. Using logic to formulate persuasive arguments, being able to see all sides of an issue, thinking deeper into issues beyond what is presented, and problem-solving skills are all abilities that are crucial in the field of law and in business. For this reason, I think Philosophy makes a powerful major and a powerful co-major.
While the job market has not bounced back fully, particularly in the field of law, these skills are universally needed and translate well to many areas. So, even if a new professional does not immediately find "the" job of his/her dreams, s/he has the skills to find suitable work that will act as building blocks of a long career.
I would be willing to answer any questions students have. Today, it is more important than ever for students to have a vision of their careers and lives when considering further education or job opportunities.