I’m Maggie Clark and I’m a recent graduate of UNC’s philosophy program. I graduated in 2014 with a major in Philosophy and a minor in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics with a focus in political and moral philosophy. I decided to major in philosophy after taking Professor Geoff Sayre-McCord’s Intro to Ethics class my freshman year. Philosophy was not even on my radar of possible majors, but not only did Geoff make philosophy fun and exciting, I found myself contemplating wrestling with the issues discussed in lecture hours after class had ended. What I found particularly fascinating about philosophy is that it is not merely a study of other people’s thoughts and ideas, but philosophy teaches you to analyze and look at arguments and theories from all different angles. Philosophy teaches you a unique skill set of critical thinking and analysis that is beneficial not only in life, but in any profession you might choose to continue on with. I know that no matter what field I end up in, my studies will aid me. I don’t know what the future holds for me but at some point I’d like to explore a career on the production side of the film and television industry, but in the meantime my plan is to search for a job like most recent grads.
I’ve never thought of there being a ‘traditional’ path in philosophy, unless you count going to grad school straight out of college; however, I do think that my experience with the Parr Center for Ethics and my involvement with organizing the High School Ethics Bowl has taught me that you don’t have to be studying philosophy to be doing or participating in it. You don’t have to be in school or study philosophy at a graduate level to have philosophy as part of your life. My advice for anyone out there who is considering studying philosophy is to give it a shot! Also, take classes that interest you and get involved in the department. I encourage anyone and everyone to take the time to get to know not just your professors but all of the professors and grad students in the department; they are great, welcoming and very open. I learned a great deal of what I know from people within the department with whom I never had a single class just by engaging in conversation and finding a topic of mutual interest.