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We’re proud of all our graduates, and their many varied accomplishments, but please allow us to introduce just one (for now). Meet Hunter Baker …
Hunter graduated in 2006 with a bachelor of science degree in philosophy and psychology. She grew up in Johnson City and now lives in Atlanta.
Hunter, are you glad you majored in philosophy?
Yes, very much so. More now than ever I think a college degree is less about what you study and propelling you into your dream career, and more about figuring out who you are as a person. Philosophy helps you examine complex questions about yourself, your community, and the world at large. It teaches you how to solve problems (or at least how to attack a problem). It teaches you that discourse and research are beneficial to uncovering truths. I think that this is also why it is a difficult study…it’s not black and white and sometimes there isn’t one right answer (unless we’re in symbolic logic). Anyway, long winded way of saying that I love that I have a degree in philosophy.
What are you doing now?
Software sales heavily geared towards legal but spans to Fortune 1000 companies as well.
Are you satisfied with your work?
Very much so. It is the perfect role for a closet introvert. I have the luxury of being a social nerd…and hosting events where we cleverly sell bites (as in food) bytes (as in data)…and have people comment about how much they love it despite the cliche. Yes…very nerdy.
How do you think the skills you developed through philosophy are relevant to your current job?
I’m in front of people who are highly analytical, generally smarter than me (and maybe sometimes they don’t even know it), and who are going to be spending a lot of money (that comes out of someone else’s pocket). So, I can’t say philosophy in and of itself has prepared me for what I do today. However, it gave me the foundation to think critically, be analytical, and want to find solutions to problems - typically through asking good questions. I think there is a misconception about sales where people think that if you’re a “people person” (which I am not), then you will be successful at selling things. This is false.
Interestingly, in my last job interview my current boss asked something about what the honors in discipline was about. When I told him I had to write a thesis, he wanted to hear about it. So, I gave him a very brief overview of what I wrote about … He then asked me how I use that with my clients. Fortunately, my thesis was basically about a mild form of relative morality which made answering the question easier. This was an exercise that was more about how well I can think on my feet and I think philosophy is incredibly helpful with giving someone confidence to “think on their feet”.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I love the department at ETSU and think you all have a lot to offer students trying to determine their major/minor. I cannot say enough good things about what I gained from my education with the department.