Voices of Alums

Alums speak about careers, lives and philosophy

“One, [philosophy] taught me to think for myself and not accept anything at face value, probably the #1 job requirement for any lawyer. Two, it taught me how to construct, critique, tear down, and rebuild a valid argument. Three, it taught me to think about the deeper meaning and significance of our ideas and relationships and not just the “here and now”. Four, it gave me the foundation in ethics/moral philosophy that I need to be a responsible and ethical lawyer.”

Julie Niemeier ’96, Attorney (Lieutenant) with US Navy, Judge Advocate General Corps

“I believe I am a much more well-rounded person than many of my colleagues. The critical thinking skills developed while pursuing a philosophy degree are much like the skills needed to develop a differential diagnosis for a patient’s problem and then work the patient up to come to a diagnosis and treatment plan.”

KerriAnne Mahon ’96, Lead Physician, Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine at ISJ Clinic – Mayo Health System

“Critical thinking! Having already developed sound critical thinking habits and analytical skills put me at an advantage in the U.S. intelligence field.”

Daniel Pojar, Jr. ’93, Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Air Force

“Two classes in particular have had long lasting affects on me – the philosophy of suffering and the philosophy of violence/non-violence. ‘The Voice of the Other’ has been something I choose to keep hearing as it helps me to stay grounded in the idea that I have a responsibility to use my skills, gifts, and to help other people.”

Valerie Jones ’94, Executive Director with Community Volunteer Services & Senior Centers

“My studies gave me perspective, taught me to think [and] instilled an analytical tool I revert to when reviewing business proposals & negotiating deals.”

Alex Bell ’98, Sales with Smith Hanley

“I feel that studying philosophy prepared me to deal with new and challenging situations logically and with thought. I felt that I was able to get my students thinking critically. Studying philosophy helped me to be a good teacher – I was able to explain ideas to students in ways that they understood. Aside from helping me succeed in work and school, philosophy helps me balance my personal life. I constantly have the drive and desire to know the truth, to keep learning, and to express my ideas clearly.”

Jessica Davis ’05, Special Needs Teacher & Graduate Student

“Philosophy helped me with both the people aspect (it taught me compassion) and the organizing aspect of my job.”

Jennifer Arnold ’08, Peace Corps Volunteer, serving in Honduras

“I am certain that my experiences as a philosophy major have helped significantly with my ability to do well in law school.”

Scott Kranz ’07, Law School Student

Philosophy Majors as Entrepreneurs

Read: Katie Kalkman ’06 and Gabriel Harren ’10: Entrepreneurship is in their DNA

College of Saint Benedict
Saint John’s University

Erica Stonestreet
Chair, Philosophy Department
SJU Quad 362F

Laura Schmitz
Department Coordinator
SJU Quad 362D