My parents, who are both supportive and practical, perfectly captured the plight of the humanities major before I even set foot on campus.
At one point or another, every Hopkins student has heard a student in Writing Seminars, Art History or Anthropology bemoan the lack of job recruitment for students in “soft” majors. While these concerns are legitimate, and while the writing major’s path to recruitment is certainly less direct than that of someone in biomedical engineering, Hopkins does provide people in soft majors with a robust array of resources and hands-on learning experiences useful for finding employment.
A friend of mine, senior Allison Comotto is a Writing Seminars major. She’s also a very talented actress, has great hair and most importantly, had her pick of public relations internships this past summer. How did she do it, one might ask: through her use of the Center for Leadership Education’s Integrated Marketing and Communications class, which developed her background in the field.
When I asked Allison why she found this class to be so valuable than others, she said it was because the class allowed her to gain real world experience that very few undergraduates have, like being on a WBAL-TV segment.
The Integrated Marketing and Communications class, known on the street as “Ad Class,” is running again this semester as part of the 2017 Acura ILX Marketing Challenge. Senior Ana Moszkowski, another friend of mine, is currently enrolled and cites the class as an invaluable opportunity for hands on experience.
Moszkowski feels more confident about her ability to excel in interviews as a result of the work she’s done, which has included developing the “Making It ILX” campaign for the 2017 Acura ILX, writing press releases and working on real client deliverables. She also has a firmer understanding of the way an agency operates, which has been helpful as she makes career decisions and applies to jobs.
I am also enrolled and have also found the class extraordinarily helpful because it has allowed me to see that the skills Writing Seminars has taught me are useful and applicable in a real work setting. Doing things like creating content for the class website “makingitilx.com” and brainstorming slogans has given me greater confidence in my knowledge and ability to succeed.
One of my best pals and a Film and Media Studies major, senior Genevieve Ott, agrees that Hopkins produces very employable humanities majors. Because of her small classes and hands-on experiences in the Film and Media department, Ott feels prepared for a career out in the big, scary, real world.
“Through my Film and Media studies classes, I’ve learned how to approach media both critically and creatively,” she said when I asked her about what she feels will help her most as she moves forward.
A gifted graphic artist with a keen eye for design, she hopes to go into art after graduation. Ott also stressed the importance of finding opportunities to hone your craft, having been in charge of all the graphics for her sorority over the past couple of years.
While I am not saying that getting a job is a cakewalk for anyone, I am saying that soft majors have valuable skills and that Hopkins prepares them well for the workforce. I myself am in the thick of the ever-important and stressful Junior Year Internship Hunt, and it’s scary to search for one without knowledge of Java, MATLAB or OPTI.
I have been to a number of networking events, though, and I have jokingly mentioned my hard skills inadequacies. The bottom line, as my networking contacts and my father, a former Latin major, have mentioned is that it’s all about how hard you work and how well you get along with people.
That is something I am certain the humanities at Hopkins has prepared us all to do. So fret not, anxious peers! It’s going to work out for everyone.