Graduate Testimonials

1. What aspects of your undergraduate experience in Humanities have been the most useful to you in your current work?

My time in the college of Humanities has made my personal life such a rich, fulfilled existence, that I don’t mind working hard in the business world because I enjoy what I do in my free time so much. –- Christine Baird

My organization is dedicated to public diplomacy through the exchange of arts, ideas and people. Meridian draws together representatives from different communities for international art exhibitions, forums on global issues, Ambassadorial events, and other cultural programs. My knowledge and appreciation for the humanities gives me an insight into the context of the events that we plan which helps me market and promote them to the sponsors and the community. Writing and critical thinking have also been incredibly useful. These skills gained in my undergraduate experience have made my writing more efficient, communication clear, and processing of information – more effective producing creative results. — Mariya Manzhos

The faculty. The humanities courses I took at the Y are the foundation of my current profession. The BYU humanities faculty draws talented scholars from varying disciplines with interdisciplinary interests. The sense of openness and intellectual promiscuity among the faculty definitely influenced my worldview and I consider that the most important aspect of my humanities undergraduate experience at BYU. –- Michael McKeon

As a Spanish teacher, I am responsible for introducing my students to cultures all over the world and creating meaning from language, music, art and literature.  Because of my degree, which allowed me to explore all of these areas and internalize them for myself, I have a strong foundation to draw from in my teaching… it is when we understand culture that we can access a deeper understanding of what it means to be human –- Rebecca Brazzale

2. What is the greatest value of your Humanities major to you personally?

The greatest value of my humanities major to me personally is that it has made me a better person in many aspects of my life. By studying art, literature, music, I have felt closer to God. I have also developed a stronger sense of hope for humanity…Humanities is what I love. –Jendar Morales

My love of beauty and exposure to the great masters began at BYU in the Humanities Dept. Since then I have never stopped my pursuit, enjoyment, quest and love for things beautiful, for the works of the great masters seem to me more miraculous the older I get. –- Michael McKeon

I loved the exposure to a broad range of the arts and I feel like a better citizen of the world knowing the history of Western Civilization through its arts rather than solely through its wars. –- Rebecca Billings

My Humanities major was incremental to my development as a well-rounded individual and ergo pivotal to my eternal development. –- Crystal young-Otterstrom

As a Humanities major, I felt that I was in a constant state of discovery, whether of self, of other, of the divine, and so on. This program engendered an abiding intellectual curiosity and that has given me tremendous satisfaction in my personal and professional lives. –- Heather Jensen

3. How much of a factor did your Humanities degree play in getting admitted to graduate school or getting a job afer after graduation?

I think my humanities degree was a very important factor upon my admittance to the NYU Museum Studies program. Humanities degrees help develop better writing, reading, research skills which are all very much needed in a program like Museum Studies. So by having a Humanties degree the admission committee assumed that I had those skills. Which I do! — Jendar Morales

My degree had a huge impact in my job offer.  I was sought out by my company because I had a diverse background in the Humanities and because I was a well-rounded candidate for the business world… what they valued in me already was my ability to connect and communicate well with people –- Christine Baird

Because my Humanities degree allowed me to study a variety of areas and subjects, I am often surprised at how well I can relate my degree to whatever job and degree I have sought since graduation… I am often told how lucky I was to have such an enriching and unique educational experience. –- Rebecca Brazzale

Having a M.A. in Humanities was appealing to the federal government—they were looking for people who had liberal arts degrees and they recognize the value that a liberal arts graduate brings to the workplace. –- Rebecca Billings

Employers want someone who can learn new things quickly, critically analyze and synthesize information intelligently, and who can adapt to different situations.  I can think of no better way to learn that than to study the liberal arts–art, architecture, sculpture, literature, dance, music, etc. and try to critically understand the motivations, emotions, and cultural background of those things. –- Rachelle Woodbury

I believe that my humanities degrees made me an appealing candidate for doctoral programs, as I had a unique perspective to bring to the more specialized discipline of art history (my field).  I know that there was a level of sophistication to the training in philosophy and theory that I received in BYU’s Humanities program that enabled me to ask fresh questions and pursue new directions and this was remarked upon by faculty in my Ph.D. program. -– Heather Jensen

4. What are you currently doing in your work?

I’m a Manger of Corporate Relations in a cultural non-governmental organization. I help create a network brought together by conversations around universal themes which increase international understanding. –- Mariya Manzhos

I am an independent insurance broker for a firm in Dallas.  I manage my own book of business, am on an recruiting team, develop professional networking relationships, and meet sales goals. –- Christine Baird

I am a foreign affairs officer (civil service) for the U.S. Department of State. I have worked on giving federal money in anti-trafficking in persons grants to organizations that fight modern-day slavery in Asia and Europe, I have worked with criminal justice system programs in Southeast Europe, and I have been a member of Secretary Condoleezza Rice’s advance team.  I have traveled to over 30 countries and I’m happy to be a public servant working for an organization that strives for world peace. –- Rebecca Billings

I am in marketing for Utah Symphony | Utah Opera (USUO), and in my post 9-to-5 life I am a composer –- Crystal Young-Otterstrom

5. Would you recommend a Humanities major to a prospective student? If so, why? What is its particular strength or value in your mind? If not, why not?

I would absolutely recommend a Humanities major to ALL students. If you love literature, art, philosophy, languages, etc. and you are not sure which one to pick, just pick humanities. It has it all! — Jendar Morales

Yes, I certainly do recommend a prospective student major in humanities, and firmly believe in the Renaissance humanist value that exposure to beauty and art is morally transformative, and this I believe is the greatest value the humanities at any university can offer today. The study of the humanities marks the difference between falling in love with the story of the Good Samaritan versus being commanded, or duty bound, to be charitable. –- Michael McKeon

I strongly recommend a Humanities major to any student who appreciates or wants to appreciate the arts.  It is such a personally enriching study and has been invaluable to me in teaching me how to be a better citizen, employee, church member, and friend. –- Christine Baird

For students who want a good broad background that will provide training for them to do a variety of careers or a good training for grad school then I’d recommend a Humanities degree as a great way to go. –- Rebecca Billings

Absolutely! I learned so much in my humanities program, and the ideas I studied opened me up as an individual and artist to make me the person that I am today. Its greatest strength is the diversity of knowledge that is available to the Humanities major. –- Crystal Young-Otterstrom

I would–and frequently do–advocate for the value of a humanities major, as it provides a cultural literacy that has been meaningful to my professional development and to my quality of life in general. –- Heather Jensen