Interview with Philosophy Department's Outstanding Senior: MaryKate Brueck
Jennifer Parks: Congratulations on your admission to the doctorate program in philosophy at Georgetown University! We are all really proud of you. Tell us about where you applied for graduate school, the schools where you were accepted, and how you made your choice concerning where to go.
MaryKate Brueck: When applying to grad school, I focused my applications to schools that I knew had the resources to support my interests, both in faculty and institutional support. For me, this meant finding a school that could help me advance my interests in bioethics. The programs I found to be most fitting were Michigan State University, St Louis University, Georgetown, and Emory. Of the four, I was accepted to MSU, SLU, and Georgetown. Though the funding decisions were initially different, when funding for Georgetown came through it was a no brainer. The school had everything I wanted, from incredible faculty to an established center for ethics to additional opportunities provided by the proximity to government organizations. Plus, I can’t wait to be in DC!
JP: What made you decide to pursue a degree in philosophy? What has been your area(s) of specialization? Why did you choose those areas?
MKB: Initially, I chose philosophy as a major in order to develop the skills necessary for law school, using it more as a tool for future goals rather than pursuing it for its own sake. However, I was very quickly hooked. Through participation on the Ethics and Bioethics bowl teams, as well as in coursework, I began to value the art of philosophical debate, enthralled by the discussions we had as a team and in class. I have always been particularly interested in Bioethics, both medical and environmental. I appreciate engaged philosophy that aims to respond to the problems of here and now.
JP: What advice would you have for students thinking about doing a major or minor in philosophy? How do you think your major in philosophy advanced your academic skills?
MKB:Go for it! Whether you are choosing to pursue philosophy as supplementary study or philosophy for its own sake, the discipline will help you develop skills for success. Doing philosophy well is a difficult task, one that requires both critical and creative thinking. You have to learn to be, as many professors remind me, both precise and concise in order to develop and deliver your arguments effectively. The skills you learn can translate into any field, as the ability to think through complex problems is a need in any career.