BA in Philosophy

Mary D. Little, 2007

Mary D. Little

What work are you doing now?

As a management consultant, I help organizations improve their efficiency and effectiveness in achieving their strategic objectives. I focus on analyzing people, processes, and technology in order to identify areas for improvement. I serve to lead and be a part of teams that implement those changes for high-visibility organizations in the federal and non-profit sectors.

What do you like about it?

No client or project is ever the same--there's variety in the people I meet, the work that I do, and the challenges that I face each day. I can apply the different perspectives and ways of thinking that I learned in my undergraduate education. I'm able to learn continuously and perfect my craft as I gain experience in the field. There's a sense of purpose in helping organizations succeed.

How did your degree in the college prepare you to do this work?

Philosophy is about asking the big (and little) questions to better understand who we are and the world around us. Management consulting leverages the same approach to understand organizations and the people that shape them. I was heavily influenced by the Aristotelian concept of excellence--striving each day to become better at what I was meant to do. I enjoy applying that same mentality to helping organizations and individuals become better at being who they are.

What advice would you give current students about developing their careers?

Follow your passion. I studied philosophy not because I thought it would lead to some lucrative career after college-- even though it has. I studied it because I absolutely loved it and it helped me grow as a person. The most successful people take their passion and use it in a way that helps others on a large scale. Use your undergraduate experience to explore who you are and what you're best at. Then, work hard to hone and use your innate talent to give back to society. If what you're doing adds value to the lives of others, then you will inevitably see the fruits of your labor.