Minor in Philosophy

Matías Sur, 2016

Matías Sur


BA in Global affairs, concentration in global governance

Minors in philosophy and Italian

What work are you doing now?

Currently, I am pursuing my MA in Italian Studies at the University of Notre Dame. After spending much time in D.C. working for political think-tanks and a start-up company, I've decided to return to school and develop the necessary skills to become a university professor.

What do you like about it?

Every day I am discovering more about Italian literature, culture, film, and Italy's people. My love of the humanities prompts me to investigate and develop a deep desire that allows me to cultivate knowledge as much as possible. One of the most rewarding aspects of my work is the opportunity to engage directly with texts that have inspired and enlightened countless generations across the world, whether it be Francesco Petrarca's "Canzoniere" or Dante Alighieri's "Divine Comedy." In addition, the opportunity to discuss texts, opinions, and findings with other individuals who are passionate about the subject as I am truly is an unforgettable experience that I am very fortunate to have.

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

If it had not been for the philosophy and Italian classes I had taken at George Mason, I would not be where I am today. Particularly the Italian classes. After taking Professor Kristina Olson's, Dante's "Divine Comedy" course in spring 2014, I was immediately hooked on Dante's ability to create a confluence between classical literature, philosophy, and faith all into one cohesive, epic poem. Dante's magnum opus had such a profound, unparalleled influence on me that I could not compare it to other works of literature I had encountered before.

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

There is no direct path for anyone trying to find your professional vocation. The world is changing more than ever before. My advice is to not be afraid to do things. Each of us has a specific talent, skill, gift, and each of us has certain likes and dislikes. Discover these important qualities about yourself. Then, once you have them: find the confluence of where your talent and your "likes" meet. Another thing: don't use people to advance and develop your own career. People are not stepping stones. Develop friendships with people and care about others. There is no sense in making it big if in the end you end up all alone.