Current third-year, Sophie Greener, discusses the skills she will be taking from her Philosophy degree into employment

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On my CV in the education section, I have written:

  • Honed my ability to succinctly summarise complex philosophical texts and present this in a coherent manner.
  • Sharpened my capacity to think critically on a deeper level when engaging with texts, problems and arguments by broadening the perspectives from which I understand and approach the given line of thought.

To elaborate on this, in interviews I am able to discuss examples of where I have demonstrated my ability to spot weaknesses or alternative perspectives on given situations. Regularly writing my own presentations and performing these has not only increased my confidence for my style of performance, but also my ability to write an engaging and clear presentation on topics that are new to me and my audience. This skill is not limited to standing in front of an audience to present, it is also important for participating in meetings and discussions, something that is relevant to most job roles. Seminar discussions are also relevant for communication: respecting and valuing the views of others and participating within a team.

Another example of how my degree has helped with my employment is during group assessments. There was a task where we were given 4 CVs and a job specification and had 20 minutes to decide as a group who should be chosen for the job. We were being assessed on our leadership skills to come to a conclusion. There was no obvious answer and so initially we all disagreed, the task therefore required a discussion that reflected what goes on in a philosophy seminar. Other candidates in the room had degrees in subjects including business management and finance.

I felt of all the candidates, I was best prepared for this task. The nature of the discussion was not a new scenario to me. After three years of philosophy seminars, I am comfortable with and excited by the process of a discussion that requires analysis of our own and each other's views. I was not knocked back by my views being questioned by others and I allowed this to shape my ideas. In philosophy, controversial views are celebrated, and so I was not afraid to offer new perspectives and I was genuinely interested to hear critical feedback. It is my philosophy degree that has equipped me to do this. As far as I am aware, most other degrees do not include this sort of skill or opportunity in their assessments. I think that these skills will be relevant to most jobs and I feel a lot better equipped to now walk into a role and make a genuine difference.

By Sophie Greener