Humanities Plus boosts career possibilities for students

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The camera zooms in on the BYU graduate and focuses on the paper being handed to him. However, the graduate is focused on another paper, coming in one month, his first paycheck.

“The BYU Humanities Department is greatly focused on preparing and marketing students for the career world while still in school,” said Shaun Hartman, president of the Humanities Council and a linguistics major from Ogden.

On Wednesday, BYU held its semi-annual career fair. Ironically, an event that addressed a need every student has couldn’t be attended by every student.

Hartman wishes for students to recognize the vast career exploration opportunities available for humanities students.

“Missing the career fair is not the end,” Hartman said. “Go talk to the internship coordinators of your department, look into the Washington Seminar, look on eRecruiting or go into the advisement center. They will teach you how to network and give you some ideas of companies to look into. We’ll soon have a database that will have internships that deal heavily with non-profits and museums.”

Last year the dean of the humanities college launched Humanities Plus, a concept to teach students ways to make themselves more marketable.

“To be the most successful you need to add some more things into a humanities major to really make it a powerful degree,” Hartman said. “It encourages things like internships, researching with a professor, getting a minor or double majoring, volunteering and service. ”

Humanities Plus is intended to boost students’ confidence in career exploration. BreeAnn Moore, an English major on the Humanities Council, clarifies a reputation she feels exists for humanities students.

“The humanities major is a very marketable major,” Moore said. “A lot of people feel that since it is a liberal arts major it isn’t [marketable]. However, there are a lot of quality skills that you can gain from a humanities major. It teaches you things such as communication and cultural interaction skills.”

Rachel Chantry, a classical studies major from Newport, Wash.,  said she feels confident in the career opportunities her major will yield.

“A lot of people hire specifically from humanities because they know that humanities students can analyze things and be creative,” Chantry said.

Sometimes the idea of a future career for students can feel vague. Hartman, however, reminds humanities students that uncertainty is one of the things they specialize in.

“One of the biggest strengths of being in a major in the humanities college is that you can dissect some abstract things,” Hartman said. “Being able to do that is helpful because that is life. The problems that you encounter in life, business, any grad program or in any career that you take, is going to be dealing with some abstract and fuzzy things.”

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