Did you know? Classics Majors have...
Whether Classics or CCIV Majors, students in Classical Studies build strong analytical, critical and language skills that they can apply to anything. Click here for a breakdown of what our majors for the last 10 years are doing now.
WHAT OUR ALUMS SAY:
Emerson Obus '16
The MCAT, in both the critical analysis and science section, is really testing your ability to come to a conclusion after a few steps of processing and interpretation. [While] studying - and even during the actual taking of the test - I was reminded of the strategies and modes of thinking that I had employed while studying Classics. While studying Ancient Greek, often the biggest challenge to translation was just keeping straight what subject was acting upon what object, and defining the backbone of a complex phrase. In parsing the convoluted passages presented in the MCAT, and in the scientific writings I came across in my undergraduate studies, this proved to be an invaluable skill, which is not really fostered in other disciplines.
I'm amazed that just three months out of college I've had so much cause to look back on my Classics education for assistance. I very much look forward to finding out how Classics will further help me out on the road to being a doctor.
Olivia Alperstein '14
I was recently hired as a Communications and Policy Associate for Progressive Congress, the 501(c)3 foundation of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. I work closely with both Progressive Congress and the members of the CPC. I'm only two weeks into this position, after working at the Institute for Policy Studies here in DC. I have absolutely no prior experience on Capitol Hill. I would encourage anyone else who might be thinking of applying to a position like this to just go for it. The people who interviewed me saw my Classics degree as an asset. The skill set and knowledge that we possess are wide-reaching, and the crucial ability to write and think critically is automatically associated with our major. They were also pleased to see my alma mater.
Susie Howe '11
I have been working as a Latin teacher at an independent school outside Chicago in Evanston, IL. I teach middle school children from 6th grade to 8th grade. I have also been simultaneously working on getting my teaching certificate and Master's degree in secondary education. In April, i put together a classroom archaeology dig and Professor Parslow will be pleased to know that I've got all the kids interested in Pompeii!
Eric Weiskott '09
I am an Assistant Professor of English at Boston College. The academic year 2015/2016 is my second year at BC. My research and teaching are in the field of medieval English literature, but I used my knowledge of Homeric meter to make a cross-period comparision in a recent essay, "Phantom Syllables in the English Alliterative Tradition (Modern Philology)".
Amy Nebenaus ’07
Classical Studies Major 2007
When I began studying Classics at Wesleyan, I was fairly certain that I wanted to go to medical school. Although the more common path for such a goal would be a science heavy major, I had taken many science classes in high school and wanted to try something different. Classics certainly does not give one the same preparation for medical school that a biology or chemistry major does. Rather, it gave me a different, equally important preparation. In my Latin classes we would read a body of work and discuss it in terms of both language and literary content. The language discussion is more detail oriented, while the literary aspects involve the work as a whole. In the first year of medical school we learn how to take a medical history from a patient and do some aspects of the physical exam. It is crucial to get as many details as possible from the patient about his or her current concern, but we also take an account of the person's life in general. Afterwards, we will discuss the case with doctors who have completed their training. Talking about the details of a patient's history is like analyzing the usage of one word in the entirety of the Aeneid. The word would be meaningless without the rest of the text, however, and a patient is not just their symptoms, but a mosaic composed of many pieces. Not only did I practice this thinking throughout my study of Classics, but I also discussed my thoughts with students and professors in small seminar classes. This is not always something science majors get to do in college, and doing it through the venue of Classics has prepared me even better for some aspects of medical school than my fellow classmates.
After graduating from University of Texas law school, Brigid joined as an attorney in the real estate group of Nathan Sommers Jacobs in Houston, Texas. Her practice focuses on the representation of developers/borrowers in real estate acquisitions, financing and development for retail, multi-family, office, and industrial projects.
"I found my background in Classics to be quite valuable as a law school student and even more so once I began practicing" Brigid observes. "Classics provided a great foundation in reading and writing. As a transactional attorney, writing clearly and avoiding ambiguity are critical. Latin and Greek instill an attention to detail and mindfulness of alternate interpretations which help in spotting potential ambiguities in contracts."
In her spare time, Brigid continues to enjoy playing squash with the small, but devoted group of squash players in Houston.
Josua Borenstein '97
I am in my fourth season as managing director of the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut. I have an upcoming trip with my family to Rome, which is exciting since I have not been back there since attending the Centro 20 years ago. I am hoping that Giolitti's by the Pantheon is still open.
The Hartford Courant reports that Joshua Borenstein ’97 has been the named the Long Wharf Theatre’s managing director after a national search. He will oversee a $5 million budget and a staff of 64 full-time employees.
Borenstein held the job of interim managing director for the past six months and previously worked at the theater from 2003 to 2007 in several positions, most recently as associate managing director. For the last two years, he was project manager with the arts research firm, AMS in Fairfield.
Before joining Long Wharf, he worked at Boston’s Huntington Theatre Company through Theatre Communications Group’s’ New Generations: Mentoring the Leaders of Tomorrow program.
Borenstein has a master’s of fine arts in theater management from the Yale School of Drama and a bachelor of arts with honors in classical civilization from Wesleyan. He is married to Katherine Hsu Hagmann ’98, an attorney with Bershstein Volfe and McKeon.
Beth Calamia '90
"How to be a successful Classics major". My career has been in education although I've had a list of different jobs: museum education director, Latin teacher, and, for the past 7 years, International Student and Scholar Advisor at Montclair State University. I have also been an adjunct in the Classics Department at Montclair State for the past 10 years. Last spring I had one of my career highlights: leading a spring break study abroad progtram to Greece. I have kind of figured out how to have Classics in my life without being a full time Classicist. I have two pieces of advice: get a master's degree in something (only if you can get an assistantship -- don't pay full price) and do what you love. OK, 3 pieces of advice: use your university's career services center while you are a student and then also as an alum. I did, even many years after I graduated. In fact, they advised me right before I got my current job!
John Phillips '87
I greatly enjoyed my classics training.
1. I use Latin and Greek daily in my medical practice and it greatly helps understanding terms and creating neologisms. I published an anatomical classification of the toes in the New England Journal of Medicine soon after college (2/14/1992) of which I'm still proud.
2. Mythology in life: Just today in counseling a patient about cancer screening tests, I invoked the image of Damocles' sword, which I know was mentioned in my Greek Drama class with Andy Szegedy-Maszak.
3. Hippocratic Oath. What's not to love about this guy? I went into urology because in the oath it says "never cut for stone...unless specifically trained to do so." I could go on.....
Mary Ann Masarech '82
When I am asked "What do you do with a Classics degree?" this is my response:
- In the spirit of liberal education, I was not on a professional career track in college. I was there to learn how to think and learn how to learn.
- I chose my major because there were 300 English majors. I wanted an intimate learning community (which occasionally backfired when I did not do my translation homework since you can't hide in class.)
- My major is just one piece of who I am.
- My major helped me in my first job out of college: Ediitorial assistant for a reference book company. It made me a better writer. I understood grammar. I developed an eye for details.
- My major impressed others. It stood out. I was always asked questions about it in interviews. It was seen as rigorous, and that translated into potential employers believing that I would be rigorous and throughtful in the work they needed me to do.
A few years after graduation, I got a job at a corporate training company as an associate editor. I had no clue what they did. But I've spent the rest of my career in this industry. After editorial work, I worked as a consultant who created custom learning experiences, then as a product manager responsible for larger market solutions, then marketing, where I was the "voice of the company," then research (employee engagement, career development, and leadership), and now back as the lead consultant for employee engagement. I co-wrote a book, which was published in 2012. I give speeches. I work with clients. Everything that I do I learned on the job.
Careers are rarely straight paths. There are so many jobs that exist today that didn't when I attended Wesleyan! Learning doesn't end when you graduate.
Maybe companies aren't thinking, "hey we need a classics major." They are thinking, "hey, we need really smart people who can learn what we need them to learn...and work really hard...and innovate..." Seems to me, a Wes grad with a classics degree might be a good fit.