Degree you received at Georgia State:
MA in Religious Studies
I am currently a Ph.D. Candidate in History and the owner of Jungle Books (Used and Rare Books).
What do you do on an average day?
On an average day I teach university-level courses, conduct research, write academically, meet and interact with faculty and university administrators; I also research, buy, sell, package and ship used and rare books.
Why did you choose to pursue a graduate degree?
After a brief career in advertising and marketing, I initially began pursuing a graduate degree to learn a number of skills that I felt would help me transition to a new career in writing. Along the way, and thanks to opportunities to teach that I received as part of the MA in Religious Studies, I found that I much preferred teaching and thinking and saw it as a more fulfilling and engaging career path. As a result I chose to continue my graduate studies beyond the MA.
How do you use your graduate degree in your current job?
In addition to the pedagogical training and teaching experience that I received in the program, my MA degree greatly prepared me for the rigors of doctoral work. Beyond the academic training, my graduate program in Religious Studies taught me a number of practical skills including those in critical and creative thinking, writing and communications, time management, research, interpersonal relations, and social interactions. I also learned how to approach and understand people and cultures that were different from own experiences, which I have in turn used in interacting with a diverse student and faculty population as well as responding to new experiences and ideas like those that I encountered on several field research trips overseas.
Would you recommend your degree program? Why?
I would strongly recommend my degree program for all of the beneficial reasons listed above, but mostly for the far reaching and continual benefits of studying in this diverse and relevant field. Whether I am teaching, researching, interacting with others or even searching for used and rare books, the knowledge and experiences that I gained in my graduate program continues to pay dividends. It has also prepared me for my current graduate program and given me a perspective on my current field of research that has proved invaluable.
What’s the strangest or quirkiest thing you learned in the course of your graduate study?
While there were a number of strange and quirky parts of my education in the department, stories of Mesoamerican sacrifice and the ixiptla or the Greek erastes and eromenos relationships were the most memorable and are stories that I still use in my classes when discussing context and encountering cultures that are very different from those that are familiar to most students.