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Alumnus Katherine Loh graduated from SHPRS with her bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 2014.
Loh answered a few questions about her current position, her time with SHPRS and tips for current students.
Tell us a little bit about your current position and you found yourself there.
I work for Wells Fargo in default services for home mortgage; this means I work 1-1 with customers who are struggling to make their payments on their house. My job is to discuss options as well as risks and benefits so the customers can decide how to move forward. I found this job at an ASU career fair my senior year!
Growing up, were you always interested in philosophy?
Sure was! I got into philosophy when I was a young teen. What interested me at that age was how far and how deep thought can go.
What attracted you to the philosophy program at ASU?
I was debating what to major in for my undergrad as a Maricopa Community College transfer and philosophy was going to be my "default setting" while I explored. After thinking more about what I wanted, I decided to stick with philosophy because it would allow me to capitalize on my strengths as a writer while learning about a subject I enjoyed.
Tell us about your time with SHPRS.
I was only there for two years while I did my program but being in SHPRS was fun! I went to SHPRS events and joined the Undergraduate Philosophy Club. I sought teachers during office hours and built a working relationship with my student advisor. It was nice to have a little community within the department.
Did SHPRS and your degree help in preparing you for your current position?
Yes, it did. Philosophy is partially about thinking clearly, articulating yourself accurately, and listening well. When I'm working with people in difficult situations, I use my preparation from philosophy to effectively communicate and understand my customers so I can better offer solutions.
Was there a defining moment with your academic career?
Beyond graduation, it's difficult to pick just one! I guess a defining moment would be when I came on campus the first time as a transfer student to talk with my advisor for the first time. I remember approaching Coor Hall from the parking lot and going up the elevator to the SHPRS department and talking about my transfer plans. It felt natural. I think from that first experience, I was already on track for deciding to stay with SHPRS.
What is the most useful thing you learned that you can still apply today?
Editing skills! I wrote many a paper in my undergrad and I wrote many an email today. It's useful to know with confidence what does and does not need to be included in your writing when you're communicating with others.
Were there any extracurricular activities you were involved in at ASU?
I was in a student lead club called Stand Up for Kids ASU, a campus branch of Stand Up for Kids. It's an organization that tries to relieve homelessness for young adults, especially those who would want to blend in in a college town like Tempe. We did weekly outreach on Mill Ave, developing relationships and giving basic necessities. We also organized clothing drives for the Phoenix branch so they could have a closet of free clothes available to those we served.
Do you have any tips for current students?
Look at the 300 and 400 level classes for the major you're considering, because that's the destination your studies are moving you towards. If you're not interested in them, then that's significant. You don't have to love everything about your major all the time, but you should have your own solid reason about why you are pursuing a major if you're not that interested in what you'd be moving towards.