I have been introduced to the field of philosophy in my last two years of high school education. Already then philosophy was one of my favourite subjects, as many of its problems continued to trouble me persistently. Taking my studies further to the level of higher education was therefore the obvious choice and even if I have now, after finishing my B.A. in 2004, decided to continue on a D.Phil. in German Literature, I have never regretted choosing that particular joint honours programme.
The reasoning skills I developed during the course are indispensable for my current research and I am drawing heavily on the intellectual resources I had the chance to accumulate.
Furthermore, the analytic approach helped me in facing new tasks throughout different employment situations, such as my research for the German National Academic Foundation on the schooling of Roma children in Austria and Hungary. In my opinion, it was particularly the tutorial system, the weekly challenge of arguing with my tutor, which honed many of the skills being now an invaluable part of my personal identity and thereby helping me in my academic career progression.
I read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at St. Peters College. I graduated in 2003 and am currently working for the European Commission Delegation to the United Nations in New York on the area of humanitarian affairs. As an undergraduate I chose Philosophy because I believed it would provide me with very valuable analytical skills and it would be a very good complement to the Economics and Politics side of the curriculum. My experience as a philosophy student turned out to be as enriching as I hoped, and the skills I acquired have helped me very much in my professional life. Philosophy taught me to think, speak, and write clearly and critically, and helped me to communicate effectively, analyze complex material, and to investigate difficult questions in a systematic fashion.
Not only is studying philosophy itself extremely valuable, but the tutorial system of teaching is the single most important factor that makes Oxford one of the world's great centres for philosophy.
By interacting on a one to one basis with world renowned professors, philosophy undergraduates have an extraordinary and unique opportunity to develop abilities that will not only be essential to almost any vocation, but instil qualities vital to their growth as persons. The very fact that I was able to have personal discussions on philosophical issues with various tutors who were experts in their field made every tutorial worth a hundred classes. I cannot think of a better place and a better system to teach philosophy and I am very grateful for everything I have learnt from it.