The following is an interview with 2011 graduate, Emily Hinman. Emily now owns her own counseling practice in Portland, Oregon. You can reach her for further information at her website.
What did you study at Ball State?
Philosophy with a minor in Religious Studies.
What is your career now?
I own my own psychotherapy practice — Emily Hinman Counseling in Portland, OR.
What does a typical week in your position look like?
I am seeing my clients through telehealth/virtual appointments through the pandemic.
How are the skills you learned as a Philosophy student relevant to your career and life today?
Philosophy was a great precursor to the work I do today. It provided me the critical thinking skills, curiosity, non-judgment, and the slowing down I needed to really contemplate the deeper meaning behind human need and relationships. It’s also just made me continue to be a deeply contemplative person.
What is your advice to other Humanities students?
You may not have time to read everything assigned to you, but try! And expound upon that reading because it will serve you for the rest of your life. When you don’t see representation in your professors (be it gender/race) advocate for it, and find voices to speak to the matters that mean most to you and represent you. I was one of the only women in my classes most of the time throughout college, and had I not had Dr. Rolle and Dr. Eflin there beside me, I would’ve felt way more alone. The professors were brilliant when I was a student, I was profoundly changed by all of them–I’m hoping Dave, Dr. Harrelson, and Dr. Kalumba are all still there.
Also, JOIN STANCE. Seriously. I was associate editor one year, and it really made me proud to be part of such an incredible, student lead international journal.
Lastly – don’t take it so seriously! In my opinion, Philosophy is best as a pairing, not on its own. It’s incredibly paired with education, Psychology, counseling, social work, Anthropology, journalism, business, and the list goes on. Much like a fine-tuned lens, it just clarifies and deepens everything else you’re studying. Studying Philosophy also helped me understand some of the ways academia keeps us closed in at times. I’ve found some of the most brilliant philosophers stay inside their own quarters arguing over esoteric things with language only they understand at conferences predominately run by white men, when really Philosophers have a quality about them that could be harnessed for really important purposeful action in the world.
I think sometimes the beauty of Philosophy gets lost in its isolation and monoculture. The ability to consider with severity the perspectives at hand and make a courageous decision that lends itself to rigorous thought and equity is something deeply needed in our world right now. I’m hoping that can change as more people of color, LGBTQIA engage in the major. All that to say – Don’t squander it! Integrate it into who you are. I thought I wanted to be a Philosophy professor when I started studying, because that’s pretty much the only profession that was given as a possibility to me, but then I really leaned into what was rising to the surface as I studied, what I really cared about, and that lead me to where I am now!
Again, you can find further information about Emily’s practice and reach out to her via her website.