Where do you work?
I work at Andrew White Guitars. I am what is called a Luthier, which is a maker/repairer of stringed instruments. I build Acoustic Guitars. I’ve been running my business for 4 years.
What does your job consist of?
I make the guitars, sell the guitars, etc. I manage all aspects of my business.
Was there any additional training required for this job?
I taught myself how to make guitars. I have been building guitars since 1999. I was inspired while purchasing a handmade classical guitar in Spain. I built my first guitar, with just a book to guide me, in a small efficiency apartment my sophomore year at WVU. I’ve been building them ever since.
Do you travel much in your job?
There is a lot of traveling involved with my business. I travel mostly to find new dealers of my instruments. I work with stores all across the country and in Canada. I also attend guitar festivals to gain exposure for my product.
What do you like most about your job?
What I like most about my job is the creative aspect of making the guitars and getting to do what I want to do. I also enjoy the challenge of putting all of the aspects of the business together.
Do you think Philosophy prepared you well for this?
Philosophy gave me the basic thinking and reasoning skills I needed to run a business. When you study Philosophy, you learn to work in a different system of logic. You have to understand a wide diversity of perspectives, and be able to function in them. You learn to step into their world and see their logic. This is a skill that is valuable in all aspects of life. I use these skills in my personal life and it certainly helps me with my business.
Do you think philosophy prepared you better than other majors might have?
Oh yeah, definitely. For me, having a strong base is important. It is important to me to not be constrained by one skill set I may have. I am confident that studying philosophy has given me the ability to learn the skills I may need as challenges are presented to me in life.
Why did you chose Philosophy? What attracted you to the major?
When I was a sophomore, I talked to Dr. Montgomery about Philosophy. He told me about a statistic that the average person would change their career approximately 3 times. I had believed that I needed to choose a career path while I was at University. For me, this just was not true, and it was a huge relief when I realized that I would be better off building a strong base of knowledge and understanding. I did not have to figure out my job for the rest of my life Philosophy made sense. He also told me Philosophy would be one of the most challenging majors at WVU.
Any advice for students considering Philosophy as a major and and worried about the job prospects?
Back to what Dr. Montgomery told me. Your career goals will probably change. There are so many things that you can do in your life. Philosophy will give you a very strong base for anything you could want to do.
Do you consider yourself a philosopher?
What is the #1 thing you learned from being a Philosophy major at WVU?
To have no bounds on your life.