College of Humanities and Social Sciences
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Concentrations

MA in Philosophy

Justin Marshall, 2009

Justin Marshall

What work are you doing now?

I'm the general manager at a restaurant and bar, Marvin, in Washington, D.C. I also work as a digital marketing consultant. At Marvin I manage 75 employees and operate a six-million-dollar-a-year business, and for my consulting work I mostly build websites and manage Google AdWords, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter paid advertising campaigns for businesses. I also just started blogging about philosophy at www.thepragmaticturn.com.

What do you like about it?

In the restaurant I love that I get to work with so many different types of people every day. I enjoy giving my employees a lot of freedom while also creating and enforcing systems to keep their work at a high standard. Learning how to get better work out of people than they typically get out of themselves is very rewarding. My consulting practice is a nice break from dealing with so many personalities because it's typically just me teaching strategy to a small number of business owners. Then when I'm running and testing ad campaigns things become very analytical and I'm split testing ads using a lot of data analysis. I enjoy the solitude of that work, as well as the clear definitions of success: money spent on ads drove revenue growth.

How did your degree in the college prepare you to do this work?

Studying philosophy gave me the confidence to question established ways of doing things and search for better solutions. It also taught me a lot about human psychology, which helps me every day to be a more emotionally intelligent leader, employee, and consultant.

What advice would you give current students about developing their careers?

Before you graduate, interview people with job titles you think might interest you and ask them what their work days are like. If you find an industry, organization, or job title you're interested in, try to secure an internship that excites you. Many good things can come from crushing it at an internship. And although this sounds like a lot of planning, don't get too hung up on precise long-term goals. Just get out there and start doing and see what opportunities arise around you.

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