Jessica's Blog

About Me (Long Version)

My name is Jessica Troutman.  This semester, I began my junior year as an undergraduate student majoring in anthropology at the University of South Florida.  This year has definitely been a year of broadening my horizons and finding a niche to grow and widen my interests.  I hope to soon start a double major in marketing as I believe marketing would be an exciting and beneficial place to apply my skills and interests in the future.  Still, the thought of majoring in marketing is a budding one.  I am not yet fully aware of all that this career implies.  Time will only tell if this is a good direction for me to pursue.  I will begin my first marketing course this up-coming fall!  I am in no hurry to graduate, but if my grades stay as steady as they have been I will hopefully graduate in May of 2012.

I would like to address my major in anthropology and the skills I have learned in it as I have often been confronted with the fact that the academic field of anthropology is rather ambiguous. Anthropology is a holistic study that encompasses all aspects of humanity and is generally thought to be a field of study trapped to the academics.   This major has trained me to think analytically, to analyze and break down cultural issues from many different angles, and to achieve goals in group settings (Opposed to problem solving by one’s self).  More specifically, I have been trained to breakdown and analyze why socially constructed phenomena happen and what these phenomena achieve for the group or individual.  A few examples of socially constructed phenomena include the acquisition of language, the affects language has on a group or individual, how and why religious practices originate, what causes a society to flourish or fall, and how or why one human being kills another.  These are just a few phenomena associated with anthropology; an anthropologist can basically study anything that deals with human society.  This is why anthropology can prepare a student for the real world (the world beyond academia), as this major allows me to make observations about the world around me.

Thankfully, anthropology is applicable to all sorts of careers that have nothing to do with museums or universities.  As I have previously mentioned, I am looking into the exciting field of marketing to apply my anthropologic skills. Why?  Because when I look at a piece of advertising, for whatever product, I think about how the company behind that product believes this advertisement will entice the consumer—a consumer who has norms and values built on socially constructed phenomena.  I question whether the company really understands the relationship between the consumer market and its product.  I find the idea of working to help others understand cultural phenomenon to be exciting and to produce a change for the better to be even more exhilarating.  In the future, I hope to work for a company that prides itself in cultural open-mindedness and understands that there are social happenings within this world that impact how and why certain products succeed or fail.


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