“I’m here to study philosophy and economics, but I think the way the education system works is flawed—it teaches people what to think, not how to think. It teaches them how to follow models. I also work in advertising. When hiring, employers are often interested in a candidate’s degrees and qualifications. But if I were recruiting someone, I would be more interested in how they think, not what they’ve studied. In my view, what you should learn at a university is critical, lateral thinking, then we’ll teach you what to do when you come to the job.
“That’s why studying philosophy is so important. It teaches you not what to think, but how to think. Unfortunately, society today doesn’t value philosophy and the humanities the way it did 100–200 years ago. The people who get paid the most are accountants, economists, and bankers, not artists, thinkers, and creators. I think the world is slowly changing, however, and we’re starting to recognize that creative people are also really important."
“So I’m more interested in a fresher way of thinking to break the models. The way I see it, a rule is not a rule if it can be broken. Even what I’m wearing today is an example of breaking the rules: nobody wears shorts this short anymore, even though originally shorts were meant to be short. If you look at everyone around, you’ll see that they’re actually wearing half-pants, not shorts. They’re doing it because everyone else is doing it, and they follow like sheep. It’s important to do something because you want to do it. I want to wear shorts—even when everyone else is wearing half pants. I think when you don’t follow everyone else’s rules, it gives much more essence to your life.”
Photo by Portraits of Boston
Ana-Maria | Harvard '16
Computer Science and Astrophysics
Photographed in Radcliffe Yard