Mixing business with philosophy
By Jann Holland
Mauri Waneka '12 is a highly motivated individual. Having recently landed a 10-week summer internship with BNP Paribas, the largest bank by assets in the world, Waneka attributes her success not only to hard work but also to her upbringing. "Thanks to my family, the environment I was raised in, and the talents I was born with, there's never been a ceiling for me," said Waneka. "I've never had to say, 'No, I don't think I can do that.'"
Waneka feels one of the reasons why she was selected from more than 1,500 applicants is because she approaches problems differently. "As a philosophy major, I find it easy to dissect a problem and search for an answer. In fact, I use the critical thinking skills I've mastered at Drury in my everyday life."
In Dr. Steve Mullins' Poverty and Economics class, Waneka explored topics like the "Cycle of poverty." During this class, Waneka reflected on her own upbringing: "Just to assume that someone else can because you can is a failed assumption; a skewed sense of empathy." Though Waneka came to Drury with the predisposition that society should help those in need, Dr. Mullins provided facts that validated her position.
Waneka admits that identifying a socioeconomic problem is typically the easy part. It's finding the solution that can be difficult. Waneka stated, "That's where values come in to play. You have to decide what perspective you want to employ. Is it an efficiency argument where you're looking at data? Or human need/natural rights? Or you could also look at it from a capital gains perspective/capitalism. And then from that, you need to take the argument and apply it to the whole system."
In evaluating those assumptions, individuals begin to see the implications of their decisions and the answers begin to emerge. "You see connections where before you wouldn't have seen them. I understand the 'human' a little better," said Waneka. "Business is very practical and based in the here and now. When you add philosophy to it, business is taken to a whole other level."
A senior at Drury this year, Waneka is a Springfield native and a graduate of Springfield Catholic High School.
Return to "Get Excited About Being Human"