Faye Kasemset ’05
I arrived at MIT planning to pursue a degree in Course 6 and a career in finance. I signed up for a film class my first semester, just hoping it would add “variety” to my schedule – and I’ve been addicted to Literature courses ever since. A course on modern drama here, a class on Austen there… Before I knew quite what was happening, I’d fulfilled most of the requirements for the major. The joys of reading and analyzing texts I might have anticipated, but the pleasures of the MIT Literature classroom took me by surprise. The professors in Literature are deeply committed teachers and scholars, and they bring their research into the classroom in exciting ways. I learned to enjoy reading not just as a private experience, but as a scholarly and collaborative one. Literature courses changed the way I thought about books, and by extension, altered my understanding of the world at large. My only regret, upon graduating, was that I hadn’t had time to take more of them.
In the end, I did get that Course 6 degree (alongside the Literature one), but Wall Street fell by the wayside. Now I am in the English PhD program at Stanford, and I couldn’t be happier. I can say without exaggeration that becoming a Literature major changed the course of my career, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.