Emerson Herrera ’19, a first-year student who is undecided about a major, reached out to CAMS alum Ally Weaver Aden ’11, for advice about how majoring in CAMS can help him achieve his goal of attending law school. Ally gave Emerson concrete advice about internships in addition to offering these words of wisdom:
I’m so glad you reached out. You are correct: I was a CAMS major and went to law school, and now I am a practicing attorney in Des Moines, Iowa. I faced the same dilemma: I was interested in CAMS and everything it had to offer, but I also had an idea I wanted to go to law school. After speaking with many advisers, professors, and attorneys, I came to the decision that I should follow my interests and major in CAMS. Many people assured me that a liberal arts education from Carleton was so valuable and well-rounded, I would be able to apply my education to any professional arena. And, as you may imagine, they were right. I am very glad I was a CAMS major! Not to mention, I didn’t even have access to Weitz Center. I can proudly say I was a Scoville Hall graduate.
In my studies, I focused mostly on film theory and film history, rather than production. As you know (or will learn), film theory and history are very similar to literary theory and history. They involve critical thinking, analysis, application, and a degree of imagination. For my comps project, I focused on Olivia De Havilland and a contract dispute with a Hollywood studio. I studied how star-players were employed by the Major Five studios, and how De Havilland’s lawsuit changed vertical integration and independence among actors in relation to their studio employers. I also explored how De Havilland’s acting roles evolved in conjunction with the lawsuit and contractual changes. It is an under-explored history, and it was fascinating (if I do say so myself). Needless to say, my liberal arts (and specifically CAMS) education prepared me very well for law school. Sure, international relations or political science may have prepared me in a more literal sense. But, I had the tools I needed to navigate the study of law. Additionally, due to my CAMS background, I took a liking to copyright and trademark law. I was a member of the Intellectual Property Appellate Advocacy program my second and third years of law school, and competed nationally in oral arguments both years. My involvement in the program was the highlight of my law school experience.
I encourage you to major in what you are most interested in right now, rather than what you think you will be interested in four years from now. Your liberal arts degree from Carleton will allow you to excel in multiple professions, not only the field in which you majored. Enjoy every single day at Carleton–your time flies by! I cherish the memories I have from Carleton.