This fall we welcomed Nathan Liebetreu to the Institute for the Humanities staff team as a marketing and media intern. Nathan provided support in crafting and implementing marketing strategies, increasing the online and offline footprint of the Institute, and creating content for our newsletter and social media.

Nathan is a rising junior majoring in business with a concentration in marketing and strategy and a double minor in philosophy and entrepreneurship. He has a strong background in consumer-centric, direct-to-consumer marketing. As a first-year student in the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, he co-founded and ran an e-commerce site specializing in selling eco-friendly products and generating sales with Facebook and Google Ads. He also took three philosophy courses that year, leading him to choose that subject as a minor.

Communicating and developing positive relationships with people of different backgrounds is one of Nathan's strong suits. He also thrives when executing social media campaigns. "I have a passion for social media because it’s a useful tool for connecting people," he explained, "and I’m inherently a social person."

In a nod to Nathan’s outstanding work interviewing fellows for our “What I’m Reading This Week” series, we decided to ask him a few questions about his experience as an intern.

You were the first Ross student we’ve had apply for an internship at the institute. As a business student, why were you interested in working at the Institute for the Humanities?

That's a great question, Stephanie. I have always been passionate about the humanities. The humanities teach us to think critically and ask important questions while giving us insights into the human experience. Learning history will help us understand the past to navigate the present better. Learning about the French philosopher Albert Camus' exploration of life's meaning can help us live a more fulfilling life. On the other hand, the study of commerce helps us become informed consumers, producers, and workers in this modern society. To be a great person of business, I knew I also had to immerse myself in the humanities somehow, and as such, I wanted to work for the Institute for the Humanities. I wanted to use the business skills I've acquired so far to help the humanities and the institute have a broader reach and appeal to undergraduates pursuing different fields of interest.

What was one of your favorite things about working here, and why?

I enjoyed interviewing the institute's fellows for a series called What I'm Reading This Week. During the interview process I had the opportunity to pick the brains of fellows involved in and pursuing amazing projects within the humanities. I learned a lot from the experience as I was exposed to different topics that I would have never discovered independently, from a project examining the expansion of a market of reverse osmosis drinking water after Haiti's cholera epidemic, to one on southwest China and how specific individuals lives are articulated by the art they use.

Now that the semester, and your internship, have wrapped up, how do you plan to spend the summer before your junior year?

I will be interning at Chewy, an online retail company of pet foods and other pet-related products, as a business analyst. Besides work, I hope to read, play a lot of tennis and soccer, and go camping. I’m looking forward to making the most of my summer, enjoying the outdoors as much as possible, and spending time with my family!

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, Nate. To end the interview, I’d like to ask you the same final question you posed to the fellows you interviewed. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what would be the one book you would want to have with you and why?

The one book I would want to have with me is Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. The book is a series of personal writings by the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius written as a private note to himself examining the ideas on Stoic philosophy which he used as a tool for self-improvement and guidance. It is written in a way that is very easy to read and digest but at the same time provides wisdom as old as time that is still applicable today.