Charlie Goetzman | Honors Alum, 2021

Charlie Goetzman Headshot

Posted in Honors Testimonial

In job interviews senior year, I told people that finishing my thesis would be my proudest professional or academic achievement. It feels kind of strange to say two years out of Georgetown, but that might still be true, at least as a single, standalone accomplishment. You don’t get a lot of chances to dive as deep into, or to have such total ownership over, one project. The program is designed so that you leave senior year feeling really satisfied with your work in the English department, and in a way, with all your schoolwork, from grade school on: it really does function as a capstone to your academic career. 

You’re very indebted to your teachers and peers in the program—it’d be impossible to finish without your advisor or the sessions we’d have as a group—but your thesis is something that’s yours. For a year, this is your baby. It’s inevitably frustrating at times: you’ll feel like you’d hit a wall with the project, or your whole idea will just feel kind of stupid. But at the end of the day, it’s one of the most rewarding things you can do at Georgetown. This is an academic topic (or creative project) that you chose to write about, that you’re passionate about, that you learn inside and out, and that you’re eventually able to say something new about—and you have 60 or so pages to show for it. I loved being an English major, and this—thinking long and hard about some meaningful topic, and being able to come up with genuinely new ideas about it—was a perfect way to end it.