Seeing the World Anew

john leibundgut

John Leibundgut ’18 

As a double major in economics and philosophy, John Leibundgut ’18 enjoys examining problems through many different lenses. Below, he discusses the class that made him realize the importance of being able to approach topics from different viewpoints, his experiences at a summer internship, the guitar he built from scratch and more.


Economics and philosophy.

Clubs and organizations:

Idea Fund (development director), Delta Sigma Phi (executive board), Innovation Competition (management team) and Alpha Lambda Delta.


Founders Scholarship and Dean’s List.

Favorite book:

Cannery Row by John Steinbeck.

Favorite movie:

Good Will Hunting.

On choosing a major:

I have always enjoyed economics. The concepts behind it have always seemed to make sense of otherwise unexplained forces in the market and shifts in the economy. Philosophy was something I fell in love with at Dickinson because it raised questions I had never thought to ask and made me rethink my views and beliefs.

Favorite place on campus:

The Quarry porch.

Favorite Dining Hall food:

Chicken pot pie from the Kove.

Favorite class so far:

Philosophy 101 with [Assistant] Professor [of Philosophy Jeff] Engelhardt. I was curious about philosophy, so I signed up for the intro class to see what it was all about. The first few classes and readings blew my mind and made me question so many things. I loved learning an entirely new way to look at an issue, and all of the different philosophical theories we discussed fascinated me. I liked it so much that after a few weeks I asked Professor Engelhardt to be my advisor and declared philosophy as my second major.

If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, it would be …

… Ahmir Khalib Thompson (aka Questlove, the drummer for the Roots).

Proudest accomplishment so far:

Building an electric guitar from scratch during my senior year of high school. At the time, I still had no clue how to play a guitar. I learned after I completed building one.

About my internship:

I interned this summer at eTemp, a small business that manufactures and sells a product for commercial refrigerators. I was drawn to the internship because the atmosphere of a small company allowed me to experience all the different aspects of the company. I wasn’t going to be limited to doing just one thing; I would get to see and do it all. The biggest thing I learned was the importance of being able to adapt, especially in a small company. I had many different roles as the intern, and I had to be ready to switch at any moment.

Most important thing I’ve learned so far:

The importance of being able to look at things differently, be it an economic problem, a social justice issue, a philosophical concept, etc. Being open to new and different points of view is critical for learning and personal growth.

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Published November 8, 2016