Working in the Office vs. Working on The Office

Beth Dumbauld

Working in the Office vs. Working on The Office

By Danielle Koons

Sometimes I make lists of things that go unappreciated. Yesterday I added “nail polish remover” and “a decent pepper shaker” to my list. I also make lists of things that are overrated, like the romance in Paris. Let’s be honest here, the women in Europe don’t shave. That alone has killed a good percentage of the romance. Oh, and the Beatles. Yeah, I said it.

But that’s for another day. What I wanted to talk about is on my list of unappreciated things: acting and higher education. People often assume that movie stars are all high school dropouts who, through a series of amazing luck and seedy dealings, made it to the top. Actually, there are many famous actors who not only have four-year degrees, but four-year degrees from prestigious schools like Brown and Harvard. I kid you not!

I hope you watch The Office, because I’m going to be throwing some intense Dwightage all up in here. The TV show is a great example for this post because it sort of spans both topics: 1) Acting requires an education, too and 2) Resign yourself to the fact that most Americans are stuck in that (slaving in a cubicle) type of job. The lucky ones only have to ACT like people stuck in an office job.

Here’s a list of the lucky ones: 

  • Rainn Wilson (Dwight): has an MFA in Acting, went to New York University and Tisch School of the Arts.
  • John Krasinski (Jim): graduated from Brown University in 2001 as an honors playwright with a B.A. in English literature.
  • Jenna Fischer (Pam): originally enrolled at Truman State University as a pre-law student; later changed to theater. Also considered being a vet!
  • Leslie David Baker (Stanley): has a degree in psychology from Loyola University.
  • Brian Baumgartner (Kevin): has a BFA in acting from Southern Methodist University. (Dallas, Texas.)
  • Angela Kinsey (Angela): graduated from Baylor University (Waco, Texas), majored in English.
  • B.J. Novak (Ryan): graduate of Harvard University. Has a degree in English and Spanish literature. He wrote a thesis about the films of Hamlet.
  • Steve Carell (Michael): graduated from Denison University, ditched the road to law school for theater and acting.

In case you didn’t notice, that’s most of The Office cast. And even though they only pretend to do those jobs, you can actually get a degree that is designed for those jobs. There are a lot of fantastic jobs as secretaries, personal assistants, office managers, Assistants to the Regional Manager, and more. Degrees aimed for office jobs are usually BA’s in English or business degrees, depending on the job you want.

For a BA in English, StraighterLine can start you off with English Composition 1, English Composition 2, and Business Communication.

For a BA in Business, StraighterLine can start you off with business courses including Accounting 1, Accounting 2, Managerial Accounting, Economics 1: Macroeconomics, Economics 2: Microeconomics, Introduction to Business, Organizational Behavior, and Business Ethics.

Moral of this story: If you have the skill for it, I’d definitely root for being a famous actor and simply act like you work in an office. I mean, seriously. John and Jenna were making $100,000 an episode by the fourth season!

Just kidding. As always, the moral of the story is that education always pays off, no matter what job you eventually get. StraighterLine’s easy to use and informational website is filled with ways to get on the right track towards higher education. No matter what path you decide to take, StraighterLine is sure to have classes that will be right up your alley!

Danielle Koons spends her time going to school for a stupid Bachelor of Science degree, smelling like wet dog (courtesy of her job as a groomer), and pretending to be a famous writer. But not a boring stuffy writer. A cool writer like Lewis Carroll, so she can ignore the “rules” of the English language and make up her own words.

Related Readings

I Like to Watch Cops. Do You Want to Be One?
Don’t Read This Unless You Want To Help People
All about Going Back to School, Buying Books, Dropping Classes and Wishing I Had a Donkey

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