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Welcome! Please standby. The Experience Webinar “What Do You Do With A Liberal Arts Degree?” is scheduled to begin at 1 pm Eastern February 21, 2007 PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Welcome! Please standby. The Experience Webinar “What Do You Do With A Liberal Arts Degree?” is scheduled to begin at 1 pm Eastern February 21, 2007. What Do You Do With A Liberal Arts Degree? Five “Smartest” Moves to Finding Work You Love. Sheila J. Curran

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Welcome! Please standby. The Experience Webinar “What Do You Do With A Liberal Arts Degree?” is scheduled to begin at 1 pm Eastern February 21, 2007

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Welcome! Please standby. The Experience Webinar “What Do You Do With A Liberal Arts Degree?” is scheduled to begin at 1 pm Eastern February 21, 2007

What Do You Do With A Liberal Arts Degree?Five “Smartest” Moves to Finding Work You Love

Sheila J. Curran

Fannie Mitchell Executive Director, Duke University Career Center

Coauthor, Smart Moves for Liberal Arts Grads: Finding a Path to Your Perfect Career

BusinessWeek.com columnist: Curran on Careers

  • Experience Web Cast

  • February 21, 2007

Why do liberal arts students choose to attend your institution?

What College Students Want From Their Education

  • 72% want professional preparation

    • Access to internships

    • Quality of careers office

    • Placement record with employers

Eduventures* research on 6200 enrolling

first year students at all SAT levels.

* Eduventures is a research and consulting firm for the education industry, located in Boston, MA.


  • Get into good school

  • Work hard

  • Get good grades

  • Find high paying, prestigious job

  • Leap over tall buildings on the way to the top

Helicopter Parent Landing

The dilemma for parents and students

  • What’s out there?

  • How do I get there?

  • What do I need to do now?

The Genesis of Smart Moves

  • Illustrate how real liberal arts grads find work they love

    • Stories of 23 grads

    • Out of school less than 15 years

    • 19 different schools

    • All made smart career moves – and a few dumb ones, too

The Big “C” Question

Career? ??

Introducing Sheila Curran

  • BA, Russian and Persian; PGCE, Education; SPHR (Human Resources)

  • Early jobs: Assembly line worker, file clerk, cruise ship assistant, receptionist, program coordinator

  • Real jobs: director-level positions in training and development, employment, employer relations, benefits, organizational development

  • Current and previous job: career director

  • Employers: Duke University, Brown University, Gallaudet University, University of Michigan

Goals of Webinar

  • Highlight career issues facing liberal arts students

  • Discuss career assumptions and realities

  • Identify learning from interviews with liberal arts grads

  • Suggest plan of action for working with liberal arts students

Who Was Cara Storm?

  • University of Pennsylvania ‘89

  • Psychology

  • Early experiences:

  • DJ and Station Manager at college radio station

Cara’s Bio

  • Passion: Creative Expression

  • Early Work Experience:

    • WBCN Radio

    • KISS 108

    • Isabella Stewart Museum

  • Founder and Principal of Marketing by Storm

Who Was Ray Eddy?

  • Duke University ‘92, Math and Econ

  • Early work experience:

    • IBM

Ray Eddy: Beyond IBM

  • Duke University ‘92, MAT ‘94

  • Math and Econ

    • Hewitt Associates

    • Teaching

    • Resident Advising

    • Coaching Marching Bands

Ray Eddy: Now

  • Passion: Performing stunts, coaching, teaching kids

  • President, Superior Marching Band Enterprises

  • Stunt Actor: Indiana Jones at Disney-MGM Studios

Cara, Ray and Smart Moves

  • Listen to others

  • Learn out of classroom

  • Make career corrections


  • Identify fall-back positions

  • Demonstrate energy and talents even in low level positions

  • Identify skills you want to build in a new position

  • Don’t be afraid of failure

  • Build a safety net by identifying clients before starting a business

The Five Smartest Moves

  • Figure out who you are and where you want to go

  • Get experience

  • Build social and networking relationships

  • Identify and fill your competence gap

  • Find your hook

The Five Smartest Moves


Discover who you are and where you want to go


Get experience

The Five Smartest Moves


Build Social and Networking Relationships


Identify Your Competence Gaps


Find Your Hook

Challenges for Counselors

  • Major doesn’t equal career

  • Myriad options

  • Impossible to be knowledgeable about every field

  • On-campus recruiters may not be interested in many liberal arts majors

What to Do?

  • Educate students and parents about career realities even before matriculation

  • Find opportunities to show relationship between education and career

  • Facilitate exploration

  • Informational interviewing

  • Alumni/parent career advisors

  • Apprenticeships/Internships

  • Real-world programming, e.g., Career Week


Carrie’s Story


  • Where you start will probably not be where you end

  • Only you can decide who you are and where you want to go

“If a man shall begin with certainties, he shall end with doubts. But if he shall content himself to begin with doubts, he shall end with certainties”

-- Sir Francis Bacon

Key Takeaways For Your Students & Alumni

  • Download this presentation from the Experience University Resources channel so you can use it with your students and alumni and share the 5 smartest moves

  • Engage your alumni to share their stories to open up possibilities for students (or buy Sheila’s book if you want to use the featured alumni as examples)

  • Encourage students and alumni to get as much exposure to new areas – internships, job shadows, info interviews, job fairs etc.

Smart Moves for Liberal Arts GradsBook

To Order --

“Smart Moves for Liberal Arts Grads:

Finding a Path to Your Perfect Career”


Also available through Amazon.com

or at your local bookstore.


Email Sheila Curran at

[email protected]

Experience Resources For Your Students and Alumni

  • New Content

    • Job Shadow

    • Manage Your Career (for Alumni)

  • New Content Partners

    • SalesTrax (sales channel)

    • Careerbuilder (alumni channel)

New Exclusive Experiences

  • Video Interview with CEO

  • Application deadline Feb 25th

  • Special Experience slot to attend and blog about the 2-day job fair

  • Application deadline Feb 25th

Professional Development Series

  • March 27, 2007 --“Finding the Best-Fit Job for Students and Alumni”

    • Susan Strayer, SPHR, is a human resource professional and a career development expert, who has worked in both corporate recruiting and in career services (Johns Hopkins University).

    • She is the author of The Right Job, Right Now: The Complete Toolkit For Finding Your Perfect Career.

  • Tell Us What You Think !

    • Evaluation survey will be emailed to participants

    • Ongoing topic submission on University Resource Channel

Q & A Session

If you would like to ask a question,

please press *1 on your telephone keypad.

Thanks for Participating!

Sheila Curran

Duke University

[email protected]

Experience, Inc.

[email protected]


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