A Shimer graduate addresses his classmates at convocation
Liberal arts programs are shown to develop strong communicators, passionate leaders, and deep analytical thinkers. According research from the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU), liberal arts disciplines are effective in preparing graduates for long-term professional success.
If you’re interested in studying history, philosophy, classics, law, or the natural and social sciences, a small liberal arts college might be the perfect way for you to position yourself for this kind of long-term success. It can be both personally fulfilling and professionally advantageous to develop your post-secondary skills in the unique and enriching liberal arts environment.
Ready to make it happen? Prepare to get the most out of your studies with our guide to the four habits of successful liberal arts grads.
1. Great Grads of Liberal Arts Courses Are Devoted to Lifelong Learning
To succeed in and outside the liberal arts classroom, great graduates say students like you should foster an appreciation for continuous education.
Shimer alumnus Phil Farina puts his education into practice at his own successful law firm. He believes that the ability to continuously learn and grow is any liberal arts grad’s greatest long-term asset.
“Shimer’s most valuable gift to its graduates, I think, is the ability to educate yourself in a meaningful way throughout your life,” he explains, “whether it’s in your profession, your business, or for your personal enrichment.”
2. Great Grads Follow Their Passions, Appling Liberal Arts to a Range of Fields
According to AACU, alumni of liberal arts colleges are over-represented among leaders of Fortune 500 companies. These companies are broadly diverse in scope, but there’s one thing their CEOs share in common—a passion for what they do.
“One of the benefits of being at a great liberal arts college is that you’re exposed to a lot of things,” says David Axelrod, liberal arts alumnus and Obama advisor based in Chicago. “Find something that you feel passionate about! Follow your passion and do things that interest and excite you.”
Shimer students use their own areas of interest as research focus points throughout their studies
3. Successful Liberal Arts Education Grads Actively Participate in Civic Life
Graduates of small liberal arts colleges understand the value of participating in a close-knit community. Retaining this commitment to active community engagement helps liberal arts grads live meaningful and purposeful lives after graduation.
“It’s incumbent on all of us, particularly those of us blessed with a great education, to make a difference in the world around us,” said Axelrod in a lecture to Chicago liberal arts students. “You’re going to live in that world and shape it for others and your children.”
In liberal arts and humanities courses at Shimer, students grapple with complex social issues—developing their character along with their intellect. Our alumni view service to others as a core aspect of long-term success. If you can envision yourself as a civil servant, research scientist, career activist or political leader, liberal arts will prepare you for meaningful community citizenship after graduation.
4. Great Liberal Arts Grads Look to the Future with Open Minds
A modern liberal arts education can take you anywhere! The most successful liberal arts grads are those who remain open to diverse career opportunities.
“I ended up working on Wall Street, which I never would have believed when I was a student,” shared Shimer alumni Edie Barschi. “I was very much a Leftie. I am still pretty much a Leftie.”
Axelrod’s experience is much the same. “I had no idea where life would take me,” he explains. “I seized the opportunities as they came.”
He believes liberal arts career hopefuls like you shouldn’t make 30-year life plans, but trust in their education to guide them toward success: “You’re the beneficiary of great training, and that will open all kinds of doors for you.”
Are you interested in starting on the right foot with liberal arts courses?
Visit Shimer to learn more about getting started.