LA 401: Professional Development for the Liberal Arts Student
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Marlee DeBolt

Major: Economics, International Politics
Minor: German
Hometown: Washington, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I had initially heard about the course from the Liberal Arts weekly newswire. During the fall of my sophomore year I had decided to start preparing myself for post-undergraduate opportunities, and this meant improving my professional skills. I thought that taking an in-person class would be more beneficial than just reading a book or an article because it would be more of an interactive experience.

"This class opened my eyes to the wide range of opportunities that are available after graduation for all majors."

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Before I took this class, I had never attended the career fair at Penn State, I had only written a resume and cover letter once, and was not comfortable in an interview. LA 401 prepared me to do all of these things. Now, I have experience writing cover letters, resumes, going to the career fair, and interview etiquette.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I think that now I am more concise and descriptive with the words I choose to market myself on applications for internships, graduate school, jobs, or study abroad. The entire course helps improve your communication and this can be demonstrated in your resume, cover letter, or overall application.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

At the beginning of the semester, I was not entirely sure what career I wanted to follow, but I had a few ideas. One of our assignments was to hold an informational interview with someone in a career we would like to pursue or learn more about. After researching careers and holding my informational interview, I can 100% say that I am pursuing the career for me.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this course to any Liberal Arts student because this is the perfect way to gain the skills needed in the professional world. This class opened my eyes to the wide range of opportunities that are available after graduation for all majors. I think that any Liberal Arts student can benefit from this class because a resume, a cover letter, and an interview are all necessary when looking for internships or jobs.

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