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LA 401: Professional Development for the Liberal Arts Student
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Brandon Purnell

Major: International Politics
Minor: Security and Risk Analsysis
Hometown: Wells Tannery, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I had already discovered what a great resource the staff at the Career Enrichment Network are to Liberal Arts students, so when I read in a Liberal Arts newswire that they were offering a course on professional development, I jumped at the opportunity.

"While the course doesn't require a massive time commitment, it will provide impetus to the take necessary steps towards your career goals, and provide you with a breadth of knowledge you might not have sought out on your own."

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The strength of Professional Development for the Liberal Arts Student is definitely in the diversity of experiences it has to offer. You'll work with your classmates and in close consultation with the instructor to outline your experiences and develop them as content for resumes and cover letters. But it doesn't end there. Probably my favorite assignment of the course required me to attend the Spring Career Days- great preparation for the larger event I'll be attending in the fall. Alumni are a great resource to Liberal Arts students and play an active role in the course, conducting mock interviews and providing worthwhile advice from their experiences in a panel discussion. Additionally, I had the opportunity to conduct an informational interview for the course with an alumnus, which allowed me to investigate career paths of interest even further.

How did this experience impact you academically?

The course helped provide me with the motivation to ration time for important professional development. I'm a procrastinator by nature, so having extra incentive to take time and develop a resume, draft cover letters, and investigate my strengths really proved invaluable.

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

I am motivated to pursue a career in public service. As such, probably most impactful part of the course for me was the opportunity to talk and network with alumni who are serving in positions that are relevant to my interests. Through their input in the alumni panel and the further discussions it facilitated, I was provided with a better grasp on the opportunities that are available to me.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend LA 401 to any Liberal Arts student who wants to get started on preparing for life beyond college; it's never too early to start. While the course doesn't require a massive time commitment, it will provide impetus to the take necessary steps towards your career goals, and provide you with a breadth of knowledge you might not have sought out on your own.

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