Last month, Career Services partnered with academic departments and alumni to host the Humanities and Arts Career Showcase, which highlighted the variety of nontraditional career paths to which a liberal arts education can lead.
Lauren DeLuca '10, Loretta Gary ’09, Eric Haeker '99, Ben Kapilow ’13, Nazanin Moghbeli '96, and Ronni Sadovsky ‘08 shared stories about finding a job after graduation and how Swarthmore shaped their professional lives. They represented a wide range of majors, including philosophy, linguistics, Black studies, art history, theater, and other interdisciplinary fields.
Student moderators Tiauna Lewis ’19, a history major from Lincoln, Neb., and Bellara Huang ’21, of Pella, Iowa, facilitated questions about majoring in the humanities and arts influenced their career paths. They also encouraged panelists to share tips on using time at Swarthmore to better prepare for the future.
The panelists stressed how students should use the liberal arts experience to engage with personal interests and to practice life skills such as effective communication, meeting deadlines, and time management. Eric Haeker ’99, a composer, impresario, investor, arts funder, and former music and math major, also stressed how developing professional skills and pursuing interests are not mutually exclusive.
“Writing is the most critical commodity in your analytical skills,” Haeker said. “You’ll be an even better writer if you spend your time here studying something you love because then you’re motivated to want to convey your passion in your writing.”
For students, the alumni panel was both insightful and reassuring.
“As a senior, I’m always eager to hear any insight from alumni,” said Lewis. “It was good to hear that there are many paths to find a good career. There’s no cookie-cutter model for Swattie success and happiness.”
After the panel, students engaged in roundtable discussions with faculty from humanities, arts, and interdisciplinary departments to gain an even broader perspective on the range of career opportunities available and how the skills learned in each discipline will prepare them for the future.
“Talking with the professors was another great way to gain some perspective,” said Lewis. “Many Swarthmore students go into academia, which is the path our professors chose. The event was a nice mix of learning how a liberal arts education can translate into all kind of careers.”
The Humanities and Arts Career Showcase was enjoyable for both students and professors. While students learned how skills gained through the humanities and arts are transferable beyond Swarthmore, professors engaged in conversations with alumni and students.
“This was a great group of alumni and alumnae,” said Professor of Philosophy Peter Baumann. “They were diverse in many ways and still all Swatties and so happy to be back. The roundtable conversations were also very good, especially the individual conversations I had with two students.”