More than 60 alumni and 350 students participated in the first “Hornet-2-Hornet College to Careers Conference”during Homecomingon Oct. 18. Every School featured alumni panel discussions for undergraduates.
In a session titled, “What Can You Do with a Liberal Arts Degree? Anything!,” John Reilly ’86,a history major who now works for Altria, told students, “My entire liberal arts degree prepared me to do a lot of things. I learned to write here. You must learn to write and you must learn to write well. It will save you.”
The other members of that panel, moderated by Dr. Mike Santos, agreed. “Writing skills saved me more than a few times,” said Adam Smith ’04, an international relations major, who is an international affairs specialist with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition.
“Philosophy taught me how to write well,” said Elizabeth Childress ’12 a philosophy/French major, who is a government affairs specialist with Spotts Fain PC.
“Poetry helped me figure out how to say things correctly in as short a space as possible,” said Clyde Harkrader ’09, an English major who is now a proposal specialist for Thomas Advisors in Lynchburg.
“You develop an open mind about a lot of things,” said Ty Gafford ’94, ’08 MEd, principal of Altavista Combined School in Campbell County.
All panel members advised students to use LC’s Career Center, to network via Linked-In, to be willing to start at entry-level positions, and to work hard.
“Don’t walk in entitled,” Reilly advised. “They’re not going to throw a parade for you for doing your job.”
The “Launching from LC” Task Force has been working this past year to propose new and innovative ways to more effectively prepare graduates for the worlds of work and graduate school.
Check out the complete list of panelists.