The Liberal Arts & My Career Search

Unlike the other dozen schools that I applied to during my senior year of high school, Swarthmore College was the outlier. I thought I’d prefer a medium to large school, a pre-professional education track, and I wanted to study business and communications. Yet, here I am—happy, content, and enjoying my college experience even though I am studying nothing close to what I thought I’d be studying to make a career for myself.

I wondered whether going to a liberal arts college would mean I’d be a poor college graduate with no job even if I went to a name brand school that only nerdy people knew of. I was so scared of not having a “real major” that would be nice on a resume, so I went into Swarthmore thinking I would make a special major. I thought about combining Art History, Media Studies, and English so that I could have my version of a communications major at Swarthmore and get fancy media jobs. Now, I am a Sociology & Anthropology major and a History minor and LOVING it.

What I realized is that I do not need to depend solely on my studies in school in order to get an internship. When people talk about how the liberal arts education is “well-rounded” and is “going to prepare you for the world and not just a job,” I used to be skeptical and thought it’s just what they say to sell you the liberal arts. Two years in and I’m now a believer—corny, I know—but it’s true. I was scared that I couldn’t find internships during my time at Swarthmore, but I have! The summer after my freshman year, I interned at Revlon under the Elizabeth Arden brand, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have found and been offered other opportunities. I’ve realized that I can enjoy what I want to learn in school, and also find internships and jobs even if they don’t directly relate to my academics.

Swarthmore has reinforced my strong work ethic through the challenging but invigorating academics. It’s taught me how to speak up after many small classes where I just can’t hide. My friends here inspire me and make me want to reach for the stars. All of these things have helped me along the way as I search for summer internships, interview, and figure out what I want out of a career. Prospective students often ask me about internship and career opportunities at Swarthmore, and I’m guessing that they have the same fear I had. While I can’t promise that any and all Swatties will get awesome internships and not struggle to find a job, I feel confident in saying that I absolutely do not think that being a student here puts me at a disadvantage in the competitive world of internship and job searches.

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