As liberal arts programs continue to be cut from institutions of higher education left and right, the question is again arising: what is the value of a liberal arts education? In truth, though, liberal arts majors are still just as valuable as ever to employers. With strong communication skills, the ability to think critically and creatively, and the capacity to learn new skills quickly, liberal arts students are well suited to a range of professions. Current students Liam Sigler, Gail Peterson, and John Jakubisin are finding that to be the case this summer in their internships, as they excel in journalism and IT and bring their Catholic liberal arts perspective to their employers.
Rising senior and political science major John Jakubisin is in the midst of completing a journalism internship at CNS News, a division of the Media Research Center.
Jakubisin splits his time between CNS’s headquarters, where he researches and writes articles, and Capitol Hill, where he interviews Senators and Representatives about current issues. Through this internship, Jakubisin has been able to learn about current political issues firsthand while building up an extensive portfolio of published pieces.
Jakubisin feels that his Christendom education has been excellent preparation for working in journalism, strengthening his ability to write, research, and approach issues with a fresh perspective.
“Christendom has provided a great education for this internship. I put the critical thinking, writing, and communication skills that I’ve developed in the classroom into practice on a daily basis,” shared Jakubisin. “In addition, as a political science major, I can apply broader themes I’ve learned in class to today’s political situations.”
Like Jakubisin, rising senior Gail Peterson believes that her Christendom education is helping her to excel in her summer internship. Peterson is working as a software development intern with a government contractor, Virtual Service Operations, where she is gaining a range of both practical and soft skills.
While the learning curve for mastering new technical skills has been steep, Peterson feels that her Christendom education has prepared her to rise to the occasion.
“The claim that Christendom’s education is rigorous is no overstatement. It is challenging, but that’s why it’s good for you,” explained Peterson. “Christendom’s curriculum demands that you correctly prioritize tasks and assignments using smart time management. In my experience, after semesters of practice, these skills have solidified and have enabled me to tackle the tasks and projects that are given to me at work.”
In addition, Peterson says the critical thinking skills she has gained in the classroom have made her an adaptable employee and have prepared her for working in the solutions-based IT realm.
Rising senior Liam Sigler agrees with Peterson and believes the education and resources received through Christendom have been indispensable in his current internship and in his long-term career preparation.
Sigler turned to the Career Development Department for assistance while searching for summer internships, where he was encouraged to apply to the TFAS program, which provides students internship placement and the chance to take online classes. Through this program, Sigler earned a journalism internship with the Daily Caller.
In this role, Sigler researches and pitches ideas to regular Daily Caller contributors and also writes news stories of his own. To keep up in the journalism world, one needs to be well organized and ready to take on a new project at any moment, and Sigler believes Christendom’s rigorous curriculum and high standards for students have prepared him to succeed in this kind of professional environment.
“Christendom has high expectations for students and tries to help them live up to their full potential,” shared Sigler. “The rigorous expectations for papers and all the support and constructive criticism of the faculty have been invaluable in my internship. I feel comfortable in my ability to handle a job that involves a lot of in-depth writing and researching thanks to Christendom.”
In addition to the preparation gained through his studies, Sigler says the resources offered by the Career Development department have been crucial as he works towards his professional goals. Director of Career Development, Kristin Stephens not only helped Sigler find and apply to the TFAS program, which led to his current internship, but she has also helped him discern his professional interests.
“Besides helping me with my summer goals, the career development department has provided me with personalized recommendations for what opportunities I should be looking to capitalize on now and in the near future,” explained Sigler. “The career department has made me feel a lot more comfortable with my ability to achieve my post-college career goals.”
The Career Development Department at Christendom gives students personalized help in discovering and pursuing their career path of choice. From helping students find internships and jobs of interest, to giving students the chance to meet a variety of employers, to guiding students as they draft cover letters and resumes, the personalized assistance available through this department is helping students achieve their goals.
Jakubisin, Peterson, and Sigler are just a few examples of students who are putting their education to good use as they pursue professional interests through summer internships. By quickly adapting to new tasks and putting their critical thinking skills to good use, these students are setting themselves apart as valuable employees and are gaining skills for their future careers in the process.