Peter Baxter

Class of 2005

Current Position: English Instructor, American Collegiate Institute
Major: English
Minor: Hispanic Studies
Other Degrees: MA in English, Northern Arizona University
Current Location: ─░zmir, Turkey

More than anything else, my liberal arts education has expanded and deepened my awareness and appreciation of the world I live in. It has allowed me to continue learning even though I have essentially moved beyond my school days, and prepared me to work in a variety of fields of employment. My liberal arts education has even prompted me to become an educator myself. I want others to share the pleasure I take from learning.

A liberal arts education can prepare you to engage in a variety of fields of employment. It is true that particular skills are crucial for certain jobs and that people sometimes get the jobs they planned for, but the world of work just as often leads us to employment that we did not plan for. A well-rounded education gives you the adaptability and perspective to handle any number of jobs.  It teaches you to engage with material in many creative, flexible and, ultimately, successful ways.

One example of my own education being valuable to me in the work world involves my first long-term, steady job after graduation.  I hadn't anticipated working as the shift manager of a restaurant, but I was hired for the job and wanted to do well. My job required me to run a shift of twelve to fifteen employees in a fast-paced, stressful environment and to not only be attuned to the temperaments and tendencies of my employees, but to monitor the flow of customers. The attention to detail necessary in all of my college classes was a dramatic boon to me when it came to managing employees and producing the most efficient and cheerful team possible.