William G. Durden is another in a long string of very successful people to attribute a successful career to a liberal arts education, in this case, one that included courses in political science. Now president of Dickinson College, Mr. Durden has been, among other things, a military officer, the founder of an athletic team, a senior consultant to the U.S. Department of State, and a corporate officer at two publicly traded companies. Here is what he says at Inside Higher Ed:
I gained competency through independent reading, experience and observation. I appreciated that the breadth of knowledge and the depth of cognitive skill that my undergraduate courses in social science, political science, art and science prepared me for any field of professional pursuit. I was prepared for professional chance. I knew how to ask the right questions, how to gather information, how to make informed decisions, how to see connections among disparate areas of knowledge, how to see what others might miss, how to learn quickly the basics of a profession, how to discern pertinent information from that which is false or misleading, how to judge good, helpful people from those who wish you ill. All of this I gathered in a useful liberal education — in and out of the classroom — and in an intense residential life where experimentation with citizenship and social responsibility were guiding principles.
Read the rest of his article at insidehighered.com.