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November 16, 2013

Be intellectual. Be curious. Be flexible.

At the beginning of the week, Clark held its Alumni in Residence (AIR) events. AIR is two days each semester when Clark alumni come back to campus and avail themselves to current Clark students for lunch, panels, and networking events.

I had great conversations with a few alumni – but what I was most curious about was the path that led each of them to the career that they have. It is shown that people in our generation no longer get a job out of college that they hold forty years, like many of our parents and grandparents experienced.

For this reason, if you come to a visit experience at Clark, you will hear about LEEP, Clark’s new way of “doing” liberal education. LEEP stands for Liberal Education and Effective Practice.

What does this mean, you ask?

You wouldn’t be the first, but basically it means that what you do in the classroom goes with the experiences you are having out of the classroom –whether that’s studying abroad, interning, or volunteering. LEEP is about making sure that you see what you’re studying in academics is what you do in real life. That way, you can see if that’s truly what you want to do.

LEEP is also about transferable skills. It’s about learning how to communicate, how to think analytically, how to be a student of life so that no matter how many jobs you have and how different they are, you will always have a basis of knowledge that will help you be the best professional at all of them.

On Monday, while I was talking to an alumnus, I asked him for advice with the path I take to get to a career I am passionate about, he said the words in this title. “Be intellectual. Be curious. Be flexible.”

I thought that was so great – so I quickly wrote it down and now here we are.

So as you take your next steps, whether it is going to college, graduating from college, changing careers, or just declaring a major, remember that you don’t need to know everything. You don’t need to know exactly how your life will pan out – in fact, if you plan, it will probably change. So be a student of life, question how things are done, and adapt to how the road changes along the way.

Be intellectual. Be curious. Be flexible.

This is a photo from Clark's first LEEP event two years ago!

This is a photo from Clark’s first LEEP event two years ago!

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