Editor’s note: This first-person student commentary — part of a two-part series by Halle Morrell of The Baker Orange — is sponsored and produced by Baker University. Located in Baldwin City, Kansas, Baker is building the next generations of leaders, achievers and innovators with a robust liberal arts education. The opinions expressed in this commentary are the author’s alone.
When searching for colleges, students tend to look at campus life, academic options, and other aspects of the college that will impact their experience. I know those were the things that I chose to focus on when picking a university.
Baker University excelled in all of those areas and more, making it the ideal choice for my undergraduate degree. However, I could never have guessed the importance of the liberal arts foundation on which my education is based. What really helps me to stand apart from other graduates has nothing to do with my choice of major, but being able to represent myself effectively.
A liberal arts education allows the development of critical thinking and communication skills. Through my various class projects and presentations, I have learned how to convey a message and think outside of the box. Not only have I learned the basics of creating a strong presentation, but I have been taught how to engage listeners and adapt to the situation I am in.
Click here to learn more about Baker University, which offers online classes, as well as an Overland Park campus.
Baker University’s core courses highlight the importance of expression through writing and presenting. Major assignments involve various types of research papers and increasingly in-depth oral presentations. Every student is required to partake in these activities to assess their ability to think critically.
Some of my most valued feedback comes not from regular class assignments, but my ability to take what I have learned and condense it into my own words that I am able to describe to others.
Those skills were noticed when I interviewed for internships and presented to my peers during meetings. What I thought were basic presentation skills turned out to be tools that many of my fellow interns simply did not have. I have learned to not rely on notes, but know my material well enough to make it a conversation that my listeners can be drawn into.
My ability to utilize the lessons I learned from my courses has allowed for me to trust my own decisions and remain innovative even during stressful situations. Challenges are welcomed with open arms as I am more able to navigate through them thanks to my liberal arts education.
The basic foundation of a Baker University education highlights the desired traits of nearly every employer, giving students the chance to grow with every class that they take. I know that every assignment that I am given has a purpose that will help me grow as an academic and as a person in general.
A liberal arts education has provided me with the skills that I need to stand out from a crowd and be noticed by employers. Being a Baker University student allows me access to an entire network of graduates that can offer even greater opportunities to help propel my future.
Without Baker’s foundation of critical thinking and innovation, my ability to market myself would be significantly different and I would not be in the position that I am today.
Click here to explore education programs available through Baker University, offering associate through doctoral degrees.
Baker University has been empowering students to take on the challenges of the modern world with a robust liberal arts education in Baldwin City, Kansas, since 1858.