Liberal arts are more than economics

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Business students watch performers at the Career Expo hosted by McCombs School of Business’ Career Week. This fair was aimed at helping students network in the business field and improve their professional skills.
Business students watch performers at the Career Expo hosted by McCombs School of Business’ Career Week. This fair was aimed at helping students network in the business field and improve their professional skills.

Dear employers attending the University of Texas at Austin’s Liberal Arts Career Fair Wednesday,

For some odd reason, the University has designated the major of economics a liberal art. But do not be fooled. There are many more majors in the liberal arts college than just economics. Please do not be surprised when students approach your booth with majors that might not conform to the rest of your Brooks Brothers army. They likely will not have taken many economics classes, because, incidentally, it’s not their major.

It is a detriment to the rest of the college that economics is deemed a liberal art. It is a business field and should therefore be in the business school. Its inclusion creates unrealistic expectations for both employers and non-economics students. The liberal arts beyond economics are valuable in their own right. It is called the Liberal Arts Career Fair after all, not the Economics Majors Career Fair.

It should not be a surprise that they haven’t taken many business classes. It should not be a surprise that most students at the fair have not had a finance or a business consulting internship. That’s why they’re here after all. Liberal arts students come to their career fair looking to apply the skills they have learned to the real world. These skills will not be the same skills learned in McCombs. It is understandable that you want employees with the skills to do the job, but you have a six-week training program anyway to teach new hires what you really want them to know. Be open to their pitch about how their education can be applied to your field.

If you want a business student, go to the McCombs career fair. But we are liberal arts. We’d like to work with you, but not when you expect us to be something we’re not.

Sincerely,

An adaptable problem solver, a fast learner, a critical thinker, an open-minded team player, a highly motivated non-economics liberal arts student.


Haight is an associate editor.