A Liberal Arts Degree Leads Alums Down Different Pathsby Howard W. Hewitt • June 22, 2007
How do you turn an English major into a career as a web developer or national fraternity director?
If you major in history, are you likely to become a pediatric physician?
And if you study political science at Wabash College what are the odds you’ll find your life’s work at one of the top hybrid seed company’s in the Midwest?
Many future students and their parents ask themselves, "what do you do with a liberal arts degree?" The answer is you learn to think, succeed, and do whatever you want.
Parker Lyons '97 and Garth Eberhart '92 majored in English at Wabash. Lyons went on to study journalism and public relations after Wabash. But he’s found happiness and a successful career as a web developer for Covance.
"I had a strong background in communications and English," said Lyons. "They wanted someone who could function as more than a problem solver. They wanted someone who could cover a lot of different areas."
Eberhart never planned to be a fraternity man all his life. But found a great career working for Delta Tau Delta International, now as an assistant executive vice president.
"My primary job is maintaining the relationship with colleges and universities," Eberthart said. "It’s kind of like applying the Gentleman’s rule coast to coast, making sure that our guys are being good students on their campuses."
Jason Little '92 had intended on studying biology at Wabash and becoming a doctor. He played soccer, was involved with his fraternity but dropped out of biology and found an interest in history. That didn’t stop him though from coming back to his first love. He's become an emergency physician at St. Vincent’s Pediatric Department in Indianapolis.
Jim Herr '92 had a degree in political science but was very unsure what he would do after graduation. He’s found his niche working for Beck’s Hybrids, a major seed company located in Central Indiana.
"I always felt like I learned how to effectively learn at Wabash," Herr said. "My biggest advantage from Wabash comes from meeting different people, working in small groups and experiencing things with an open mind. You hear these things when you are a student and it applies as an adult."
These Wabash men are just a few examples. But there are so many more. Take Greg Birk '77 as an example. He majored in ecomomics but now is a college counselor at an elite prep school in Houston Texas. Or, consider Brandon Mitchener '87 who studied German at Wabash which led to a journalism career in Europe. Ron Recinto '87 was a biology major at Wabash and surely became a doctor? No, Recinto is a features editor for the Detroit Free Press.
Wabash alumni use their liberal arts degrees in many fascinating ways. You can meet a few of our alums on our Alumni Profile page and see how divergent their careers are after a Wabash education.
In photos from top: Lyons, Eberhart, Herr.