Parris Smallwood: Not cogs

January 30, 2013 

College not for cog-making

I will graduate from UNC this May, and, contrary to Pat McCrory’s prediction, I won’t be moving back in with my parents but working in Atlanta as a management consultant. Why? Because my liberal arts education taught me to think.

My “Experience and Reality” class didn’t show me how to prepare a business presentation, but it did teach me that perception is relative. To appreciate others’ experiences, I respectfully must analyze their viewpoints.

My “Introduction to Rock Music” class didn’t test me on balancing budgets, but it did illuminate how innovation depends on studying past developments.

My “Transatlantic Topics in Hispanic Literature” class didn’t teach me to manage supply chains, but it did demonstrate how cultures are intertwined in today’s globalized society.

While McCrory might have eschewed his own liberal arts education at Catawba College, I am grateful for my education at UNC. I’m not just another part in the economic machine. I’m a dynamic individual in a changing world.

My liberal arts education didn’t teach me to perform one specific job; it taught me how to think.

As my classmates and I have found, good businesses (and good governments) want people who can and who are willing to think.

Parris Smallwood, Chapel Hill

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