Samuel Lee '14: ROI in Liberal Arts Education
Winston Fisher Seminar Business Plan Competition Winner says Liberal Arts Education Essential
Samuel Lee ’14, a psychology major in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Scienceswas one of 13 students to participate in the ninth annual Winston Fisher Seminar (WFS). Below is a brief Q&A with Lee about the trip and what key learnings he brought back with him to Syracuse.
1.) Why did you apply to participate in the Winston Fisher Seminar?
Just last semester, I came across an email that was sent from my Dean’s Team advisor in Arts & Sciences. It was regarding WFS, so I clicked the link to learn more about it. After the initial reading, I was immediately “hooked.” The primary reason why I was so fascinated about the program, although I am a psychology major pursuing career in higher education/student affairs, was that I always wondered what other opportunities, options, and choices I have with my major. At that time, common stereotype or misconception of how liberal arts education is useless, challenged me to think more critically. I know that my major was much more flexible, but I was not exactly sure how it was flexible. I wanted to experience it for myself, I wanted to hear and learn what other people had to say about it, and that is precisely why I applied to be part of WFS.
2.) What one or two things did you learn that you think will most positively impact your academic career and post-collegiate career?
It was certainly amazing to meet all the alumni, and to hear their individual stories. There were some commonalities in all of their stories, which inspired me to think more positively. It was about making the right choices. Yes, it may sound redundant or cliché, but it is important. Every choice and decision that we make impacts us, and those around us, differently, and I learned that it is important to trust our instincts/emotions, consider all the possibilities, do not be afraid to fail or make mistakes, and be confident in making our choices. Ultimately, thinking positively and realistically, failing and making mistakes comfortably, and trusting ourselves in that process was what I learned from the WFS.
3.) Why do you think a liberal arts education is not only important but valuable in the business world?
Life is not simple. It is not exactly black and white, there is that gray area in between, and usually that is where the fun lies. A liberal arts education is essential to building the foundation of knowledge that we could utilize in the world of business. It is valuable, since it helps us to think critically and creatively, interact/network naturally, communicate effectively, and learn eagerly throughout our lives. Just because we learned something in the past, it would be ignorant to disregard in the future. It provides us with the opportunity to think outside the box, and from a different point of view. Perhaps most importantly, it helps us make the right and wise choices throughout our lives.