University of Montana students will have the opportunity to explore career options that emphasize their research, analytical and written-communication skills during the “Putting Liberal Arts to Work” conference from 1 to 5 p.m. Friday, March 15, on the third floor of the University Center.
The conference, hosted by the UM Creative Writing Program, is designed for students majoring in English, creative writing or working toward any liberal arts degree.
Nearly every profession requires the ability to think critically, communicate effectively both verbally and in writing, solve problems, adapt to new situations, analyze information and interact with a diversity of people. These all are skills gained through a liberal arts education. And though technical skills may become obsolete over time, skills gained through liberal arts coursework will not.
The conference will showcase representatives from professions that hire liberal arts graduates as well as professionals who forged successful careers from a liberal arts background, including Missoula Mayor John Engen, author and co-founder of Submittable Michael Fitzgerald, St. Patrick Hospital Public Information Coordinator JoAnn Hoven and UM alumnus Timothy O’Leary, co-founder and CEO of the R2C Group, the largest consumer direct ad agency in the U.S.
The conference will begin at 1 p.m. with a keynote address by O’Leary. The 2 p.m. “Writers in the World” panel will feature five members of the Missoula community who bring their writing and liberal arts skills to the workplace. Three breakout sessions will begin at 3 p.m.: “Resume Building,” “Literary Agents” and “Freelancing.” The final panel at 4 p.m., “Publishing Today,” will take a deeper look at both journal and book publishing. Two editors – from The Paris Review and Milkweed Editions – and a literary agent will answer questions about submitting work to publishers and discuss current trends in the industry. Following the final panel, students, guests and presenters are invited to mingle at a brief reception.
The conference is free and open to the public. For more information and a full list of conference speakers, visit http://www.cas.umt.edu/english/creative_writing/.