Whitman College Reviews
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Whitman is a great place to go- teachers know you by name and you really get to make the most of your whole experience.
For chemistry we were very well prepared for the requirements that I encountered in graduate school. Additionally, having to TA classes as a graduate student at a large institution following graduation, it's very clear that the education we received at Whitman is excellent in preparing us for further academic challenges.
As a liberal arts college, the value of a Whitman education is hard to quantify. I did not learn any technical or professional skills, but I do feel the intellectual growth I experienced during my time there has helped me immensely from a professional standpoint. Whitman, and especially Philosophy, taught me to think critically and analytically. It taught me how to argue, debate, and write clearly and compellingly. I must admit, looking for a job with a Philosophy degree has not been easy--not having hard, technical skills puts liberal arts students at a disadvantage. But once I found a job, the abilities I developed at Whitman have allowed me to become a top contributor at my company. I believe the popular adage is true; "with a liberal arts education, it'll take you a while to find your first job, but you'll get promoted quickly." I would suggest that anyone considering Whitman or a Liberal Arts education try to supplement their education with summer internships. Even if you have no idea what you want to do, getting a bit of professional experience can help immensely. I feel I would have been in a better position post-college if I had had some summer internships.
I am the Interim Director of Intercultural Programs and Services at Whitman College. My Whitman College career began in 2005 as a first-year student from Zillah, WA. Now, I supervise the office I worked so closely with as a student. I cherish my new role as adviser, mentor and facilitator on campus. As Interim Director, I collaborate with campus departments and organizations that expose students to diverse perspectives and experiences. I aid college committees and diversity initiatives. I provide students with academic advice as well as information regarding internship, scholarship and award opportunities. My staff and I also support student clubs with program and event planning, leadership development, and community outreach. I majored in Race and Ethnic Studies and minored in Politics. I did, however, take a substantial leave of absence from Whitman to study, travel and work abroad. I lived with a Maori host family while in New Zealand and attended classes at Heritage University, on the Yakama Nation, upon my return to the United States. Indigenous politics and race relations are of much interest to me; I examined both in my senior thesis, “Race, Rights, and Work on the Yakama Nation: An Argument Against a Proposed Guest Worker Program.” As Interim Director of Intercultural Programs and Services, I thoroughly enjoy working with the same people, issues, and activities I benefited from as a student.
As I reflect on my experience at Whitman, I am extremely appreciative of my degree. It provided me with a stable foundation to pursue any number of career goals. The liberal arts experience improved my analytical thinking, writing skills, and bolstered my comfort-level communicating my ideas verbally and non-verbally. While these are not exactly "practical tools" with which to fill my tool box, skills I gained through my education at Whitman have been essential in my continuing education (especially my Master's degree work) as well as in my professional career.
Extracurricular activities really helped to round out my school experience
Though I'm working in a field not related to my degree, every experience I had at Whitman greatly helped prepare and develop me as a working professional. I've noticed that my writing skills in particular far exceed those of the average working person (I cringe at most emails). In addition, the students who tend to attend Whitman are the brightest and most engaged from their respective high schools--they're the cream of the crop. I've met (what I anticipate to be) lifelong acquaintances and dear friends of the highest caliber. If you attend and graduate from Whitman College, you will certainly be a better person--in one way or many--after having done so.
Here in the States, we are privileged to have such a wide range of educational experience. I am grateful to have been able to attend Whitman College. Academically I felt challenged but also greatly supported to be able to succeed. While a liberal arts degree does not necessarily provide its graduates the technical skills that are directly applicable to a specific workplace, it gave me an opportunity to learn how to think critically and carefully, to have confidence in my ability to think both critically and creatively, and humility of knowing there is so much more to learn in my life. At Whitman, I learned how to synthesize what I had learned in my life up until that point and then learned what kind of person I wanted to strive to become. I am back in school now, in the process of getting my masters degree and a certification to become a teacher.
As a liberal arts institution you are exposed to other disciplines which ultimately enrich your education
I attended a liberal arts college and was pursuing a lifelong interest in journalism, which I soon discovered was not actually what I wanted to do. Had I been more career-oriented and future-focused in high school, I might have benefited more from a technical program. That being said, it is incredibly difficult for some people, like myself, to identify my future career (in college) and stick with thy same career path post-grad. I found myself drawn to a field which I never expected after my immersion in the "real world." College cannot prepare you for that, but I am grateful for the well-rounded education that my alma mater provided.