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Smart Moves for Liberal Arts Grads: Finding a Path to Your Perfect Career [Kindle Edition]

Sheila Curran , Suzanne Greenwald
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.99
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Most people would love to have 20/20 hindsight on their careers. In Smart Moves for Liberal Arts Grads, college career experts Sheila Curran and Suzanne Greenwald have assembled the next best thing: the collective wisdom of a diverse and inspiring cast of success stories—twenty-three liberal arts graduates who have gone on to all manner of fascinating and satisfying professions. The authors have combined lessons from the stories with their own hands-on experience with thousands of students and graduates to outline a framework for finding a perfect career. What makes Smart Moves different is that it provides essential career advice while being fun to read. Readers will be struck by the frankness of the biographies of real graduates whose careers have taken twists and turns. Todd turned his passion into a living as the founder and CEO of several small businesses and a professional cellist; Thad's path took him from English major to a dream job in the front office of a major league baseball team; and a subway ride helped Sharon speed her intended career leap from a luxury department store to journalism. What binds them together is that they have all made smart moves on the way to career success—both during their liberal arts education and in the real world.Smart Moves not only champions the value of a liberal arts education, it also embraces the complexity of careers, and the notion that many different factors contribute to success: education, experience, attitude, personal characteristics, and a good dose of luck. Smart Moves is an inspiration to all those who are seeking proven strategies to follow their passion—no matter what their age.The quarter million liberal arts students who receive diplomas each year will truly benefit from the insights of Smart Moves. But this book is equally helpful for high school students (and their guidance counselors) looking at colleges, for graduates still looking for their life's work, and for parents who want to understand career realities for their children. An innovative career guide for our stressful, fast-paced world, Smart Moves for Liberal Arts Grads illuminates valuable career lessons with sharp advice and an unparalleled framework for success.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews


“Smart Moves is a marvelous book. Marvelous! It stands head and shoulders above most other books for college students, recent graduates, and their families.”—Richard Nelson Bolles, author of What Color Is Your Parachute?". . . [a] terrific book. . . advice is both encouraging and down-to-earth."—Fortune  Read a Washington Post review of Smart Moves for Liberal Arts Grads

From the Publisher

* Career advice for current and future liberal arts majors and graduates from two career counselors, featuring both straightforward job-searching advice and real-life stories from grads who have taken unique paths to their dream careers. * Sidebars and distill the "smart moves" that turned liberal arts degrees into career success. * Debunks the top four myths for liberal arts majors: a liberal arts degree is a lousy investment, you have to go to grad school, your major equals your career, and GPA is everything.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3512 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1580087094
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (June 20, 2012)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0086N7A3S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #831,636 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required Reading For My Students March 16, 2007
Smart Moves is a fantastic resource, which I recommend to all my students, especially to the ones who approach me bewildered and anxious about internship, job, career, life mission issues. I worry about the official and unofficial messages they are receiving from a variety of sources inside and outside the university (e.g., advisors, peers, parents, recruiters, employers).

I frequently lend out my two copies of Smart Moves, and believe it should be required reading for any student seriously considering career issues.

Thanks for writing it!

Danny Warshay

Professor and Entrepreneur, Brown University
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Career Book That's Truly Different October 31, 2006
Unlike the nuts-and-bolts approach you find in the typical career book, Smart Moves for Liberal Arts Grads taps into the detailed stories of real job seekers--namely, 23 relatively recent college graduates who share their career journeys with the reader.

As they do, authors Sheila Curran (executive director of the career center at Duke University) and Suzanne Greenwald (an educational advisor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) point out the "smart moves" the graduates have made along the way, so that you can easily pick up on both the attitudes and behaviors that lead to career success--even when you don't have a plan mapped out ahead of time (which describes the vast majority of those profiled in the book).

The authors also devote the first 40 or so pages of the book to the universal "smart moves" made by liberal arts graduates who go on to career success. The most critical is No. 5: "Find Your Hook"--i.e., "a way to differentiate [yourself] from other job seekers"--whether it's a special skill you have or a unique experiential background that you bring to the table.

If you love stories--especially stories that will illustrate important career concepts you need to know as a college student or recent grad--buying Smart Moves is, well, a smart move.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This text is excellent, and really gives students an eye-opening perspective on what else is out there. I think this book would be especially useful to students at top universities - students who often assume that the only choices after college are investment banking, consulting, or professional school.

The book is very simply an excellent example of calculated risks - a series of stories of graduates who weren't afraid to take their own paths after college. The lessons resonate across wide demographics.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I purchased this book because I was graduating college with a Liberal Arts degree. I purchased this book in hopes of finding real advice that I could quickly apply to my life to create job options for myself. Instead, the book presented the idea to me that Liberal Arts grads fall into a niche arbitrarily, just because of where life may take you. What I took away from each story was that Liberal Arts is broad and can be a platform to get into a variety of careers. I now know what career path I would like to take, and I am pursuing my Master's Degree in that area. That being said, I didn't get the answer that I was looking for in this book, but this book demonstrated to me that you can't find those types of answers in a book. Life has to happen and nature has to take its course. I read that book having a more philosophical approach to finding my career path, and my career path came to me at the right time. But, this book would argue anytime is the right time, not just when I think it's the right time. I would recommed this book to those who want to get an open mind, or those that already do. It is mostly a story of answering the door when opportunity knocked.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommendation from a recent Liberal Arts Grad August 18, 2006
I'm a recent liberal arts grad. I didn't want to follow my friends to Wall Street or to programs like 'Teach for America.' If you are in the same category as me, I highly recommend "Smart Moves."

Why? The careers of accomplished executives and managers make sense in retrospect. But you rarely hear about how these people made it. This is the book where can you learn how - how to build an unorthodox career from unlikely beginnings, how to accumulate the skills you will need for your ultimate job while working in positions only tangential to your dreams, how not to get discouraged when things get rough.

For anyone thinking outside the book, especially students at universities where the tide takes you towards Wall Street or law school, check out this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From someone on a crazy career path... May 31, 2006
I know this book was intended for liberal arts grads, but I'm telling every college student and recent graduate I know to read it because I wish I could have read it when I was in college. (Short story: I studied materials engineering but became a writer. Learn more at [...])

If you've ever thought about pursuing a career that isn't exactly the same as your major, the stories in Smart Moves provide just the evidence for convincing yourself (and perhaps your parents) that it is possible to find a cool job, pay the bills, and contribute something meaningful to the world - and that, no matter how uncertain your future may seem, if you follow your dreams, somehow everything will turn out okay.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smart Moves is a Smart Move! May 3, 2006
This is the book I will give my daughter, a college senior, and all of her

graduating friends. In fact, since I first picked up Smart Moves, I've had

countless conversations with soon-to-be college graduates, and also with

my high school seniors, in which I've touted the timely wisdom of this

book. The writing is snappy and smart; the organization, nothing short of

brilliant. If young people are struggling with the question of "What do I

DO with this education I've been investing in all these years," Smart

Moves points the way to fascinating answers, using real stories and cogent

analysis of the sometimes zig-zaggy path that leads to satisfying and

indeed profitable life work. This is a great book, with a great message

and a practical outlook.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Smart Move to Read Smart Moves
I am an Academic Advisor at Texas State University and have been in higher education in a variety of other roles supporting students and their families since 1993. Read more
Published on April 19, 2013 by B
3.0 out of 5 stars Not much here
I was looking for something to help me guide my students as they considered their futures. There isn't much here beyond common sense advice - and precious little of that.
Published on February 23, 2013 by Ralph L. Wahlstrom
5.0 out of 5 stars Written by pros
There are so many books out there giving advice to college grads - but few written by pros with the years of experience and wisdom under their belts as these authors. Read more
Published on April 7, 2010 by Kate Kavanagh
5.0 out of 5 stars Always helpful to learn from others
If you're coming to the end of your college career and wondering, "Where the heck do I go from here?" this book is for you. Read more
Published on July 16, 2009 by Kelly Giles
5.0 out of 5 stars Very readable with a different approach
Others have written good reviews so I'll keep mine short. This is an excellent book, in part because it's very readable (you don't feel you're being lectured). Read more
Published on February 10, 2008 by VidReview
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely useful!
I wish all college students would read this book. Provides insights and truths about the real world of work. Read more
Published on January 11, 2008 by L. Choy
5.0 out of 5 stars The Whole Family Loved It
As a sophomore in college, I'm almost to the point of entering the "real world." But instead of feeling unprepared and anxious about this process, I am actually looking forward to... Read more
Published on October 1, 2007 by B. Zarian
5.0 out of 5 stars A necessary read for every liberal arts grad...
A refreshing and timely read for every recent college graduate. Curran helps job-seekers (and their parents! Read more
Published on September 11, 2007 by regretfreelife
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly an eye-opener
A college sophomore at Duke University, NC, I received a copy of 'Smart Moves' over the summer, at a time when I was extremely confused over which major I should choose, which... Read more
Published on September 4, 2007 by K. Advani
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book for parents and students
Smart Moves provides intersting and useful advice for students as they seek to make the most out of their college experience and determine the right post-college pursuit. Read more
Published on March 28, 2007 by David Snider
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