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4.9 out of 5 stars
Smart Moves for Liberal Arts Grads: Finding a Path to Your Perfect Career
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 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
on November 1, 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
on February 1, 2007
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
on September 7, 2010
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
on 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
on 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
on 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2007
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 career path I should follow etc. That was, until I received this book.
Through the stories of 23 other students, all ranging in a wide variety of careers and fields, I have realized that the next 3 years of my life will be about finding out what my passions are and where my interests for the future lie, rather than about working my way towards a preordained career goal on a predetermined path which I might regret later on in life. Several of my course selections and internship plans are now being reinforced after reading this book.
Smart moves has been a really useful eye-opener and myth buster for me, and I highly recommended to all students in liberal arts colleges, regardless of whether they were in a similar position as I was in or not. Read this book, and you would have made your first of many smart moves.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 2006
Students, parents, and counselors: Read this book before choosing a college, before choosing a major, and then again before choosing a career. At each stage you will relate to the stories in a new way and you will find the advice candid and applicable. As you get to know the individuals, you will learn from the "smart moves" they have taken in pursuing their passions, and you will discover ways to combine these moves to pursue your own. Sheila Curran has crafted a realistic, yet inspiring book that will help you make the most of your college investment.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2007
As a recent graduate trying to think about my next "Smart" career move, this book has been invaluable for providing me with inspiration and direction. Reading each chapter and seeing which elements of each story resonate with me, I've been able to narrow down my own interests and passions, enabling me to focus my career search. Additionally, the real stories, obstacles, and triumphs that Curran highlights in this book can't help but inspire any reader to take a chance on their passions. Highly recommended!
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