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What classes did you take that helped you the most?

#classes #teaching

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Subject: Career question for you

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Kim’s Answer

Libby,


I was wondering if you could narrow this down a little. Are you looking for classes that helped us in general, with life/work/career, or in a particular career field?


Overall, I found that it was more about which professors were teaching them, rather than what the subject matter was, that mattered most of all. There were those professors who challenged me - to think, and write, in ways I never had before.


I think those classes that were laced with a healthy dose of cynicism helped prepare me for the real world, where it seems that nothing works "the way it is supposed to." "Political Participation" is an example of such a class.


A couple of classes gave me a good foundation for learning. One was a vocabulary class on Latin and Greek roots in American vocabulary. The other is "Logic." I highly recommend it!


"History of American Foreign Policy" challenged me to research and write about things I had no knowledge of. In Constitutional Law, the professor had extremely high expectations of us, and we managed to live up to his expectations. This helped develop my self-confidence.


Although I did not directly use my degree in my first career, I did use the skills in handling labor-related matters, a non-paying position.


I think all these classes together make me the person I am today, and, while there are many others I could have done without, these were all "keepers!"


I encourage you as you go through school to seek out the "good" professors, and not just the easy ones. Remember, you are paying for this!! Get your money's worth!!


Kim

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Katy’s Answer

Hi Libby,

I second that the professors are just about as important as the class content. In my major program, I became very close with my professors, and they've been supportive and helpful through my entrance into my career field. The best way to find the good professor are to use http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/. I used this website to plan all of my non-major classes, and it definitely paid off. Or, you can see if you can find out about certain professors from previous students. The best professors will be accommodating, helpful, friendly, and willing to meet you. I'd suggest getting on a first-name basis with your major professors, as they will generally have connections in the field you're trying to get into which can help advance your future.


As far as general education courses go, I'd say public speaking is an absolute must. With a good professor, you'll learn how to properly speak in front of a crowd, how to write good speeches, and how to present yourself well. This is invaluable, particularly in interview situations when you have to speak to a panel. Other than that, I suggest you look for elective courses you could take that directly apply to your chosen career field. I took a Writing for Public Communication class to help me learn to write press releases and academic writing in AP style. I took a Masculinity class because I'm in a male-dominated field, and it helped me understand aspects of toxic masculinity and how it leads men to function in different aspects of society. Marketing is a great class, particularly Social Media Marketing, because it is something you can use to promote your own personal brand, and is always useful. These are just some things that have stuck with me since college, and I've used all of them so far in my career. I suggest you take courses that are related or somehow apply to your future career, you never know how they may help you in the future.

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Estelle’s Answer

I went into the medical field, so the classes that were most helpful to me were biology, chemistry and physics.
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