Liberal arts education: “Prerequisite to success.”

Kelsey DeForest '13 is the classic example of student who turned an internship experience into a job opportunity.

Always interested in leadership and government, the political science major served as president of the Student Government Association her senior year. She also had several internships, including one with Betsy Carr, Hollins class of 1968, who serves in Virginia's House of Delegates.

"I kept in touch after my internship," she says, and "when I began looking for jobs during my senior year, I contacted her staff asking if they had heard of any openings for aides among the delegates. It serendipitously worked out that they were both heading to graduate school, leaving a space in Delegate Carr's office for a new aide."

To Kelsey, her Hollins education "is well matched to the work I do now." She minored in Spanish and took classes in communication studies and gender and women’s studies. "I find myself needing bits and bobs from the whole range of courses I took at Hollins, whether I am translating for a constituent who needs help accessing social services, deciphering the implications of various policies, or planning outreach activities and fundraisers for a re-election campaign. I also fall back often on the core skills of a Hollins education: the ability to write and speak effectively and professionally, process and analyze data, and conduct research."

As a student Kelsey was a champion of a liberal arts education, and now she believes in it even more. "The job market is rough right now," she says. "The skills you learn in a liberal arts education are the skills that help you find and get a job. In the new economy, where most workers will engage in multiple careers, the flexibility of a liberal arts education is basically a prerequisite to success."