Ask 10 different people how they landed their dream job and you’ll get 10 different answers – there’s never just one way.
Some take a circuitous route, some a direct one and others, like Kevin Legg (BA ’05), opt for a solid foundation to help them achieve career success.
The University of Lethbridge philosophy graduate leaned into his liberal education to help create a successful company in Southeast Asia, evidence that the liberal arts are not only directly relevant to the business world, but an asset as well.
“Philosophy gave me the grounding to deal with problems I believe no other discipline can handle in business,” says Legg, who has hired several ULethbridge graduates to work with his company. “Ordinary commerce, capital markets and professional services have ubiquitous philosophical puzzles, but a scarcity of able philosophical thinkers.”
Turns out Legg isn’t the only one found success in a liberal education.
Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield majored in philosophy, former Daily Show comedian Jon Stewart graduated with a psychology degree, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki is a history and literature graduate, and Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma graduated with a degree in English.
“I have such gratitude for the education I received from the philosophy faculty at the University of Lethbridge, and I want it to be understood what a world-class preparation that degree has been for working life in international business,” says Legg, who’s worked with government bodies and investments firms to the world’s leading industrial and technology companies in 13 countries.
“The philosophy program I went through is intensely practical work-ready stuff. I’ve learned that the greatest problems of business are philosophy problems. Where do you go to prepare yourself to answer questions where millions of dollars hang in the balance?”
Along with book smarts, academic credits and technical skills, to make it in a competitive job market, students need transferrable skills that build resilience and career durability, which put them in better stead for leadership positions and provide a language that is understood across all industries and job descriptions.
The University of Lethbridge’s foundational teaching philosophy – rooted in liberal education – offers exactly this kind of learning experience to students, helping them become global citizens who think critically, communicate thoughtfully, respect creativity and act in ways that better the world around them.
Just ask Legg. And Stewart, Butterfield, Wojcicki and Ma.