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Business consultant, writer to speak and lead workshops on value of liberal arts degree

October 22, 2013
Susan de la Vergne

EAU CLAIRE — As part of the English Festival, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire English department and Career Services have teamed up to bring Susan de la Vergne, a public speaker, professional writer, business consultant and corporate trainer, to UW-Eau Claire for three major events:

  • Oct. 28: Keynote: "Nothing Prepares You for Business Like the Liberal Arts," 6 p.m., Room 100, Hibbard Hall. A "meet and greet" will begin at 5 p.m. in the lobby of Hibbard Hall. Susan de la Vergne's keynote lecture, for students, faculty, staff and community members will dispel the rumor that the post-college career prospects for liberal arts students are limited to publishing, nonprofits, teaching and fast-food service. This presentation describes "the practical liberal arts" and demonstrates how the liberal arts prepare students with business-relevant skills and abilities.

  • Oct. 29: "Business Resumes for Liberal Arts Students" Workshop, 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m., Council Oak Room, Davies Center; and 5-6:15 p.m., Room 224, Hibbard Hall. This workshop, for humanities and social sciences students, will focus on building a resume from scratch and translating humanities and social sciences knowledge and experience into business terms. Students also will learn to write objectives and summaries that not only represent liberal arts abilities but also get noticed. Each participant will receive a copy of "Business Resumes for Liberal Arts."
  • Oct. 29: Adviser Workshop, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Centennial Room, Davies Center. This professional development workshop is primarily for faculty advisers in the humanities and social sciences. Other advisers and interested faculty and staff also are welcome. The workshop will give advisers the tools they need to talk with students about a variety of career opportunities in their disciplines and beyond. Advisers also will learn how their liberal arts skills are viewed from a business perspective.

De la Vergne is uniquely positioned to interact with students, faculty, staff and community members about the advantages of a liberal education. She was an English major and theater minor who had a long, successful career in technical writing, software development and information technology in a variety of industries. Today de la Vergne continues to work in industry as a consultant and trainer, especially in the areas of business communication and leadership. She also is the author of the books "You CAN'T Manage Time: But You Can Manage Your Many Priorities" (2007); and "Engineers on Stage: Presentation Skills for Technical Professionals" (2013).

A champion of liberal education, de la Vergne has presented and published widely on the value of a liberal education and the suitability of liberal arts graduates for careers in business. She manages and posts on two blogs, "The Liberal Arts Advantage — for Business"; and "For English Majors" and is the author of the e-book "Business Resumes for Liberal Arts Students" (2012).

De la Vergne's presentations are hosted by the UW-Eau Claire English department, Career Services and English Fest, with the generous support of the UW-Eau Claire Provost's Office, the Academic Affairs Professional Development Program, the Morris Fund of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation, Academic Advising, Career Services, College of Arts and Sciences, and departments of English, history, communication and journalism, and philosophy and religious studies.

For more information, contact Erin Stevens, English Festival president, at or Dr. Erica Benson, associate professor of English, at




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