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Specializaton vs. Flexibility

RobertSpecialization is both a positive and a negative attribute to have. On one hand you’re really good at something, and thus you are able to get the most out of performing that task, service, what have you. On the other hand, if you’re too specialized then that’s all you can do, and if someone asks you to perform some other task that doesn’t fit in with your skills, well then you’re in a bit of trouble.

I think my thoughts about specialization today came from a Youtube ad, of all things. I was watching something and an ad came up for people who had been hit by semi trucks, of all things, telling them where they could get an attorney to sue the company of those trucks. Issues of when and when not to sue aside, it seems rather odd that they would have a law firm that specializes in semi truck accidents only and… well, not much else. Sure, an argument can be made that there are claims and avenues that might not be seen by any other attorney, but you think that the law schools that these men and women attended might do some basic training in these various specifications so that if a specialist can’t be found, a person still has someone that can defend them.

Then that got me thinking; if someone does all their studying for a specific field, what then? What if there are not many jobs in that particular field when they leave college, or what if the job they’re applying for asks for a skill that they don’t have? I’m sure this problem is nowhere as widespread as I think it is, but still, it could happen, and if it does then all the skills and what have you that the person has developed suddenly aren’t that useful anymore.

Wabash prevents that from happening by teaching you a variety of skills that can be applied across multiple job sectors. The multiple courses can and are often tied in with one another, and can help greatly when dealing with different topics (knowledge of history and good writing are said to be very useful in business). I try to keep my skills and interests varied so that I never get bored, and if and when the time calls for it I can better react to a situation presented to me. Flexibility is a very good thing, and the flexible people like those here are Wabash will be the ones to get ahead of the pure specialists.

So my advice to any incoming Freshmen that happen to read this (there must be at least one out there), take a variety of courses. Mix things up, develop some new skills that you might need in the future. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your “calling” in something you didn’t even know you liked.

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