Nathan Spencer Grand Valley Admissions

Marcelo Betti

Major:
Liberal Studies

Class Year:
2008

Hometown:
Beulah, Michigan, United States

Current Position and Employer:
Law Student, Vermont College of Law

What campus did you attend? What drew you to the liberal studies major there?
I attended the Traverse City Regional Center. What drew me to the liberal studies program was at that point in my academic career I knew I wanted to go to grad school eventually. I knew I needed a bachelor's degree so I looked for programs available in the Traverse City area. Liberal studies sounded interesting, so I looked further into it. I have always been geared toward humanities and it seemed like a broad enough program to keep my interest.

What did you like most about the program?
The amount of classes that were offered was quite unexpected. I was able to take a variety of classes and was exposed to a lot of ideas that I could delve further into. It was a very good program to figure out what type of things I was interested in. For example, I became more interested in environmental issues. Safe to say, I wouldn't be here in law school if I hadn't done that program. I'm happy to be here.

What was your emphasis area and how did you choose the courses to complete it?
Environmental thought and social change. I just went along with what sparked my interest. In my first semester, I took a class heavily focused on environmentalism and I found it really interesting so that brought one element. The social change element goes back to my humanities background.

How did your liberal studies degree and emphasis area prepare you for your current career?
I think that in some ways most bachelor programs that are not scientific struggle with imparting skills on students. With that said, there are skills that I got from the liberal studies program. The class in dialogue that I took has been very helpful in law school. I am always trying to figure out how to present my own position or anticipate what my opponent's position is. I started law school a year and a half ago and understanding where my opponents come from puts me at an advantage.

What post-graduation accomplishment are you especially proud of?
I worked for a few years before I went back to school. I have mixed feelings about the experience I had after graduating. It was both rewarding and frustrating. I did help establish a nonprofit organization in Northern Michigan called Grow Benzie.

Would you recommend a liberal studies major to prospective GVSU students? Why?
I would recommend it if the student is planning on continuing their education. I feel like it works as a good stepping-stone because it keeps you interested during all of your undergrad education. You need to have a plan for what you want to do with your life because it's definitely the type of program where you get out of it what you put into it. You can learn what you are interested in.

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