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What should I consider doing my first year of college, if I am unsure of what career I want to pursue

I'm starting my freshman year of college on August 27. I am 18 years old, and attending Prairie View A&M University. Over the summer I participated in a program at Prairie View, where I earned 6 college credits before the start of the fall semester. I want to make the most out of my first year of college because I am unsure of pursuing a career in occupational therapy. I don't plan on being a medical doctor, but I am interested in careers related to science. I want to make the most of the resources I have at my college, so I can steer myself in the right direction of finding a career I know I will commit to with passion.

#career-choice #career-plan

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Ken’s Answer

It is very important early on that you develop a career focus to make the best possible selection of classes to assure the most effective use of your college years and help to complete an appropriate career related education in 4 years. During my many years in Human Relations and College Recruiting, I have found it very important early on to determine how your personality traits relate to various career areas, so that you can make a prudent decision. As soon as you can in your Freshman year, you should being a process to see how your personality traits relate to a career most suited to you as an individual.

Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .

Ken recommends the following next steps:

The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##

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Riley’s Answer

If you know that you are interested in the science field, a great way to just get your foot in the door would be the biology major. It is one of the harder majors, but the entry-level courses that you would take in your first year will be very general and will set you up well to change to any major in the science field. For example, anything in science will require at least Biology 1 and Chemistry 1, so but doing these your freshman year while you are a biology major you will be setting yourself up well for an efficient 4 years. I am a senior in college and I have seen so many friend go into college with an Undecided major because they were unsure of what they wanted, which ended up being a huge mistake. This only resulted in them having no real direction in their first year and taking classes that were not able to be used for credit when they finally did decide.

Riley recommends the following next steps:

Choose a general field of interest and choose a very general major that could work for it.

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Victoria’s Answer

Research elective classes that are related to your interests. You never know until you try.