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What are the best steps to take as someone who would like to pursue both social work and animation?

I plan to finish college with at least a bachelor's in animation, but possibly a masters! This would mean I would probably have to double major. I'd like to do this at UGA, UNG, or maybe Breanau here in Georgia. This has been my plan for quite some time, however, if there are better options for me I'm more than willing to hear it. social-work art art-school double-major georgia animation LSW career

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Ken’s Answer

A first step would be to get to know yourself better to see how these areas of interest relate to your personality traits and those of others successful in these fields.


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 ##
Here is an interesting site to visit relating to social work: ## http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marjorie-hansen-shaevitz/post_9154_b_6865002.html ##

Also, it really does not matter where you go to school. Here is a helpful video relating to college choice: What matters is how well you do to get the best grades and how well you do with networking to develop helpful contacts and relationships that will help with your career journey. ## http://www.ted.com/talks/julie_lythcott_haims_how_to_raise_successful_kids_without_over_parenting?utm_campaign=social&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_content=talk&utm_term=education Ken Simmons

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Sheryl’s Answer

What an exciting combination, K.B.! You can definitely combine these two careers, since you can get a B.A. in Social Work (my degree is Social Work is a B.S). I would recommend the pursuit of your SW classes to make sure that is what you want. Also, it might be wise to start researching the variety of SW jobs, including industries and specialty areas. You may be surprised to learn there are some great ways to combine your animation with your Social Work career, such in the area of Digital Storytelling.

Sheryl recommends the following next steps:

Research SW career opportunities online, including industries that hire.
Go to your local library (old school, but this works!) to speak with a librarian about career options. They are trained to assist you and have far more expertise than the average person. They can help you see possibilities that you never knew existed.
Check out this great article on Digital Storytelling: http://www.socialworktoday.com/news/enews_1015_1.shtml
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