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How do you choose a major when you are interested in so many things?

I’m interested in so many things! I like business and genetics and literature, and I just don’t know where to use my skills in life.

#major #career

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Subject: Career question for you

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Jim’s Answer

Excellent question! It is often said that the majority of students who enter college don't have a firm idea on what type of Major to pursue that may lead them to a career choice that suits their interest and skills. In fact, many students start out with a particular Major, and switch later as they get more comfortable and understanding of their own interests and academic strengths. Personally speaking, I had an interest in Business when I went to college, but no idea what segment of business I would be good at. The school I attended had a Major called "General Business" which enabled me to sample Sales/Marketing, Accounting, Economics, Management, and Business Law -and I ended up being exposed to each of these disciplines. I ended up choosing to go down the path of Business Management (Minor in Sales/Marketing) because I enjoyed the overall aspects of Marketing and Sales and managing a business or department, etc., in a company. It served me well, as I was able to get a good job in Sales at a major corporation when I graduated. The company provided invaluable training which to this day many years later I am grateful for. Sales was my springboard to work in various roles in business and succeed as my career unfolded.
So, my suggestion would be to find a high quality Liberal Arts college, and receive a well--rounded education, that also has a diverse range of courses and Majors so you can make decisions on your best path as you progress into your sophomore year. Also--take advantage of your college professors--they have great insights and knowledge about careers, what it's like to be a lawyer at a company for example--they also know firsthand what your strengths are as a student in their class, so may be able to guide you! I hope this helps a little. The important thing is to be open-minded, work hard, ask lots of questions, and be willing to stretch outside your comfort zone. Best of luck on your journey!
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Cynthia’s Answer

Hi Kylie! That's definitely a question that keeps students up at night, and it's great to hear you have so many interests!There's no one "perfect" path when it comes to our future, and I think starting off with what we enjoy and take interest in is a great mindset.


If you're going into your freshman year, I'd recommend starting off as an undeclared major. Take the time to get to know what you enjoy and what you're truly interested in by taking a variety of courses in business, genetics, and literature (maybe even art or media design!)

I also encourage you to talk to your academic advisor and professors for advice on why they enjoy their field. By taking more time in the beginning to discover what you like, you have a lower risk of changing your major multiple times or settling on something you're not going to be happy about in the future. If you have a moment, take a look at WKU's guide to selecting a major: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://scholar.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1028&context=cns_apps


Finally, I would ask yourself this: are you interest-driven or income-driven when it comes to your education? That might be a question worth pondering as you shop for classes. I hope this helps! Keep the community updated with your plans and I invite others to weigh in on your question as well.

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Ken’s Answer

Congratulations on being interested in finding the right career to follow.. It takes a special person to enter into a specific career field and meet the demands which that career area presents. The first step is to get to know yourself to see if you share the personality traits which make one successful in that area. The next step is doing networking to meet and talk to and possibly shadow people doing what you might think that you want to do to see if this is something that you really want to do, as a career area could look much different on the inside than it looks from the outside.  When I was doing college recruiting, I encountered too many students, who skipped these important steps, and ended up in a career/job for which they were ill suited.


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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