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How did you narrow down your options of what you would study after high school?

I am a senior in high school, and I am trying to narrow down my options of what field I would like to study when I go to college next fall. I enjoy math and science. I had always viewed my options as going into the medical field or becoming a math or P.E. teacher. I am involved in sports and think it would be fun to work with athletes if I were to go into either of these fields. I am also in a computer science class, which I have enjoyed, and it has opened up more options of what I would like to study after high school. #college #college-major #choosing-a-major

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Subject: Career question for you

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Julia’s Answer

Great question, Olivia!


I see you've already gotten some great advice on how to narrow down what you should study in college. A piece of advice I have is to keep an open mind.


When I started applying to colleges, I marked my "intended major" as Law. Applications were all submitted by January, and by June I had already changed my mind and decided to study Accounting. After completing two years in college as an Accounting major, I changed my mind and decided to study Finance. During my last year, I added a second major in Information Systems.


The punchline: you may change your mind a million times, and that is 100% OK. I am a recent college graduate, and I've seen friends and family change their majors at least once, but usually much more often. The most important thing is to study something that genuinely interests you.

Julia recommends the following next steps:

Do some soul-searching! Find out what you like, don't like, and what your passionate about. Chances are, there's a career that lines up with those interests!
If you don't already have one, create a LinkedIn. This will allow you to build a network with professionals in your area, that may have a career you're interested in.
Set up informational interviews. You can start with your teachers and counselors in high school, in order to pick their brains about their paths to college and how they ultimately decided their careers. After your comfortable with interviewing, you can take it a step further and reach out to professionals on LinkedIn. Professionals are usually more than happy to set up a quick call or in person chat with students. This will give you an opportunity to ask the questions you really need answers to, and develop relationships with companies you may want to work for in the future. If you are unfamiliar with informational interviews, there are tons of helpful articles online! Start here: https://career.berkeley.edu/Info/InfoInterview
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Ken’s Answer

Hi Olivia!


You are asking a very important question. The career area which you choose should be one that you find to be interesting and fulfilling, and one in which you use skills and abilities that you enjoy using, and one that you look forward to being involved in every day. Having said that, it is very important to get to know yourself better to determine that might measure up. Here are some exercises that might help:
https://www.themuse.com/advice/14-free-personality-tests-thatll-help-you-figure-yourself-out


If you find any career areas that seem to be interesting you can do the following:
- talk to your school counselor about becoming involved in coop, intern, shadowing, and volunteer programs that will allow you to see the inside of the career area and meet people to see what they are doing, how they got there, and how you feel about that.
- talk to the head of alumni relations at your school to arrange to meet and talk to graduates of your school who are working in those areas of interest so that you can meet and talk to them to learn more
- talk to the reference librarian at your local library to locate professional organizations to which people working in those areas belong so that you can meet people and mix and mingle. These organizations are very open and encouraging of student inquiries and participation. Many times they know of or have access to internships and coop programs and other means of career exploration.


Here is a site for locating internships:
http://www.fastweb.com/


Best of luck. Please keep me posted. I would like to follow your progress.

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