Hi Hannah, this is a great question and often times not many people admit that they have no idea what they want to do with their lives! I wished I took an advice that I received early on in my university education as it would've saved me a lot of time trying to figure out where my passions were and what I wanted to do as a career. The answer to your question on how I decided on my major is by reading about professions and envisioning if I would like to focus on that discipline. Although reading about the professions, networking and taking personality tests is helpful, the best way to decide on your major and your career is through internships and early work experience. Experience is absolutely crucial and the willingness to learn more in your line of work easily marks you as an asset to any team. I've had both great and negative experiences with internships and high school, early college work experience which is powerful as you can learn what a day-in-the-life of entry level is and, furthermore, you can observe those that are mid or upper level. Consider internships as a trial run of the profession and discipline that you would like to try and if it turns out to be aligned with you - great! If not, it is also great as you can eliminate that field altogether and explore others. Personally, I majored in marketing but only after experiencing the work I realized that I love Supply Chain and Operations. I spend several years post university to change my career track from Brand Management to Business Compliance Specialist within Supply Chain. As you can imagine, it takes the support of an existing employer for me to participate in Supply Chain work and a new employer to accept my marketing background.
It is challenging as a freshman and early sophomore to juggle both classes and work/internships at the same time, however, it is crucial at this stage to design a work schedule that will compliment your work experience goals. We much rather explore our options early than to select an unfitting major where mid track or upon graduation, you determine that you want to change directions!
Rebecca recommends the following next steps:
Rebecca gives excellent advice! If you have many areas that you are narrowing down, you can also do shadow days to experience what a day in the life is like or if that is not possible then you can at least meet with someone already in the field to find out what it is like. This definitely helped me eliminate some of the options I looked at!