It is summertime and many of you young folks are going off to college. Okay, fair enough, many of you older folks are as well. It is an exciting time for you and your family as you make hard decisions for your future. Good luck. I am glad it is you and not me. As a seasoned graduate and higher education professional, let me give you a few quick tips to finding that perfect major.
1. Read a newspaper or watch the news. - Using basic common sense on world events can be instrumental in selecting a major. For example, if their was an over abundance of nurses, you wouldn't want to go into that. There never will be, thank God.
2. Listen to your heart. - Don't pick a major that your heart isn't in. Parents have no right selecting a major. Many schools won't even let them speak or be in a room when the selection is happening. This is your life and you will be living with it.
3. Listen to your wallet. - I'm not telling you to be cheap. I'm talking about a return on investment. What is the world looking for in terms of trade? Could you find a passion doing something like that? Remember that being a clown may be all fun and games, but it won't pay the bills. That is unless you are Ronald McDonald.
4. Consider going undecided. - You have time to decide. Take a year and take your pre-requisites. See what you love and see what you hate. You may want to be a business major and find out that you suck at accounting.
5. Get an internship and externship. - While you are deciding, try experiencing the field. You may find a workplace environment that you like and they can guide you to the best major.
I am so excited to announce that I am going to be presenting in Chicago this December at the CASE V conference. My last presentation was near and dear to my heart, but since I didn't choose to do it, it wasn't as real. This time, I created the proposal, I submitted it, I got it approved, and then found two amazing co-presenters.
In my time volunteering with the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, I feel like I have learned so much. I have learned how important it is to be involved in your community and how important it is to have pride in it. I believe I have succeeded in both.
Now my goal is for my work to match my personal life. Our presentation is an analysis of my work and my colleagues and different organizations as we try to retain our students in the region.
I can't go into all of the details because I would hate for anyone to steal our amazing plan, but I think this could be amazing. I think we could all use a little insight into how their communities and schools work.
I have been hearing a lot about mentors lately. It wasn't until I worked in higher education that this word became a part of my everyday vocabulary. Some people are uncomfortable by them and some people swear by them. I just want to know where you get them?
I have had the privilege of working with amazing people, men and women, at all of my places of employment. I looked up to these people, attempted to model myself after them, but I don't know if I could call any of them mentors. Mentors seem more like a reciprocal relationship where one person knows that they are hot stuff and the other is not. The cool guy/gal is in turn supposed to be very Yoda like and teach the young Skywalker how to be just like them.
Here is my ad:
Young perfectionist, hard worker, and who probably needs to broaden her horizons, is seeking mentor. Mentor should be friendly, yet honest and to the point. No sugar coating. Mentee may need to be reminded what life is like outside her bubble. Mentor must love volunteering ant the community so mentee and mentor and make huge strides together.
PS This is unrealistic. If so many careers are advocates and even require mentoring relationships, should this be a normal step in order for young employees to advance?
Experiencing interpersonal relationships with people who are not your direct co-workers can be very rewarding. Maybe we can learn to get to know each other and learn something new.