Whether an underclassman meets with us to begin a dialogue about their future, or a junior starts to articulate interests while embarking upon an internship search, or a senior is looking for advice to really target a job or graduate school, exploration is often at the heart of students’ meeting requests with Career Services. We love to engage students in conversations to help you draw out skills, interests, values, and goals, all while hoping to spark excitement toward investigating what’s out there in the world of work.
This week and next, I’d like to discuss the idea of exploration from two angles:
- drawing connections between interests and potential careers or majors;
- delving deeper into more specific professions/industries to help transition to the workplace.
Our office uses a model to help guide students through many elements of career planning. The first half encourages students to utilize electronic, printed, and human sources of information to begin exploring how ones interests and strengths might relate to college majors and future career fields. Although it’s geared toward freshmen and sophomores, the resources suggested can be applicable to anyone’s stage of career development.
One key component that is absolutely necessary to anyone’s exploration is talking to other people! Whether you’re questioning what major is right for you, or wondering what you could possibly do with a degree in ______, or you’re interested in learning how certain occupations function within different industries, asking individuals who know about the topic is one of the most effective means of gaining valuable information.
So, go through the suggested resources for exploring your options and investigating potential careers…and then talk to someone about what you’re discovering! And when I say talk to someone, I don’t mean go ask someone else what you should do. Instead, arm yourself with knowledge, draw connections between what you’re learning and your own interests and goals, and ask others to clarify, offer perspective, or discuss ideas with you that you haven’t thought of. The discoveries along the way will be worth the effort.
Next week’s blog will look at the next components of the career planning model to offer suggestions and advice on delving deeper into more specific professions/industries as you begin to engage in a job or internship search. Stay tuned!
~Gwen Miller, associate director of career services