Its kind of ridiculous isn’t it? You are 18 just graduated from high school. Last week you were grounded for coming home past curfew and now this week you have to decide what you will do for the rest of your life. Talk about pressure.
I just graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Business Administration and a major of Management Information Systems. I love my degree, but it took me 5 years and plenty of bouncing around majors. It’s very hard to determine hobby/interest vs career choice. For instance my interests included genetics and cellular biology, international relations, market analysis and online customer behavior, computers, and programming. I took classes on all of those topics, however I didn’t realize I had an interest in market analysis and online customer behavior until I joined Loans Across Borders.
My advice calm down. While its easy to envy those people who had it all figured out since middle school , it’s Ok to figure it out as you go. These are the steps I took when choosing a career path:
1. Start at the end
Research what job descriptions sound appealing to you based on your interests. Even talk to people in that position about their everyday responsibilities and the pros and cons of the position. Too many students pick a major solely based on the courses offered in that major and are left with less than satisfactory career options upon graduation.
2. Research career path
So now you have narrowed down a couple job descriptions and are left with your dream jobs! Odds are those job requirements are 5+ years of experience and a degree in something specific and maybe some certifications. Research what jobs give you experience in that field that would fill that 5+ experience requirement and what entry positions get you into that industry. Look at people’s linkedin who have your dream jobs and see the steps they took to get there.
3. List your priorities
So you should have a list of your top dream jobs/career paths and what you need to do starting now to get there. Do these positions/career paths reflect your priorities? There are a number of factors in life that make you happy. You should consider your priorities when deciding if a career path is practical for you. For example this is part of my list:
– I need human interaction at work
– Enough free time for my hobbies
– Enough money to live comfortably
– Work variety
– Medium amount of stress limit
– Continual learning
4. Trial and error – Get involved!
Now you should have a pretty comprehensive list of a couple career path options that reflect your priorities and how to get there. Take classes in all career areas on your list. Don’t just decide on one path instantly without actually giving the other options on your list a chance. Join clubs! Not only do they look awesome on your resume but clubs can give you insight into your career options and out of the classroom experience. Clubs are like small businesses. Take advantage of the opportunity.
Co founding Loans Across Borders gave me some of my most valuable college experiences. Not only did I meet some of my closest friends, but I learned so much. I was involved in creating our bylaws, getting non-profit status, creating our marketing plan. I gained experience in web development and user experience (like creating this website!). I learned planning large events like our Hunger Banquet is not as easy as I thought. Every obstacle this club has encountered I helped overcome, which is extremely satisfying.
Don’t miss out! Come to University of Arizona’s Involvement Fair on the mall August 26th 10AM-2PM
– Alisa Basila University of Arizona Alumni, Past Director of Marketing, and Co Founder of Loans Across Borders.