Deciding on a career path is not an easy task. With the average student changing their major at least once during their college education, it is important to find tools that help identify their likes or dislikes. It could make the difference between graduating on time or having to take extra semesters because you’ve switched your major numerous times.
Luckily, Monroe Community College offers various options to help students navigate through this process.
One of the best ways to decide whether or not you are going to like a job is by getting your feet wet. Taking an internship will allow you a hands-on experience that will give a glimpse into what you’d be doing. There is usually someone in the workplace that will show you the ropes and help guide you through what needs to be done.
Just last year, Maria Cordello was uncertain about her major, her chosen career path, or where she wanted to continue her education. Through MCC, she took an internship at Disney. “I came back from Disney realizing what my major was,” Cordello said. It impacted my entire decision making, she added.
After taking an internship with the Disney program, Cordello came back to Rochester with more than answers to what major or career she would like. Working as a hostess at a 50’s themed café helped her discover something she didn’t know previously about herself. She was good with people.
Another tool Cordello found helpful in her decision making was taking a marketing course. The class gave her a chance to take a multitude of self assessment tests that shed light on the various aspects of her personality. The tests revealed more than she originally thought they would and helped her hone in on what she’d be good at. “The class forced us to network and it made me more comfortable to talk with people,” Cordello said.
Today, Cordello attributes her feelings of confidence and focus to both tools. At age 22, she is in her fourth semester as a public relations major and will be graduating in 2011.
Cordello is just one of many students that have taken advantage of the ways to attain knowledge, experience and focus while attending MCC. Most importantly, she was able to achieve those goals while earning college credits.
If taking an internship is not your bag or taking a marketing class to assess yourself doesn’t make you enthusiastic, you can always join the numerous clubs on campus.
Here is a sampling of the many choices:
The Monroe Doctrine Newspaper offers students an opportunity to become a reporter, editor, or editor-in-chief. It has positions in graphics, layout and marketing. Working with your advisor, there is a possibility of gaining credits while building your portfolio.
The radio station WMCC has positions as newscasters, DJ’s, account executives, publicity promoters, managers and programming managers. You’d have a chance to see if you’re comfortable on-the-air or behind the scenes.
The Student Government of MCC offers positions in the senate, executive branch and the presidential cabinet. If you see yourself going into politics, this club would be a good start.
The Campus Activities Board initiates and promotes activities on campus. They work in conjunction with other clubs to help facilitate the success of their events. Those interested in public relations or event planning might find their niche here.
With over 60 chartered clubs to choose from, there are a plethora of resources within your campus walls. Yet, if time constraints limit your ability to commit to another class, internship or club, these other options might be a better choice:
Take tours of various workplaces that have peaked your interest and ask to shadow someone for a day.
Go online and chat with others in your field of interest. With many professions offering open chats and blogs, you’ll find people more than willing to share their likes or dislikes within their job. MyWorkster.com is a platform that provides MCC students and alumni a chance to connect.
Use the power of networking and talk to other students to see what their turning point was in deciding what major or job they’d be happy with. They might just have a suggestion that was not thought of before. But remember to take a stranger’s advice with a grain of salt. They may have had a bad day at work or have some other issues that can make them bias.
Don’t forget to take advantage of your talents, gifts or whatever you are passionate about. People find it is more gratifying to find a job they like doing verses getting that big pay check.
Take the time to make the decision that is right for you. It doesn’t need to be made overnight. Don’t beat yourself up for not knowing after the first, second or third attempt at finding what you really want to do. The more options you try, the more you can use as a resume builder.
To help further guide you in your decision making, stop by the Career Center located in room 3-108, or check out their web page at: http://www.monroecc.edu/depts/careercenter/index.htm. Whether you’re a returning adult learner or first-time student, they have specific knowledge that can help you define your goals and point you in the right direction.