College is a great time for self discovery and exploring the world around you, but it can be overwhelming trying to figure out what you want to major in and what career path to take.
It's OK if you are undecided about your major, you’re in good company. Choosing a major is too significant to rush, especially when it can lead you to your career. Instead, use your first semesters at the university to explore all of your possibilities.
Here are some strategies we recommend, but remember, YOU must discover your interests, skills, values, goals, and strengths. Once you know that, we can point you in the right direction to achieve your goals.
Talk to professionals about their career fields
One way to learn more about a career is to conduct a job shadow with a professional who currently works in an industry of your interest to learn what they do on a daily basis. Job shadowing is when you meet with a professional who currently works in an industry of your interest and see what they do on a daily basis.
Ask family members, friends and neighbors, if you can spend a day observing them at work. Be sure to make a great first impression from the moment you ask about job shadowing through your follow-up thank you note. Dress to impress, keep detailed and accurate notes, ask follow up questions and avoid getting in their way at work. At the end of the job shadowing experience, reflect on what you learned. What did you like? What did you dislike? What were the critical components of the job? What was the working environment?
At the end of the job shadowing experience, reflect on what you learned. What did you like? What did you dislike? What were the critical components of the job? What was the working environment?
Remember to follow up with a personalized, hand-written note sent within a few days of your job shadow experience.
An informational interview is simply a carefully constructed conversation with someone who can share information and insight with you. Consider scheduling an informational interview with faculty in the departments you are considering for a major.
Other potential interview candidates may include staff and administrators around USI and professionals who work in an industry in which you are interested. Some questions you may consider asking include "What do you like most about this field and what do you like least", "What types of courses did you find more interesting", "How would you describe this major to someone who had never heard of it". The Career Services and Internships Office has additional resources regarding career-related informational interviews.