“The expert at anything was once a beginner.”
― Helen Hayes
We all know at least one person who has known what they wanted to do since the second grade. Those who, even then, had a straight forward answer to the very cliche question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and followed it through until they graduated college. Did you ever envy them? Of course you did! Especially if you are like the majority of college students and don’t know what you want your career path to be, let alone your major. If you happen to be one of these people, do not worry at all. The CDC has great services to give you a start in the right direction.
If you are wondering where to begin in your major discernment or career search, your first step is to make an appointment with Amy Freehafer. She is a Career Counselor here at the CDC and is the main administrator for StrengthsQuest through Gallup. StrengthsQuest is a useful tool in which the person answers a series of questions to find their top five strengths out of the 34 that they identify with the most.
When asked what a good first step would be for those looking for direction, Amy has some good advice:
“If you have not taken StrengthsQuest that should be the first thing on your agenda. After taking the StrengthsQuest, coming in for coaching is important. This will give you an understanding of your results and how to apply them. StrengthsQuest will help you figure out who you are and this can the be applied to the different courses or career paths that your strengths fit into best. If by the end of this [process] you do end up finding your career, then there are further ways that I can assist.”
There are also two more assessments that are career related that Amy can work with you through – the Strong Interest Inventory (SII) and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Like StrengthsQuest, these assessments are personality based and can help you figure out more of who you are as a person to help in your major/career search.
Another way to figure out what direction you want to go is to find an internship. Internships are great for when students want to get a feel for the field they are thinking about going into. They are also useful for connecting what you have learned in the classroom to the real world, and networking. If you are unsure that the field you want to go into is the right one for you, an internship would be most helpful for you. Jena Szatkowski is your go to person if you want help setting up internships.
When asked how internships help students, Jena had some encouraging words:
“Internships are a great idea because it can affirm or redirect you onto a certain path. JobStop has about 200 different internships you can look at to get a feel of the different things that are offered. There are programs that you can do, some examples are The Philadelphia Center, New York Arts, Washington Honors, Chicago Semester and IES internships. Remember, an internship can either affirm or redirect you to a certain path.”
One of the Career Advisors that works in the CDC Office, Hadley Roy, commented on how both Amy and Jena helped her make progress in her career path:
“Coming into Hope as a Junior with an Econ major and Management minor, Amy helped me see if the idea of double majoring in both of those areas was feasible. Jena also played a big role in my career planning, as she (combined with Sarah McCoy) helped to get me my internship last summer with Commonwealth//McCann. This was a good affirmation that I was in the right field!”
As you can see, the CDC has many ways to help you figure out the next step in your major or career planning. Stop in soon or call us at 616-395-7950 to make an appointment today!