Wednesday, November 21, 2012

So, have you decided on a major yet?

The holidays are upon us. And for most that means spending time with family and friends during lovely festivities. Gatherings of loved ones can be greatly enjoyable, until someone asks you that dreaded question, "So, have you decided on a major yet?" For students who are undecided, that question can just about destroy their appetite; as if everyone else hasn't been asking you the same question since you enrolled in classes.

A wise UW-Whitewater Admissions Counselor once shared with me his hope of all colleges and universities to one day change their verbiage, so that undecided students could be referred to as "undeclared" students. At first I didn't understand his logic, until he further explained, "The student has decided to come to college, they just haven't declared a major, therefore being more-so undeclared than undecided." Brilliance! 

To all of those undeclared MU students, don't fear, Career Services is here to help you answer that question. There's many different steps one could take in choosing their major but an option many don't consider is class observations. After you've taken preliminary steps in figuring out what your top majors of interest are, the true exploration begins. Of course you want your major to be an avenue into your future career, you also want it to fit your interests, skills, and values.

So here's what you do:
  • With each major of interest in which you have, find at least two classes to observe
    1. Utilize CheckMarq "Schedule of Classes and Courses Catalog" to browse classes by subject
      • Note: I'd advise observing an introduction course and a higher level course
    2. Once you've found a class that sounds interesting, click on "view class sections"
    3. Find a date and time that work for your schedule (most classes are offered multiple times per week)
    4. Make note of the instructor(s) teaching the course
    5. Send the instructor(s) an email requesting permission to come and observe their class (be specific with date and time)

There are many immediate benefits to observing a class. So, if you have time in your schedule and you are in the process of choosing your major, take my advise, observe. The added bonus is that at the end of the class, you don't have homework :-)

~*~Happy Holidays~*~

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