By Neely Dunlap, sophomore, communication
Students frantically ask themselves “Am I in the right major?” as they shuffle through assignments that don’t capture their interest. Others are first-year students who are undeclared in their major and feel the pressure to quickly pick a career path.
If you are in this boat, don’t worry! The Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) can help you pick the major that is the best fit for you.
The CCPD offers a multitude of nationally recognized services to all Clemson students including one-on-one counseling, resumé reviews, mock interviews and more.
“These services are essential for any student at any point in their time at Clemson,” said Brittany Neely, associate director of events and employer engagement.
One of the noteworthy services the CCPD provides is helping students determine which major at Clemson they should pursue. An online assessment called the Strong Interest Inventory helps narrow down which majors students may be interested in, based on their responses about career interests. After taking the survey, students meet with a career counselor to discuss their options.
Ella Marquart, a junior marketing major, took the Strong Interest Inventory to help solidify her decision to major in marketing.
“It was the most helpful thing I think I’ve ever done,” she said. “I met with a counselor for over an hour, and they walked me through all of my options, not just as a marketing major, but with my personality and things that they thought would work for me. It was extremely helpful in making me realize that I wanted to not work a desk job and work with other people, so that’s how I narrowed down my interest in sales.”
In addition to eye-opening assessments, the CCPD provides information for each major about occupational outlook, common jobs and companies who typically hire a specific major. One of these resources, O-NET, can be used alongside the Strong Interest Inventory and allows students to explore the salary, skills, projected growth and needed qualifications for a specific career.
Furthermore, the career counseling services provided by the CCPD are another avenue for students to find their major.
“Most of the interactions we offer are one-on-one, so we can really tailor whatever we need to that specific student,” Neely said.
Marquart also endorses the career counseling services and offers a key piece of advice to students.
“Take advantage of the opportunities to hear from people about what your life would look like after college with the major that you choose because sometimes the classes might sound interesting but the jobs or actual career paths might not be,” she said.
Since a multitude of first-year students come to Clemson with an undeclared major, Neely recommends stopping by the Michelin Career Center to become familiar with services available to them.
“An easy thing to do that will take them maybe fifteen minutes is just to come up to the center during a drop-in and let us look at a student’s resumé,” she said.
Neely also suggests students who are unsure about their major should discover where previous Clemson students who graduated have gone to work.
“If you go to the bottom of each major’s pages, it shows you where recent Clemson graduates have gone to work or gone to graduate school,” she said. “See if these align with what you could see yourself doing.”
Anna Shealy, a sophomore student deciding between marketing and management, advises first-year students to engage in the CCPD services offered, so they have a general idea of a path to pursue even if they end up changing their major in the future.
“Come in for an appointment, even if you just walk in or email or call because there are so many things that they can help with,” Shealy said.
Whether you are a first-year student exploring majors, or a junior who is curious about changing majors, Clemson’s Center for Career and Professional Development can aid all students in their quest to find a major.
Visit the Center for Career and Professional Development’s website for more information on career counseling appointments, the Strong Interest Inventory and other services provided. Drop-in counseling hours are Monday-Friday from 1:30-3:45 p.m. Students may also make a counseling appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.