Upon enrollment at Eastern Michigan University, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing in college. There are 382 undergraduate programs offered on campus and many options sparked my interest. How can anyone who is indecisive ever make such an impactful life decision?
When I first stepped foot on campus in 2011 the job market was still bleak and finding a career that would result in being hired was the motivating factor when I decided what studious path to explore. I thought nursing would be a sensible route, because the health care industry seems to be as unshakable as Rocky Balboa after a training montage and a pep talk from ole Mick. However, I soon realized this career path did not seem enticing after seriously looking at the course load of classes that would consume my life for the next four or five years. Working in a hospital and with patients didn’t seem like a good match for my personal ambitions and goals, so I enrolled in elective classes without a direction or clue as to what I wanted to study.
Picking a college major can be an incredibly daunting task. Although the job market will always have a high demand for the duties of nurses and welders, not everyone is cut out for these professions. Finding a career that could be a passion and also pays the bills, should be a goal when deciding what course work to primarily study.
Intro level classes proved to be my saving grace, and helped me find fields of studies that fit my personal interests and made me excited for future career endeavors. I decided to double major in journalism and public relations after taking both programs’s beginning level classes freshman year.
The life of a writer seemed fitting for my character, and studying how to successfully construct a news piece enticed me from the professor’s first explanation of modern media. But, the journalism job market has been shaken by many publications shifting to online channels and finding a decent pay stub can be difficult. Public relations has been reported to have a much more welcoming job market for skilled practitioners. Also, this endeavor could still offer me opportunity to write and be creative.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the PR work force should increase 12% over the next decade, and the median pay is more than $54,000 per year.
The everyday life of a PR specialist can involve quick thinking and problem-solving abilities. One of the main reasons PR feels like a good a personal fit is the variety of job duties, and I’ve heard “no two days are ever the same” from a variety of experienced veterans within the industry. PR is often fast-paced and gives those that work well under pressure plenty of opportunities to prove themselves during crunch time.
This fall thousands of freshmen will take their first steps as collegiate scholars Ion EMU’s campus. The decision of what to study can’t be evaded by these newcomers and lots of tough decisions will need to be made relatively early in their academic careers. Some student organizations can offer insight into different genres of potential majors and may be worth exploring if the subject matter of the club seems interesting.
EMU’s PRSSA offers a chance to learn about the PR profession two Tuesdays every month and checking out what the industry entails may be a guiding light towards studying a suitable career field. My first PRSSA meeting proved to be very interesting and gave me a telltale sign that I had chosen the right major. To become a success in any career takes a lot of motivation. The personal drive of many PRSSA members impressed me the most and made me determined to step up my game.
But, public relations is not ideal for every Eagle and deciding what path to take involves a lot of inner thought and reflections to find what’s best. No matter what course of study catches your interest, be sure to not get too stressed out about finding your calling, because the journey takes time for everyone. Some are blessed with knowing their dream job at a very young age, but most of us need some time to sort out what career is appealing to you.