Seminar helps students choose the right major

Kathleen Bovard helps students in choosing the best major for their career.
Kathleen Bovard helps students in choosing the best major for their career.

By Chauna Krauss

On Feb. 27 Academic Advising Counselor Kathleen Bovard led a seminar that discussed options for students who have not yet discovered their academic major.

Bovard opened the conversation with questions such as, “What is it that you like to do with your career?,” “What do you bring to the table?,” “What are you naturally good at?” and “What are your values?”

She then described a system called the “The Career Decision-Making Process,” which includes steps for evaluation, exploration, decision-making, planning for action and adjusting to transition.
Asking students about their motivations, Bovard talked about the importance of choosing a career path before choosing an academic major.

Students took a version of John Holland’s Making Vocational Choices career personality test, which included six possible career fields: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional. Doers fit best in the realistic field, while Thinkers fit in the investigative section. Creators fall within the artistic section, while helpers coincide with the social field and persuaders with enterprising. Lastly, organizers fit within the conventional category.

“You wouldn’t buy a car without [doing] research. The same applies with careers,” said Bovard when introducing a series of career resource centers, such as O*NET, RileyGuide, JobWeb, CareerJournal, Hoovers and Job-Hunt. She also specified that it is best to choose and research a career before deciding on a major.

“Build skills that will make you marketable,” Bovard said, including skills within a career field and communication skills for interconnecting careers.

“Communication is the most transferable skill,” said Bovard, as she emphasized the value of having alumnae connections and other connections with people in the desired career field.

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