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Monday, May 23, 2011

How to Choose a Major in College (ii)

Some additional pointers:

Avoid "contentless" majors like journalism, education, business. Instead of journalism, major in history and take courses on recent periods, or in religious studies. Get in-depth knowledge of the world on which you are going to be reporting.

Instead of business, try economics. Avoid business majors with a lot of group projects and not a lot of rigorous writing. Don't major generically in business; instead, try to figure out what industry you want to be associated with and gain concrete knowledge about that industry. If you want to show leadership, run for student senate or found an organization. That's more meaningful than some group project for a class.

A student I had wanted to do an internship with the educational writer Jonathan Kozol. There was no advertised position, but she decided that was what she needed to do. So she tried to contact him. At first there was no answer, so she kept trying, and eventually made contact with someone else who worked with Kozol, then with the man himself, and got her internship. With students like that, the actual major doesn't really matter; it's what you do with the major you have, and the opportunities you pursue. I'd hire this student (a history major) over a business major any day.

1 comment:

Clarissa said...

"If you want to show leadership, run for student senate or found an organization. That's more meaningful than some group project for a class."

- This is very true! My sister, who became a super successful entrepreneur, is now biting her elbows (as we say in our culture( that she didn't have this kind of advice when she was in college.