You may seek to excel in your field of study by earning good grades or strive to gain applicable real-world knowledge through eager learning. However, your major shouldn’t be your one and only passion. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be one of your passions. You can simply be curious about it.
I don’t live and breathe accounting every moment of my life, but I can wake up and be curious about new standards being passed and how accounting affects our daily lives. Let me be clear, you should enjoy the work you do and, as long as that curiosity I mentioned exists, then you’re on the right track. So, rather than viewing the choosing of your major as this process of searching for “something” that will ultimately define and complete you, enrich your college experience by picking up an activity or joining a club outside of your major that you enjoy simply because it’s fun.
During my first year of college I wasn’t very involved in any extra curricular activities. In my second year I became slightly more involved, but only in organizations related to accounting. It wasn’t until my junior year of college that I decided to join an organization outside of my major. For me that was UTD’s student-led newspaper The Mercury. I always had an affinity for sports and the journalism behind it intrigued me so I decided to give sports writing a chance. The benefits ended up being two-fold.
Helped me expand my network
Although having business connections can be beneficial, especially in a business-oriented field of study, there can be great value in having connections in other areas of expertise. Through the newspaper I was able to interact with colleagues from various majors. It made me more aware of my surroundings and allowed me to view certain situations in a different manner. I became more appreciative of others people’s talents and ideas.
Provided me with a conversation starter
As I was in the process of searching for an internship, I can’t tell you how many times interviewers brought up the fact that I was a part of a publication and proceeded to ask me about it. They were genuinely interested, and they could see that it wasn’t something I joined just to pad my resume. As I went through the recruiting process, it continued to be a topic of conversation and I was able to share my experiences, which lead to more genuine conversations. I didn’t have to bring up the weather or robotically ask them questions they’ve heard a thousand times.
Taught me how to build relationships
Through my time with The Mercury I’ve done countless interviews. But the first time I had to contact a coach and interview them I was pretty nervous. As time went on, I got to know the players and coaching staff better. I would sometimes see them in the hallway and have a brief conversation with them. As we became more comfortable around each other our interviews just became casual conversations. I learned how to deal with various personalities and really got to know others on a more personal level.
So I encourage everybody, if time permits, to find an organization or hobby outside of your major that you can have a passion for. Don’t do it just because you think it’ll make your resume look good. Chances are that there can be relevant life lessons learned that will make you a better individual and can be applicable to any field of study.