What do you want to be when you grow up?

By: Marissa Humayun

What do you want to be when you grow up?

An astronaut, exploring the bounds of outer space? An athlete, running down an Olympic track lane? President of the United States, seated in the Oval Office and running the nation?

As children, we dream big, without limits or hesitation. It is liberating to think in this way, but as we get a bit older, we begin to think realistically about our future careers.

When being realistic, this question can seem a bit stressful.

What if you are not dead-set on one career path?

To the many students who are still undecided on their majors or even unsure of their next career move, the best way to combat the stress behind this question of “What do I want to be when I grow up?” is to be proactive in your career search. By doing this, you will maximize your time here at Miami, and hopefully find a path that fits both your personality and skill set nicely.

Here are 5 tips for your early career exploration at Miami:

  1. Pay attention to small details in your day-to-day life

Much of what makes a potential career a good fit is liking your day-to-day work. If you feel that you work best independently, searching for a career that is heavy in collaboration may not be the best fit for you. An article from Muse discussing just this suggests that students should document which tasks during the day are their most and least favorite. From here, students can visually see and align their day-to-day likes/dislikes with a career that would suit them as such.

  1. Grab coffee with someone successful in your interested field

Find a successful person in a potential career path and talk to them! While this may seem a bit daunting, this is an excellent way to hear right from the source what a day in the life would look like in your potential career. Here, you can utilize the LinkedIn Alumni tool to reach out to industry professionals and get their advice on how to advance your career early on. Miami’s alumni network is large, growing, and eager to help students, as they were in your shoes not too long ago. (The link above will take you to our website’s Networking tab, featuring instructions on how to utilize this great resource on LinkedIn.)

  1. Enroll in BUS 206: Career Exploration for Business Majors

Open to first and second year students, this one-credit hour course is extremely helpful in navigating the career search. Taught by Monique Frost, Director of Career and Professional Development, this course showcases all the different majors that Farmer offers, and helps students identify personal skills/interests and how they fit into future career paths. Many students have found this course extremely helpful in confirming or choosing a specific area of study at Miami.

  1. Apply your passions to professional opportunities

What are you passionate about? What are you interested in exploring? Think about these things and start applying them now, to your collegiate extra curriculars. For example, if you are interested in investment banking, interview for a spot in the Investment Banking club on campus! Here, you can get hands-on experience working with a real portfolio, making you extremely marketable for future opportunities in investment banking. If you are interested in marketing, find an exec position within one of your existing organizations. You will find that applying your interests gives you a better direction as to what you do/do not want to do full-time.

  1. Excel in your current job

Whatever your job may be right now, do your absolute best! If your job is being a full-time student, put all your efforts toward excelling in your studies. If your job is making salads at Dividends, try and find leadership opportunities (ie. Student manager positions) to further your personal growth. It doesn’t have to be much, but the actions you take to make yourself marketable to future employers can come from any and every activity.

Keep these tips in mind while trying to answer this question of “What do I want to be when I grow up?”