Monday, June 9, 2014

University Tip: Switch Your Majors (Before It's Too Late)


Another year of success graduates crossing the big stage! Congrats to all those that finished high school or university!

As I (and along with many of my friends) am graduating soon, we were reflecting on our academic careers.

Currently, I'm studying Human Resources (as listed on my bio page) but did you know I was majoring in Marketing Management when I first started university?

I remember falling in love with Marketing back in high school and wanted to be a Director of Marketing for a company. I remember unleashing my creativity and learning how big name brands target the mind. I remember all the group projects that required us to promote a made up object. I remember the countless SWOT and PEST analysises needed.

Marketing.
(I remember it all).


Halfway through my studies, I found myself one day thinking about my major. I was starting to doubt it. I started doubting if I really wanted to make a career out of marketing.

Out of nowhere, Human Resources crept into my mind. I don't know how it did - I never saw a single brochure or academic guide advertising HR to me. It just popped into my mind around the time I started doubting my major.

Here's the thing: back in my university, the Marketing Management degree did not require us to take any HR classes; so I didn't know what HR was really about (and yes, it's much more than just hiring and firing people). But yet, the fact that I'm getting a Marketing Management degree bothered me a whole lot. I started losing motivation to go to my classes. I started asking around what they thought about a marketing career.

I eventually came across Martin. He told me he's graduating with a mathematics degree, but he regrets it immensely. He had one year left until graduation and felt like he'll be wasting his time and money if he started all over to pursue his desired degree. That moment, he told me,

"Jess, if you're ever unsure about your major, you have to switch. Switch when you have the chance to. Otherwise, you'll be graduating with regret."

I lost sleep over his whole ordeal of switching majors. But, I knew my guts were telling me to make the switch before the start of a new semester. The next thing I know, I headed towards to Admin Offices and asked for a major switch application and I remember writing 'Marketing Management' in the Current Major box, and then writing 'Human Resources Management' in the New Major box. Within a few weeks, I got a confirmation that the school approved of my major switch.

Did I have to take a whole bunch of new courses? Yes.
Did it push back my graduation date? In a way, yes.
Did it increase my tuitions? Yes.
Did I enjoy my classes? Yes, much more than my marketing courses.
Did I ever have thoughts of switching back (or to another major)? No. I never had a single doubt after the switch.
Did I regret it? Of course not. Marketing was an affair; HR is my love.

To be honest, I think I would be miserable if I stuck it out with Marketing Management. In fact, I don't even know if I would end up with a Marketing degree since I felt unpassionate about it. But, right now, I'm beyond happy and thrilled that I'm graduating with an HR Management degree. Right now, I have friends telling me that they regret majoring in accounting, engineering, etc. etc. and contemplating if they should switch majors right now.

I couldn't give them the advice that I got because my friends are nearly done. But to know how uninterested/unpassionate they are about their (potential) future career is incredibly upsetting. I wish they had a Martin in their life to tell them to switch when they still had a chance too.

Bottomline is, your degree is with you forever. No one can take that away from you (unless you cheated, or whatever). What you do with your degree is up to you, but the thought of being in a career that I have no passion for was scary. 

If you doubt your major right now, give it some serious thought. Once I made a switch to HR, I never doubted it. I personally believe that if you're doubting your degree (and I'm not talking about a 10 minute doubt session because you saw an infograph of your field-of-study declining), make a switch to something you're more passionate about. 

I feel like the fact that HR Management popped into my mind without any advertising was God's way of directing me to the correct path. And you know what, I'll be brutally honest with you. Some of you guys may not have found your passion yet. But just because you didn't find your passion yet doesn't mean you can't explore your options. Take a few courses outside of your major and not only will you learn more, but you'll be able to determine weather you should switch or not. 

Invest in a passion, not just a degree.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great post! I definitely think it's good to follow your gut. I was accepted to the school that I graduated from with one major and changed it before I even started. Sometimes I think the other degree would have been the smarter choice (and I would have enjoyed it), but the degree that I went with is definitely my passion. I took classes that I would have taken for the other degree as my electives.

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