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Choosing a Major

There are many ways to select a major. Two common ways include:

  • Have a dream career in mind and select a major that would help you get there.
  • Select a major because you are interested in the subject then figure out how it relates to a career.

Choosing a major involves gathering information about yourself AND about majors and careers

Learn about yourself

  • What are your interests? What do you do in your spare time? What kinds of courses do you find fascinating? Which classes do you enjoy?
  • In which areas do you naturally excel? What comes naturally for you?
  • What are your values – make money, help people, be a leader, be creative?
  • Are you willing/able to attend graduate school if needed?
  • What do your family and friends see as your greatest strengths?
  • Consider taking self assessment tests in the Career and Internship Center to learn more about yourself.

Learn about majors and careers

  • Ask your advisor and other faculty to share information about a major and required coursework.
  • Ask upperclassmen in various majors about their experiences.
  • Read about major courses in the course catalog. What looks interesting?
  • Visit the Career and Internship Center to talk with a career counselor.
  • Sample some course offerings in your area of interest.
  • Research careers of interest in the Career Resource Center, on the “What can I do with this Major?” page, and do a general online search.
  • Explore experiential learning opportunities in an area of interest. The staff in the Career and Internship Center can assist you in the process of finding and securing a wide range of opportunities.

Resources for information on Majors

Not all majors identified in these sites are available at Albion College. These are links to web sites that are not under the control of Albion College or the Career and Internship Center. We are not responsible for the contents of any linked site. The Career and Internship Center provides these links merely as a courtesy. The data contained in this web site is for informational purposes only and is not represented to be error free.

Remember

  • Compare the information you are learning about majors and professions with what you know about yourself and the self assessment information. Do you have the qualities and interests that match the characteristics of certain majors?
  • Choosing a major does not dictate what you will do for the rest of your life! Increasingly people see their major as a starting point upon which they can grow as their interests and skills develop.
  • If you are interested in several areas of study, consider a double major, minor, or concentration. You can take classes, join a club, or even volunteer in areas you enjoy as well to feed your passions.

 

Correspondence with Potential Employers

Although most of your job search letters will be written to seek out employment opportunities, there will be occasions that will require other forms of correspondence. These too should be prepared carefully and professionally.

Networking Letter

This letter is designed to generate informational interviews - not job interviews. During informational interviews you can meet with individuals who may be able to give you information about your intended career. Informational interviewing is a valuable way to research job markets, define career goals, and possibly uncover vacancy information.

A resume is not typically attached to a networking letter - again your goal with informational interviewing is not to interview for a job, but to gain information that may help you in your job search. However, during your informational interview, you may want to bring your resume in order to assist the interviewer in helping you answer questions or further clarify goals.

Thank You Letters

This is one of the most important, yet least used forms of correspondence. It is used to establish goodwill, express appreciation, and strengthen your candidacy. Make sure that everyone who helps you in your job search receives a thank you letter. When used to follow up a job interview, try to send your thank you letter (or email) within 24 hours.

This letter should be brief and concise. Make sure to restate your interest in the position, reemphasizing your qualifications and expressing your sincere appreciation for the interview.

Acceptance Letter

This letter is used to accept a job and confirm the terms of your employment (salary, starting date, etc.). Most often this letter follows a telephone conversation during which details of the offer and terms of employment are discussed. Some employers will specifically request that you respond in writing. Even when this is not the case, write a formal letter of acceptance to project your professionalism and avoid any confusion about your employment.

Withdrawal Letter

Once you accept a position, you have the obligation to inform all other employers of your decision, and to withdraw your application from consideration. Express appreciation for the employer's consideration and state simply and cordially that you have accepted other employment.

Letter of Decline

Employers aren't the only ones who send rejection letters. You may decide to decline job offers that don't fit your personal objectives and interests. Rejecting an offer should be done tactfully and thoughtfully. Indicate that you have given the offer careful consideration and have decided not to accept it. Be sure to thank the employer for the offer and for considering you as a candidate.

Retail and Fashion

Fashion Career Center - career advice, schools, and opportunities in the world of fashion

National Retail Federation - Retail Careers Center provides information on job openings as well as information on improving your skills in all aspects of retailing

Marketing / Advertising / Publishing

Advertising Age Talent Works - job postings across the country in advertising, media, marketing, and public relations

Advertising Educational Foundation - information on advertising careers including advise on preparing for a career and links to multiple career search engines

Magazine Publishers of America - comprehensive career site for the consumer magazine publishing community including internship and job searches

Marketing Research Resources - search for a wide range of jobs in the area of market research across the country

AdvertisingJobsNow.com -  search for jobs in the advertising fields as well as get advice on the ins and outs of this particular fields job market

Sports and Recreation

The Market: Careers in College Athletics - an NCAA site providing a wide range of opportunities in every aspect of college athletics

TeamWork Online - an online job board providing information on opening with teams in all sporting fields

CoolWorks.com - positions in recreational areas for year-round or seasonal work

YMCA of the Rockies - seasonal or year-round volunteer and employment opportunities in the Rockies and Internationally

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