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Career Services hosts workshop to help students decide on majors, career paths

Rachael Mattingly, career services coordinator at Campbellsville University, said career planning is a multi-stage process that combines learning about yourself and the occupations you are considering to make an informed decision. (Campbellsville University Photo by Diego Gonzalez)

By Elinor Keck, student news writer, Office of University Communications

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Not sure whether you should become a sushi chef or freelance accountant?

Rachael Mattingly, career services coordinator at Campbellsville University, provided tips and tricks on how to choose a field at the Career Services Workshop Feb. 8 in the Badgett Academic Support Center (BASC).

Students were invited to attend the workshop to learn how to choose a college major and ultimately a career field.

Mattingly kicked off the workshop by sharing that she had entered college undecided on her major and used her general education classes to discover what she enjoyed doing.

Mattingly addressed multiple career myths and explained why they were false.

Mattingly said the first myth is, “Once I choose a major/career, I’ll be stuck in it forever.” Mattingly said this isn’t true, and she said had a friend in college who switched her major six times over the course of four years.

The second myth Mattingly discussed is, “There is one perfect career for me.”

Mattingly said that most people have several careers that might appeal to them. The average college graduate has at least two career changes, according to Mattingly.

The third myth Mattingly discussed is, “I should choose a major or career that is ‘hot’ in the current job market.”

Mattingly said trends change all the time, so it is best to choose what you’re interested in.

The fourth myth Mattingly addressed is, “People with humanities or liberal arts majors have trouble finding jobs because they have no marketable skills.”

Through humanities and liberal arts degrees, students learn skills such as critical thinking, writing skills and organization that can help them in life, Mattingly said.

The fifth myth Mattingly shared is, “Since I have general education credits and electives to complete, I can wait until I’m a junior to figure out my major.”

Although general education classes are a great way to discover your passions, students shouldn’t wait for opportunities to come to them. It takes time and effort to pick a career and major, Mattingly said.

The last myth Mattingly shared is, “Making a lot of money will make me happy.”

Mattingly said, “Making money is great. It’s fantastic, but it’s not everything.”

Mattingly encouraged everyone to consider how their careers will affect not only their professional lives but their personal lives.

“Pick something that speaks to your heart and makes you happy,” Mattingly said.

Dr. Kimberly Mudd-Fegett, associate professor of social work and Campbellsville site coordinator, attended the workshop and gave an overview of the Carver School of Social Work, encouraging students not to write off a career because of stereotypes.

“I can’t promise you a job in social work that will make you a millionaire, but I can sell you passion,” Mudd-Fegett said.

Mattingly laid out a four-year plan for students to jump-start their careers in college. Freshman year is a time for self-assessment, where students should ask what their passions and talents are. Sophomore year is when students should begin exploring occupations. Junior year is for making decisions to narrow in on an occupation. Senior year is when students should implement those decisions for best entry-level employment results.

“Career planning is a multi-stage process that nurtures learning enough about yourself and the occupations you are considering in order to make an informed decision,” Mattingly said.

According to the Campbellsville University website, “the mission of Career Services is to assist, serve and support students of Campbellsville University to achieve their academic, personal and professional goals related to career choice and employment preparation.”

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university that offers over 100 programs of study including doctoral, master, bachelor, associate and certificate programs. The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.