Students at Newman have access to many resources, both online and off, to help them find the major and career path that best suits them.
One tool is MyMajors — an assessment designed to take a student’s interests, aptitudes and experiences and determine the top 10 majors for that student. It takes approximately 20 to 25 minutes to complete, and students are advised to be as honest and thorough with the information as possible in order to get the best results.
Director of Career Services and Cooperative Education Coordinator Melody Head introduced the program to students during the fall 2016 semester. She said that the ability to determine a top 10 is what sets MyMajors apart from other evaluations.
Head explained, “Most programs only offer one or two, but we can discuss the 10 results with the students in the areas provided, investigate careers and start the discussions that include, ‘If this job is what you’re thinking, what are you going to do with that?’ I’m also hopeful that it’s giving these students confidence that they’re choosing the correct major for themselves.”
The assessment is geared specifically to Newman programs, so the results will only reflect majors that Newman offers.
One of Head’s favorite aspects of MyMajors is that it helps students who are undecided to see that they have choices.
“For those students who think they know what they want to do, it reassures them, because by having 10 majors (options), you’re going to have four or five of those majors that are going to be pretty much related in most instances,” she said.
In the two years that MyMajors has been available to students, it has racked up a total of 622 entries. The program has been introduced to both prospective students and students in the freshman Traditions and Transitions class for the past two years. However, every Newman student is encouraged to take the assessment.
Academic and International Advisor Ami Larrea is glad several students have used the program but said she would like to see even more students take advantage of it.
“It’s free, it doesn’t cost anything except a little bit of your time, but it can help you,” she said. “It’s very helpful because it looks at what you’re good at and interested in and connects those answers to the course catalog to show what requirements it would take to pursue that particular major.”
Larrea explained that there are several aspects that people often forget to consider when choosing a career path, including the schedule, pay, job outlook and more. The conversations that follow the assessment can help a student find answers early on in their college career and therefore keep them on track academically.
“I think sometimes people will also take the assessment, look at the top one or two and say, ‘Well that’s not me,’ and then they throw out all the results,” Larrea said. “Go into it with an open mind, and when you look at the results, ask, ‘Is there some kind of pattern here? What do all these options have in common?’
“Sometimes students will say, ‘I don’t see any kind of connection between any of these,’ but then we’ll point out that their results all involve helping people. Well, there are different ways of helping people. Does this student want to teach, be a doctor, nurse, advisor? There are 10 billion ways to help people, so we are here to kind of help students navigate those results,” she added.
There are several more assessment tools in addition to MyMajors that students can use to navigate their career path.
“If your ultimate goal is to attain a certain job, then it is in everyone’s best interest to help you figure out how to make that happen,” Larrea said.
Larrea said she likes to emphasize the importance of knowing what options are available to the students she works with.
“Life changes and it likes to throw curve balls at you,” she said. “Sometimes we just plan for plan A and we don’t remember the rest of the alphabet or the reason why we have to have the rest of the alphabet. You could be on plan G or plan M. But sometimes the thing you weren’t planning for turns out to be better than whatever it is that you thought you wanted to do in the first place.”
Larrea added, “Keep in mind that things can change, but we are here to help.”
For more information, contact Head at (316) 942-4291, ext. 2234, or firstname.lastname@example.org.