THE FOWLER COORDINATOR BLOG: Finding your career path as a transfer

Finding your career path as a transfer
By: Connor Johnson

Transferring into the School of Business can be an intimidating experience. Not only do you have to adjust to new classes, new professors and an entirely new GWork system (as well as the approval process that comes with it), you also have to decide what career path to pursue. Unless you were previously an economics major, you most likely did not consider a career in a field like finance or accounting or marketing before coming to college. It can be overwhelming trying to decide, which is only compounded by the knowledge that you don’t even have the full four years of the typical college experience to figure it out.

As a transfer from the Elliott School of International Affairs, this was my experience during the Fall 2015 semester. I knew the classes I was taking in Elliott, although very interesting, were just not the right fit for me. That, combined with my experience rushing and pledging Alpha Kappa Psi, one of the professional business fraternities on campus, was enough to help me realize that business was a good fit. Once I was enrolled in my business courses, however, I quickly realized I had only a vague notion of what discipline in which I wanted to concentrate and eventually work. Finance had been my initial target and ultimately the right choice for me, but I was still left wondering how I would make my decision. Luckily, there are many resources available that can help you reach that decision.

First and foremost, make sure you make full use of the career coaches! Not only are they trained in all aspects of the career search process including career exploration, but can also provide you with an inventory of GW resources to assist you. One of these resources is the Strong Interest Inventory (SII), which I’ve had the pleasure of using myself. The SII is similar to the online quizzes that claim to help you discover your future career, but with roughly 10 times as many questions and an in-depth report at the end. Your career coaches will help you understand this report, and the information contained within will be invaluable in the career exploration process.

Other methods include informational interviews with industry professionals, going to information sessions and career fairs, and even speaking to your fellow students. However, what’s important to remember in your career search is that the emphasis is on your career, not your major. Although majoring in the field you eventually want to work in can be very beneficial, your studies do not define your career. In my own career search, I’ve met insurance executives who were marketing majors, graphic designers who studied economics, and even underwriters who were English majors. The important thing to focus on is what interests you, and then move on from there. As long as you keep that in mind, you’ll find your calling wherever it may lie.