Major Matchmaker


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For college freshman and sophomores to assist them in the process of choosing a major

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  • The more similar you are with your work environment, the more satisfied and productive you are likely to be
  • Communications Skills (listening, verbal, written). By far, the one skill mentioned most often by employers is the ability to listen, write, and speak effectively. Successful communication is critical in business. Flexibility/Adaptability/Managing Multiple Priorities. Deals with your ability to manage multiple assignments and tasks, set priorities, and adapt to changing conditions and work assignments. Multicultural Sensitivity/Awareness. There is possibly no bigger issue in the workplace than diversity, and job-seekers must demonstrate a sensitivity and awareness to other people and cultures. Analytical/Research Skills. Deals with your ability to assess a situation, seek multiple perspectives, gather more information if necessary, and identify key issues that need to be addressed. Computer/Technical Literacy. Almost all jobs now require some basic understanding of computer hardware and software, especially word processing, spreadsheets, and email. Interpersonal Abilities. The ability to relate to your co-workers, inspire others to participate, and mitigate conflict with co-workers is essential given the amount of time spent at work each day. Leadership/Management Skills. While there is some debate about whether leadership is something people are born with, these skills deal with your ability to take charge and manage your co-workers. Planning/Organizing. Deals with your ability to design, plan, organize, and implement projects and tasks within an allotted timeframe. Also involves goal-setting. TeamworkProblem-Solving/Reasoning/Creativity. Involves the ability to find solutions to problems using your creativity, reasoning, and past experiences along with the available information and resources.
  • Major Matchmaker

    1. 1. Introductio n Major Myths Major Matchmaker I Decision Making Process Interests Career Liftoff Interpretatio n
    2. 2. Introduction •Where do you stand in the major selection process? •What have you done to contribute towards making a decision?
    4. 4. major TRUTH or major MYTH? Most students know what they want to major in when they start college MYTH Some people may have a major or career in mind when they enter college, but the majority of entering college students change their minds about majors and careers several times
    5. 5. major TRUTH or major MYTH? I have to pick one major MYTH There are several ways to combine interests in more than one major. It is possible, for example, for students to complete ‘double majors’ or complete one or more minors
    6. 6. major TRUTH or major MYTH? If I pick the right major, I will love every class MYTH It is rare to find a student who loves every class in his or her major. Don’t be discouraged too early from continuing in a major program if an introductory class isn’t the best. Review the upper level classes and talk to professors.
    7. 7. major TRUTH or major MYTH? I don’t have to be 100% certain about my major choice TRUTH While it is important to make a well-informed decision, you will never be 100% certain about your major choice, so it is best to make the ‘best choice’ for now and continue to re-evaluate that choice once you are in it
    8. 8. major TRUTH or major MYTH? I should complete all of my general education courses before starting classes for my major MYTH It is actually recommended that you try taking at least one course relating to a possible major your freshman year
    9. 9. major TRUTH or major MYTH? The major I choose will determine my career MYTH Most employers care just as much about your work-related experience and skills as they do your major. One major can actually lead to many different careers and one career can be reached through many different majors
    10. 10. major TRUTH or major MYTH? The career that is right for me now will be right for me my whole life MYTH Career planning is an ongoing, never-ending process. You will probably re-address your career plans several times during your life. The typical person entering the workforce will have 5 or 6 different occupations before he or she retires
    11. 11. major TRUTH or major MYTH? I don’t have to be “pre-med” or “pre-law” or complete a specific major to go to a professional school TRUTH While some professional schools require or recommend the completion of certain academic prerequisites, in most cases no specific major is required.
    12. 12. major TRUTH or major MYTH? Social science, humanities, and arts majors are unemployable unless you become a teacher MYTH The specific skills you develop from these academic concentrations may be more important than that particular degree. Students with these majors find meaningful work in business, research, government agencies, and various other occupations
    13. 13. Decision Making Process make one Knowing how you make decisions majors, careers interests, values, skills Knowing about your options Knowing about yourself
    14. 14. Interests What do you truly enjoy? What holds your attention? What classes have you taken that you enjoyed?
    15. 15. Career Liftoff The Doers The Thinkers The Organizers The Creators The Persuaders The Helpers
    16. 16. Homework • Choose 10 classes (total) from any majors that you are considering that look interesting and that you want to take while you are in college *UNDERGRADUATE CATALOGUE (found on • Choose 3 careers that seem the most interesting and gather more information about them.- OOH; O*NET * * • Talk to a faculty member in the major that you are most interested in OR that you have the most questions about and ask them some questions about that major • BE PREPARED TO TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED 
    17. 17. At-home exploration Major Matchmaker II Skills Resource Activity Values Decision Making Styles Action Plan
    18. 18. Discussion What did you learn by looking at the course catalogue? What did you learn while looking at careers? What did you learn from the faculty you spoke to?
    19. 19. Top Skills Employers Are Looking For Communication (listening, verbal, written) Flexibility / Adaptability / Managing Multiple Priorities Multicultural Sensitivity / Awareness Analytical / Research Computer / Technical Literacy Interpersonal Abilities Leadership / Management Planning / Organizing Teamwork Problem Solving / Reasoning / Creativity
    20. 20. Skills Exercise Think about a time you were successful… Think about a time you weren’t successful or when your performance could have been better… What do these experiences tell you about the skills you already possess & the skills that you want to develop?
    21. 21. Values Exercise •Cross out 20 values •Mark an X beside 3 more •Fill in “other” if applicable •Cross out two more •Indicate 5th value and describe below •Indicate 4th value and describe below •Indicate 3rd value and describe below •Indicate 2nd value and describe below •Indicate top value and describe below
    22. 22. Decision Making
    23. 23. Decision Making •Establishing Criteria •Process of Elimination •Pros & Cons •Random / Coincidence Methods •Intuition •Divination •Participative Decision Making •Following the expert’s opinion •Taking the most opposite action •Satisficing •Asking advice
    24. 24. Resources Activity •Identify some ways you can learn more about majors •Identify some people who you can talk to that can give you information to help in your decision making •Identify some ways to gain experience and skills
    25. 25. Action Steps ONLINE PEOPLE •What Can I Do With This Major? •Undergraduate Catalogue •O*Net •Occupational Outlook Handbook •Professional school websites •Employer websites •Career Spots (on CareerLink) •Faculty •Your advisor •Upperclassmen / Alumni •People in the field of interest •Parents, parents’ friends, friends’ parents
    26. 26. Gaining Experience… •Take some classes •Informational Interviewing •Job Shadowing •Internship & Co-op •Part-time job •Clubs & Extracurriculars •Community Involvement •Service Learning •Study Abroad
    27. 27. SelfAssessment s The Resource Center How Can ACP Help? Workshops, Networking Events, & CPS 101/301 Four Year Planning & Major Exploration Career Exploration •Career Planning Appointments •Co-ops & internships •Resume clinics •Mock Interviews
    28. 28. Stay Connected Jennifer Stout E: P: 919-760-8452
    29. 29. What’s Next? •Make a plan of action •Carry out your plan •Revise and rewrite your plan until you are ready to…
    30. 30. make your major selection
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