Picking a major is an exciting part of your college career! It is one of the first big decisions you make when getting to school. Some students know exactly what they will major in when applying to college whereas others want to explore a variety of departments before choosing.
While attending the Fall Career Fair my junior year, I noticed myself gravitating toward all the employer booths in the retail industry. I decided after leaving the fair I wanted (and needed) to learn more about the industry–not only to prepare for future interviews with these employers but also to gain a more comprehensive view of the industry.
Why Mind Map
A mind map is a graphical way to represent ideas and concepts and takes brainstorming to the next level. It is visual thinking tool that helps structure information to better analyze, understand, synthesize, recall and generate new ideas. In a mind map, information is structured in a way that mimics more closely how your brain actually works.
Brainstorming (individually or in groups)
Studying and memorization
Gaining insight on complex subjects
As a first-year student, I’m sure you have heard something about the Career Center. Whether it was the orientation video that was shared with you, the student panels you attended during orientation week, or buzz around the Career Center Kickoff which occurred during Weeks of Welcome.
First years did you know that the Career Center has a program exclusively for you called Fyrst Contact? Well, we do, and it is an amazing program. This program connects first-year students with companies and employers who are interested in engaging with first years. Fyrst Contact is offered virtually and it is more of an information session versus a recruitment session. Keep in mind, some of the companies who participate are looking for interns and will provide that information during the session.
You can view and register for these sessions through CareerConnections.
Congratulations on getting to the end of your first year at Duke! You are in the home stretch of finishing your classes and moving on to your summer plans. This is a great time to reflect on what you learned about yourself and to think about what you hope to accomplish next year. Here is our best advice on setting yourself up for success in your sophomore year.
Questions to ask yourself
• If I were to choose a major at this moment, what would it be and why?
• What skills do I want to learn in order to prepare for a career?
• If I could do one thing for free, what would it be?
• What can I see myself doing for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week?
• What are the positive/negative sides of choosing this major?
• What jobs/hobbies/extracurricular activities have I enjoyed the most so far?
• How would I spend my time if money didn’t matter?
• What are my goals at Duke? What are my goals in my career and life? How can they coexist?
• What is my gut telling me regarding major choice?
• Have I talked to anyone in the majors I am considering?
• Have I met a Duke alum yet, and asked them what they studied?
• Have I looked at Duke alumni on LinkedIn and/or Duke Alumni Directory to see their majors and different positions?
• What interests do I want to explore?
• Are there any problems I would like to address or solve? How might what I study factor in to my ability to tackle those problems?
• What have I been successful in so far? (You can measure this success by coursework you’ve taken, organizations you’ve founded or been a part of, athletics, or by utilizing a particular skillset.)
• What subjects do I like the most? Do these subjects come naturally to me?
Questions to ask departments or advisors
• Does this major allow for research, study abroad, and/or internships/fellowships?
• Why do students select this major?
• What are the implications of majoring in this subject versus minoring in it?
• How much flexibility does this major have? (Consider those college/life/career goals)
• What are the specific course requirements for this major?
• Are there scholarships/funding available specifically for students in this major?
• What skills will this major help me develop?
• What kinds of jobs do students with this major typically pursue?
• Is graduate school usually required to work in the fields associated with this major?