My Undergraduate Experience with Major Exploration
I’ve talked to many students lately who are interested in major exploration but don’t really know how to start. I was like that myself…I was declared into 4 majors in 4 years. I explored by taking classes in other majors – that gave me some information, but it was certainly expensive and time consuming! I explored through observation – I watched individuals in the careers that I was considering, took notes on what they did, and personally reflected on how I might respond to their situations. I explored through interviewing – I talked with professionals and professors to get a feel for the types of majors and careers that existed and might fit with my skills and values. It took me a long time to do this. It was a process of trial and error. I didn’t have a program or a point of reference that could help me to understand what I should do to effectively explore.
How Can Texas Tech Help with Major Exploration?
You guys are lucky…University Advising can serve as that point of reference for you. The Discovery! Program is all about identifying the steps for major exploration that work best for you. We recognize that every student is different; we know that you are each in a different place in understanding yourselves and what you want in your life. In response to that, we’ve created Discovery! to help each of you create flexible action plans for your individual exploration.
But what exactly does that mean?
Discovery! includes 4 components:
This entails understanding who you are. We encourage the use of personality assessments to help you think through your skills, interests, and values. In particular, we love the Holland Code!
In the second component, you should further your thinking regarding how your Exploration results pair with potential majors and careers. This means understanding what majors Texas Tech offers. This means determining what you can do with those majors and how they can help you to reach your goals. In some cases it may be better to think backwards, focusing first on careers and then considering what majors are needed to get you to a specific end goal.
The third portion of Discovery! asks you to use the knowledge gained through Exploration and Research and point it toward the real-world. We want you to make what you’ve learned real, thus enhancing its value. We suggest interviews with professionals in the fields you’re considering. Job shadowing and internships are excellent opportunities. Getting involved with Undergraduate Research or considering Study Abroad are additional options.
The fourth Discovery! step may seem simple, but is certainly the most difficult. In Confirmation you reflect on what you’ve learned to say “yes” or “no” to a major. If it’s “yes,” then we help you determine the steps to declare. If it’s “no,” then you start the process again, but this time with more information in hand.
What Do You Do Next?
So…now you know how it works, come see us at University Advising. We can help you create your Action Plan and refer you to resources to make your exploration possible.
AND don’t forget to check out Facebook and Twitter for Clue #2! Share your Scavenger Hunt pictures using #Discovery for a chance to win some great prizes!