Feeling stressed about not having it all figured out?
Below, two former participants share their personal perspectives on what they gained from participating in Endeavor and how they have utilized what they learned.
Endeavor is a three-day career exploration program that brings together sophomores pursuing degrees in the liberal arts with alumni, faculty, and friends. Through lively conversations, hands-on activities, and career treks into Boston, participating students will explore, reflect, and learn how to act on their career interests and goals, while connecting the value of their liberal arts education to their future. Registration is open to Sophomore MCAS and Lynch Applied Psychology majors. Register today to reserve your spot: bc.edu/endeavor
Participating in Endeavor is just one way the Career Center can help you start putting the pieces together.
What did you gain from participating in Endeavor?
Endeavor has given me so much confidence in pursuing a career post-college. From my freshman to sophomore year, my career goals changed drastically. As an Applied Psychology and Human Development major in the Lynch School of Education, I entered college thinking that I want to pursue educational advocacy and social policy, but after taking some courses in that area, I realized this is not what I want to do. Now, I feel confident that I want to work in human resources, which is more business related. Because of this, I felt like I had to make an effort to take lots of business classes in order to be able to compete with students in business schools for future internships and job opportunities. During Endeavor, I learned that being a liberal arts major is just as valuable as being a business major, and in some cases, even more valuable. I realized that my skill-set that I am gaining from my two liberal arts majors is providing me with many valuable tools that will attract prospective employers. Immediately after Endeavor ended,I dropped the business classes I was trying so desperately to fit into my schedule, and registered for classes that both fit better with my schedule and were more of interest to me.
Going into Endeavor, I was feeling a tremendous amount of self-pressure to formalize a career path. I had spent the previous year and a half perfecting my resume and participating in extracurriculars that would give me a competitive background in marketing—what I thought I was going to pursue. However, during winter break I realized that my true passion was Finance/Accounting. As a result, I was anxious that I had wasted time building an unusable resume and was considering leaving BC—my dream school—because I felt uncomfortable paying such a large amount of money and graduating without a degree in my desired field.
Endeavor was a truly significant experience for me because, as a “numbers person,” I expected the line from my education to my career to be clear-cut. By meeting alumni who were in fields separate from what they majored in, particularly some who were in Finance without Finance degrees, I realized that my experience at BC is more about forming relationships and developing skills than following set criteria into a career in Finance. Furthermore, I knew that going into Finance/Accounting was the right career choice for me, but these feelings were based on personal interest, assessment, and a career book I picked up from Barnes & Noble. Endeavor’s emphasis on identifying skills and talents and matching them up with feasible careers proved that the careers I was interested in were good ones for me to be pursuing. This not only confirmed my belief that I should pursue Finance/Accounting, but it excited me because I no longer felt the disorganization of my life, education, and career that I had felt before this experience.
In addition, one of my alumni/career coaches worked in finance and studied at an institution abroad that I am very interested in, so having him as a resource and being able to ask him questions as someone who experienced these things first-hand, provided far more answers than any website ever could. I was able to learn about the value behind studying abroad and what the day-to-day operations consisted of at that particular institution; by learning all of this, it really solidified my interest in studying abroad at that institution, and made me jumpstart the application process. So even having a personal connection like that, not necessarily related to liberal arts education or my career, was something I never could have expected Endeavor would provide me with.
How have you utilized what you learned so far?
One of the biggest ways I have utilized the knowledge I learned at Endeavor is through networking. In my Organizational Behavior class, my professor, who during the day works as a marketing and sales strategist for Staples, often brings in coworkers for panels about business, leadership, and other topics we learn about. Interacting with professionals at Endeavor has given me the confidence to be able to approach these panel members and be able to start conversations about both what they spoke about and my own professional interests and goals. In particular, because of my newfound confidence, I have established a relationship with the associate director of Human Resources at Ernst and Young, who has taken on a role of mentorship for me. I am working with her to possibly intern in their Human Resources department, despite the fact that there are no advertised intern positions in that area.
Endeavor has provided me with wonderful resources in my peers and BC alumni, as well as services that the Career Center offers. As I mentioned in the question above, I was unsure about how I could enter into Finance or Accounting without a degree in either field. My Career Center liaison was able to show us the tool on the Career Center website that allows you to see what companies and fields recent alumni work for/in based on what they studied. Not only was I able to find numerous examples of A&S Economics majors in Finance, but a few had gone into Accounting as well! Again, this increased my confidence that I could eventually fall into a profession I was passionate about without having to leave this amazing school.
Furthermore, Endeavor has given me the confidence to approach alumni or established members of an organization and ask questions. As much as it was outside my comfort zone, the networking event gave me great exposure to learning to ask questions and ask for advice from people with valuable experiences. I have used this newfound comfort to reach out to alumni who I am interested in learning from. For example, I have begun to research BC alumni on LinkedIn who work in Accounting or in Financial Services in order to gain insight on what it’s like to enter these fields. Additionally, in my Management class we had to do a project on ethical behavior in corporations. Because of my connections established through Endeavor, my group and I centered the project on the company of my Endeavor coach and he was able to provide us with contacts for our interviews and research.