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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim, Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Discerning a career path

Discerning a career path

Sometimes not knowing is okay

Now, if you were able to wrap your head around how many times I’ve shared with you that I’ve altered my major (seven), you can only imagine how many times I’ve changed my mind on want I want to be when I grow up (many more than seven). When I was four I dreamed of being a veterinarian, an interior designer, journalist, event planner and many of these careers back again. Then I came to Saint Joseph’s University and wiped all of those out with a business degree. My current major, Leadership, Ethics, and Organizational Sustainability (LEO), has taught me an unbelievable lesson.

I absolutely loved my major during my junior year and was thrilled with the coursework, and was feeling ignited by the tools I was taking from my classes. But for the first time, when I thought about what I wanted to be when I grew up, I didn’t have an answer. And I fully, completely and wholeheartedly freaked out. This is when I was supposed to be making decisions, figuring out internships that would pave way to my career – how could I not know?

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, it is a great move to get to know your adviser. Not only are they helpful with class scheduling, internships and the like, but when you are totally freaking out, you can almost always count on being able to sit down across from him or her, babble a million miles a minute about how confused, stressed, concerned and freaked you are, and know they will be there to listen and provide feedback. I think that I am definitely biased here, but Team LEO, is one lucky group of people because Ronald Dufresne, Ph. D., associate professor of management, truly has our back.

The minute that I quieted my worries about my career having to be dependent on this decision, Dr. Dufrense helped me consider quite the missing thought – “Alli, it sounds to me like you’re trying to make a plan for the 50-year-old you,” he said. “In focusing on a plan for that version of yourself, you risk missing out on peripheral opportunities that may come and how you will change along the way. I think it’s much better to start today with a trajectory and make a plan for two-years-from-now-Alli, and maybe even the five-years-from-now Alli, but know that you can figure out the rest of the plan from there.”

I’ve noted a few times how lucky I am to be surrounded by the most incredible, inspiring and growth-intentional human beings, and he is, in this instance, absolutely a perfect example of that. The funny thing is, that while I’m trying not to jump the gun too much here, I would really like to be a lot like Dufresne when I grow up.

Building on his advice, though, consider this. Let’s make decisions that work for us now, that help us grow and keep us feeling fulfilled. Because the beautiful thing is that the second those feelings stop, our human resilience will drive us to something even greater. And that’s how you’ll know (and love) what you want to be when you grow up.

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