Wednesday, November 13, 2019

What Strikes a Chord with You?

When I think back to my “beginning,” I think of that quintessential question that we’ve been asked since we were old enough to formulate an answer… “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Me? An astronaut! Then a baseball player. Then a chef. What I never said, though, was “I want to work in External Relations in a university’s Career Center!” That wasn’t exactly top-of-mind for a 5 year old. Nor, was it, for an 18-year-old just starting college – no, at that point in my life, I wanted to be in the music business.

When I started classes, however, I quickly found that though I loved playing music, I didn’t
necessarily love studying it. I had never thought that there could have been a difference; it was always my understanding that if you love doing something, you should love learning about it! It wasn’t until I sat down with an advisor that I started to think less about focusing my studies on my interests and more about figuring out how my interests could complement my studies. When I started to look with this new lens, I saw that I was loving my first semester Psychology class, and I had joined an a cappella singing group to keep music in my life. Fast-forward to my last semester, and I was music director of that a cappella group, and a Psychology major finishing up my capstone research project on how certain genres of music can affect a jury’s evaluation of a case – the perfect meshing of my academic and extra-curricular interests! When I started graduate school here at Hofstra, and ultimately found myself working full-time in The Career Center, I kept arranging music to keep my skills sharp, finding a side-hustle along the way.

College is absolutely a time to try new things, but it’s also a time to think about the ways in which your already established interests can serve you as you move through this important part of your life. You may stay on the same path, go in a completely different direction, or find some way to meld in the middle – what matters is that you took the time to try each path out, reflect on the experience, and decide whether that path suits you.

Amy Smith
Associate Director of External Relations

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