A dose of career advice from Director of Career Services, Laura Pell

Written by Hannah Cargill ’20; Editorial assistance by Nina Mastandrea

There is no doubt that adjusting to college life is difficult. With parents farther away and a newfound freedom, guidance can seem hard to find. 

Many students face challenges staying motivated throughout their education, while perhaps pursuing a degree they have come to dislike.

We feel pressured by others and by ourselves to make a game plan and stick with it regardless of the variables along the way.

People seem to always ask, “what are you intending to do with that degree?” As newly distinguished adults, we feel the need to give a strong answer.

Thankfully, Laura Pell, the Director of Career Services, is here to help.

Pell advises new students to use the first semester to settle in. You may start college without a clue about your future and that is normal, she says.

“Spend those first few weeks trying new things and take the pressure off yourself,” she adds.

Even if you have already declared a major, remember, it can always be changed or adjusted, Pell explains. Setting a goal and choosing a career for yourself takes patience, exploration, and above all else, getting to know yourself. It’s going to take time!

Pell’s goal is to help students narrow down careers by helping individuals discover themselves on a deeper level. Through connections with businesses in local and surrounding regions, Pell is a great resource for introducing students with valuable contacts.

She also advises getting to know the human resources on campus. What do I mean by that? Talk to your professors, advisors and other leaders on campus. They are in the position that they are because they have had experience in the field.

Pell also encourages students to discover what their values are.

Do you want to make a lot of money?
Will helping people ultimately satisfy you?
What is a field of interest you’re passionate about?

Get to know yourself with the hard, but honest, questions. Explore the many opportunities Lees-McRae offers and narrow down your options by first ruling out what you don't want to do and go from there. Career Services can even help open your eyes to relevant career options you may not have realized apply to your field of study.

The ultimate thing to think about when choosing a major, as well as thinking about the future after graduation, is to consider what makes you happy. It is important to know what’s best for you and your lifestyle. 

Real world connections are waiting for you to reach out and discover. The earlier you start career planning, the easier your transition will be to the career field after graduation. 

Explore Career Services and how to schedule an appointment here >>

By Hannah Cargill ’20February 27, 2018
AcademicsCampus LifeAlumni