Recently, I had the chance to speak with one of my favorite professors, a retired Lieutenant General from the US Army. General Van Alstyne, or General as I like to call him, is one of the most well respected professors in Mays Business School at Texas A&M. He has 36 years of service as an active duty officer under his belt, and served as the Commandant of the Corp of Cadets at A&M for 7 years. With a background as impressive as that, I was easily intimidated.
However, after getting to know General, I am thankful for how much of a mentor he has become to me. I took his Work-Life Competencies course over a year ago and still keep up with him regularly, because his wisdom has taught me so much more than a textbook ever could.
I’m a Business Honors major at Texas A&M, but I want to pursue a career in the entertainment industry post graduation. It wasn’t until last week that I stopped kicking myself for that, and this week I encourage you to do the same.
I went to see General to follow up with him about a conversation we had had a while back. I was feeling discouraged and out of place because my dreams and career path didn’t seem to measure up to those around me. I had never really expressed any of that, and when I did it hit me hard. He called me into his office and said, “Joanna, you’ve got to stop apologizing for what you want to do. Music is honorable work. What you want to do is honorable.”
It took someone of his stature to tell me that what I wanted to do was okay- to silence the voices telling me that my passion was inadequate. Don’t let that happen to you. If you want to work in the fashion industry, but you chose to major in Economics, don’t let that kill your dream. So many areas of study overlap, and with an Economics degree you will be able to easily determine the length of fads, or how much you’d need to purchase from a buyer for next season.
I don’t exactly fit into the mold in the business school, and that’s okay. Most of my colleagues hope to become accountants, lawyers or investment bankers. I want to expose people to new music through different forms of visual media, and that’s just as noteworthy.
My point is YOU aren’t your major, so don’t let it confine you. Sure it’s something you’re interested in but it’s probably not the only thing you’re interested in, so don’t let that hold you back. Apply for jobs and internships in all sorts of industries so you can figure out where you fit best. Don’t limit yourself now, and you’ll thank yourself later.
This post was written by Campus Ambassador, Joanna Starling from Texas A&M