Focusing on one of the interviews conducted by your group, describe that individual’s journey.
Robin Gansle began her journey at A&M with plans to become a doctor. She discovered that this may not be the best path for her because of all the work that it would take. So, she changed her major to IT and minored in business. After she graduated from college, she began working for an IT company associated with American Airlines. After 9/11, the IT company lost its biggest contract (American Airlines), so Robin was let go. Her husband was then transferred to Washington D.C. where she was a stay at home mom. At the time of their move, there was a sniper in D.C. shooting and killing random citizens so Robin spent most of her time inside where she began taking photographs of her child. She was often complimented by family members and her friends about how good her photos were so she began taking family photos and portraits for them. After she realized this was something that she really loved, she began to research it more on the internet and become familiar with different techniques and soon developed her own style. Once they moved back to Texas, Robin worked towards building a reputable business by creating a more professional atmosphere and finding a studio that she could work from.
What aspects of his/her life impacted the decisions she/he made about which paths to pursue? How did the values of the person you interviewed impact the decisions he/she made?
Something Robin said impacted her to pursue IT instead of being a doctor was that the she discovered the internet for the first time. She said that instead of actually learning, she was just “googling” everything. Whenever she received her first low grade, she got scared and discouraged and quickly changed her major. Robin values family so I think that this has impacted her look for a job with flexible hours where she is able to dedicate time to her kids and still have a successful career.
Thinking about all of the interviews conducted by your group, what did you learn about the career exploration process?
I learned that career exploration is a long process full of surprises and that you don’t always end up where you expect yourself to. I can plan all that I want but that doesn’t necessarily mean that things are going to go the way that I originally plan for them to. I’ve also learned that it’s okay to not know where I’m going and that most people don’t really know where they are going to end up anyway.
What themes emerged across the interviews?
One theme that I found all of the interviewees seemed to stress was that it was okay to be undecided and the best thing you could was explore every option… especially the ones you knew nothing about. Also, another theme that was prevalent was to make connections and always network. Networking makes a huge impact on whether or not you get the job you want.
What struck you about the differences between the interviews?
I felt like all the interviews were fairly similar except for the interview with Randall Isenberg, the lawyer. The other interviewees said that they did some exploring and had often completely changed their career directions. Randall Isenberg always stuck with law and while he switched different positions he always remained in the law field. He also had always known that he was going to practice law. In contrast, Lauren wanted to be Indiana Jones so she majored in art history then decided to major in hospitality management.
How will you apply what you learned to your own process of deciding on a college major and a career to pursue? Use specific examples from the interviews to support your conclusions about the career exploration process.
Because of what I have learned, I have completely changed my whole process on deciding a major and what career to pursue. I have stopped stressing about rushing to pick a major and make a set in stone plan. Instead, I am focusing more on figuring out what major I am passionate about and then using the skills and knowledge I have gained from my major to find a career that I will excel in. For example, Robin Gansle did not get a degree in photography. She majored in IT and minored in business which has ultimately helped her run her business and do extremely well. If she had just gotten a degree in photography, she would not have the skills necessary to run a business. This puts me at ease because I now know and realize that as long as I do well in my major and truly find something that I am passionate about, then I can most likely find a career that I will love.