Advisors help in major decisions

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    By Allison Jones

    For some BYU students, choosing a major is like picking from a grab-bag.

    The Open Major Advisement Center, a branch of the Counseling and Career Center, offers students assistance with finding a major that will suit their academic and career goals.

    “When I started school, I felt totally lost as far as what classes I should take and what major would make me happiest,” said Michael Green, 21, a sophomore majoring in international studies from Phoenix.

    Open-Major Advisement has several resources to help students choose a major compatible with their goals.

    Advisors assist students with registration, scheduling, understanding general education requirements and providing information about careers.

    Students may also participate in academic workshops or take interest tests.

    Students meet one-on-one with an advisor to discuss the best academic programs to meet their chosen career goals.

    “My advisor and I talked about my likes and dislikes and found some options that will help me earn a degree in something I like,” Green said.

    Before choosing a major, students need to evaluate their goals and interests.

    “I had to figure out what I wanted out of college and what I want to do once I graduated before I could decide on what to study,” said Sara Morris, 20, a sophomore majoring in recreation management, from Seattle.

    Morris said she looked at several majors, comparing class requirements with her own interests and skills before declaring her major.

    Finding a major you like and sticking with it is important, but a major is only one factor in determining your future career, said Nick Richards, 23, a junior studying biology from Provo.

    Richards said he realized the experiences and skills associated with a major are more important than a major itself.

    Realistically, a company won’t look at your transcript and hire you simply because of your major, Richards said.

    “The acquired skills, knowledge and experiences also play a big role in being hired,” Richards said.

    Choosing a major is a process rather than a quick decision.

    Randi Anderson, 18, a freshman from Palo Alto, Calif. is still deciding on a major.

    “I came to school with an idea of what I wanted to major in, but changed my mind after learning of all my options,” Anderson said.

    Anderson said it takes more than flipping through the class catalog to find the right major.

    “I’ve talked to advisors from different departments and have visited a lot of Web sites, and I’m still looking,” Anderson said.

    Advisors recommend that students choose a major by the beginning of their sophomore year to insure timely graduation.

    For more information on the Open Major Advisement Center, visit 2500 WSC or call 378-3826.

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