Students find career path through rejection, admittance

Students walk through the Tanner Building, which houses the Marriott School of Business. Some students, including Courtney Stocking, often apply for multiple business programs, leaving them with a variety of options for their collegiate career. (Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

Thirty minutes prior to the quickly-approaching acceptance deadline, Courtney Stocking found herself having to make a decision on which program she should pursue in the Marriott School of Business.

Stocking applied to human resource management, finance and experience design and management. She found herself in a difficult position when she was admitted into all of them.

“I was not set on which career path I wanted to follow for sure so I applied to all three,” Stocking said. “I was accepted into all three programs which some may see as a blessing, but for me, it increased my stress.”

Several students like Stocking face having to turn away offers after being accepted into multiple majors. Others find it a challenge to get into the program of their choice, ultimately having to choose a different path.

Stocking said she debated between the programs before deciding to pursue human resource management. While deciding, Stocking said she prayed a lot, talked to faculty and advisors and analyzed the career outlook and opportunities in each field.

“I decided on HR because I felt that after all my research and analysis, HR was a better fit to my talents and personality,” Stocking said. “I also figured that HR would allow me to enjoy my classes more and teach me many skills that would help me in many aspects of my life.”

In the future, Stocking hopes to work for the HR department of a smaller company where she can have a large impact on an organization. She advised new students to get involved with clubs and to reach out to mentors.

Scott Hacking was also admitted into two programs in the business school — accounting and information systems. He ended up accepting the offer from accounting because he did not feel like he had a solid base with computers.

“I really did not know what I wanted to do and accounting came to mind, so I took the intro class up here at BYU … and found that I did well in it and decided to go with it,” he said.

Hacking said he wondered what he would do if he did not get into either program while submitting his applications. He said if students have worked hard and have earned good grades, he thinks there is a good chance they might get in.

“A lot of my accounting professors always said that sometimes you try to go down a route and it does not end up working out,” Hacking said. “It just means that just because one door closes … there is another door open.”

While some students faced the difficulty of choosing between different majors they were accepted into, others like Austin Hébert dealt with the challenge of choosing between different schools after the door closed on their first program of choice.

Both of Hébert’s parents are accountants, which drew him into the idea of the degree at BYU. The first time he applied, he had the minimum number of requirements completed for accounting. This kept Hébert from being able to apply to multiple programs. Consequently, he was turned down for the major.

Eventually, after taking more classes, Hébert applied to finance, accounting and strategic management. He did not get into the first two but was waitlisted for the latter.

Business school student Austin Hébert was accepted into the strategic management major after a long journey of deciding which path he wanted to take in life. (Austin Hébert)

Hébert began an application for UVU, where he could pursue accounting. During this time, Hébert was accepted into the strategic management program.

Hébert found out it would take him longer to graduate in accounting at UVU than if he accepted his strategic management offer. Thus, he decided to pursue the opportunity offered by the Marriott School. Now a strategic management major, Hébert said his shift in plans has opened him up to other options he hadn’t considered yet.

“Strategy is very interesting because you kind of have to make yourself what you want to be. Since it’s not a technical-heavy skill what you have to do is … find out what you want,” Hébert said. “You have to open your eyes to new possibilities.”

Hébert said God has provided this opportunity of being in the strategic management program for him so he could learn, grow and see a better path for himself.

“College is kind of jumping through hoops. Sometimes you get conceptual or golden nuggets here and there … but sometimes it is just a lot of sifting,” Hébert said. “People that go the farthest are the ones that teach themselves.”

Hébert advised students who are struggling to get a degree and to prove themselves through their skillset. He also encourages them to build their own connections and network.

“Be confident in yourself. Everyone here who got into BYU is a genius, so they all have the potential to be amazing at whatever they apply themselves to,” Hébert said. “People do not always use a degree for what you think in the real field.”

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