Read how former ASUSF President Shaya Kara continues to use her study of Philosophy (along with Psychology not mentioned) to be a change agent in the world. Shaya said about choosing Philosophy, “I was astounded by how these two parts of my life [ASUSF and Philosophy] consistently compared to one another…there were several times that I used my philosophy background to assess and conceptualize how a university policy or system wasn’t doing what the students needed from it.”
Read why Public Relations Account Coordinator Amelia Remeta loved her Environmental Studies major because she… “met some of the greatest people in this program. My classmates felt more like family because the major is so small — we had all of our classes together and grew very close-knit over the course of four years. We camped together, gardened together, ate together, sat around campfires.”
Read about Keyaira Lock, a former Sociology major and Esther Madriz Diversity Scholar who uses her job as a University Recruiter for Twitter to increase representation of women and underrepresented minorities in tech. She says, “One of the best gifts the sociology program has given me is a deep-rooted community of family, friends, and mentors.”
Title: Career Counselor
Company / Department: USF Career Services Center
Major(s), Minor(s), Program(s):
Bachelor of Science in Public Policy with concentration in Public Governance, Minor in Urban Education; Master of Education in College Student Affairs Administration
Previous Major(s), Minor(s), Program(s):
Psychology, Graphic Design and Early Childhood Education
What attracted you to your initial major(s) and minor(s)?
I always knew I wanted to help people, but couldn’t decide on how to help people. I wanted to keep it broad so I chose Psychology, hoping to learn more about behavior and motivation.
What inspired you to change program(s)?
I was struggling through the readings and assignments in the INTRO to psych class, so I thought maybe I made a bad choice. Plus, I was really bored!
Reflecting on my artistic skills and background in performing arts, I concluded that a creative job would suit me best. Since there was (and still is) a big push for people building technical skills and working with computers, I convinced myself that graphic design would be the best fit. Then, I got scared of the freelancing world, so I bailed and went back to thinking about jobs dedicated to helping people.
During high school, I had worked at daycares and helped with young children at my church, so I quickly switched to Early Childhood Education. Emphasis on quickly. I barely did research and didn’t talk to any teachers, alumni or current students. A year into my program, I was assigned several observations and projects in the field. I realized that spending 8 hours with them, managing their behaviors, disciplining them, and keeping them focused on subjects that also bored me was not my cup of tea!
However, I was concerned about the teachers doing this really challenging work and how little they got paid. I finally switched over to Public Policy, hoping to learn more about the Education in the US and advocating for teachers in my community.
What did you like best about your major(s) and minor(s)?
Public policy was perfect for me! I was sitting in class with like-minded people: those who wanted to serve their communities, help people, and make big changes in the world. All the assignments and projects were based on real-world problems, which was great for a pragmatic person like myself. I also enjoyed writing professional memos because they challenged me to write concisely (we had a one-page limit).
My minor in Urban Education was great for staying connected to my interest in the education sector. Plus, it also helped me get internships in nonprofits that support K-12 students!
What was most challenging about your major(s) and minor(s)?
I think explaining my major to my mom was the most challenging aspect of my job. I speak Korean fluently, and my mom understands some English, but a). I couldn’t figure out how to say Public Policy without it sounding like I’m only interested in public service, and b). I didn’t choose a career path yet, so she was confused as to why I was getting this degree.
How did your major(s) and minor(s) prepare you for your career?
I’m a big picture thinker, so I pay attention to the policies on campus and how they may impact students on campus. I think it’s been helpful for me in my appointments with students to be aware of what their experiences are.
What resources helped you with your exploration journey?
Definitely our career center, my student organization and the guest speakers they invited, the leadership experience I had as a board member for a club, and the Internet! I used websites like Onetonline.org and 16personalities to figure out what to do with myself.
What advice do you have for students exploring majors?
Stay open-minded. You are going to meet new people, learn about new occupations, build new skills, and discover new interests! Don’t fear the changes and be open-minded to all the things that are coming your way. Also, go to the Career Services Center 🙂
Read about Grace Berg, English and Critical Diversity Studies major, a campus leader who was featured in USF Magazine speaking about her motivation to graduate from college and fulfill the dreams of her father who was unable to finish high school or go to college.
Major(s), Minor(s), Program(s): Communication Studies, Minor in Public Relations
Previous Major (s), Minor(s), Program(s): None
What attracted you to your initial major(s) and minor(s)?:
Communication Studies is very versatile, and I’m an adaptable person. Thus, I think COMS studies was perfect for me!
What inspired you to change programs?:
What do you like best about your current major(s) and minor(s)?:
The fact I can do pretty much anything in any field with COMS.
What is most challenging about your current major(s) and minor(s)?:
Narrowing down what I want to do after I graduate with a COMS degree.
What sort of internship and career opportunities have you explored?:
Marketing and Special Events.
What sort of extracurricular activities have your participated in?:
What resources helped you with your exploration journey?:
Career services, LinkedIn, Networking events.
What advice do you have for students exploring majors?
Find something that you’re passionate about and find a career in it.
Check out this story from USF Magazine about USF Alum Kevin Mullins who started off Undeclared Arts and graduated with a Communication Studies major and Mass Media Studies minor (similar to Media Studies today) before becoming a state lawmaker for San Mateo County!
Watch this Video from the University of San Francisco Youtube account sharing what Alisha Alverez, Communication Studies major enjoys about the program.