There is something liberating about the Arts and Sciences. Perhaps it is because these subjects are often passion driven and a decision to study any of them can be a cathartic response to naysayers who will ask, “What are you going to pursue with that degree?”. Or maybe it is because these subjects intrinsically promote critical thinking and communication traits that are vital for education and civic participation. Whatever it is, the Arts and Sciences is a field that is and will always be valuable.
The students at the STARR Career Development Center’s Arts and Sciences Career Panel demonstrated an eagerness to listen and learn. This eagerness is common among many college students, especially seniors who are probably thinking, ‘I almost have the degree, now what?’. It was no surprise then that the first question the moderator asked was, ‘What can you do with an Arts and Sciences degree?’. A resounding anything was the response from panelists Bryan Garcia of New York Needs You, Andrea Mele of Enterprise Holdings, Adriana Nova of VaynerMedia, Jonathan Jean-Pierre of Facebook, Mutiara Williams of Target, and Robert Pauley III of Citigroup and former employee of J.P. Morgan Chase.
As a communication student, I have worked in disparate industries that have all bolstered my career. My passion for words and images have transferred to creating video campaigns in the sports industry; my passion for representational and appropriate messaging has led to the creation of a children’s exhibition and my passion for authentic messaging and inclusion has led to my involvement with international bodies such as the United Nations and the World Bank.
The promotion of passion as an additional guide for your career is very good advice. I was particularly happy that the panelists went beyond identifying passion and encouraged students to embrace it and transfer that passion to enhance their careers. Embracing one’s passion can be a painful process of honing and applying it. Adriana Nova of VaynerMedia told the students, “You don’t have to know what you want to do but you should know what you love and embrace your passion”.
Identifying your passion does not mean locking yourself in a box. Think about the transferability of your passion to real life situations. One of the panelists, Robert Pauley III who I dubbed the poster boy for turning a passion into a career, went from being a History major at Baruch College to an Associate at J.P. Morgan in the Corporate and Investment Bank to a Business Consultant at Citigroup, Inc.. Pauley III advised students to “follow what they are good in and transfer it to what they want to do.” He went even further encouraging students to “know themselves, their strengths, what they have to offer, have the ability to step out of their comfort zone, and have a plan and keep learning.”
The panelists also encouraged the students to learn new skills, be flexible and practice thinking on their feet. This is important because these are qualities companies are looking for in new hires. Jonathan Jean-Pierre of Facebook spoke about the importance of networking and mentioned, “Students have to get up and meet people, have the ability to hold a conversation and find commonality between themselves and others.”
The Arts and Sciences Career Panel signaled the end of the SCDC’s Spring 2014 Career Weeks Series. The discussions were lively and the speakers were exceptional. Throughout the Series, students had the opportunity to network, and they acquired valuable knowledge which they can apply to their job search. I am sure many of the students left feeling reenergized and encouraged. I know I did.
SCDC Correspondent: Meeckel Beecher, Marketing Communications Specialist
Meeckel is a Corporate Communication graduate student at Baruch College. His professional interest is in Reputation Management, Strategic Communication and Visual Communication. Meeckel is an avid reader, writer and lifelong learner. When not working, you will find him walking and happily getting lost on the streets of New York.