Solidifying Ambitions

By: Yahya Khan
Class of 2014, Majoring in Accounting
Peer for Career
I came to college with a very vague definition of what I wanted to do and how I was going to go about it. I wanted to major in a “business” subject and get a “good” job when I graduated. I chose this path because it seemed to offer the perception of stability and perhaps, better career prospects.

Though I had no concrete idea about what I wanted to do or which particular career path I wanted to follow. Many of my peers had similar aspirations about being successful and finding the right career path without actually having set goals or a clear direction about what they wanted to do.

We were told by many, including career counselors, friends, and parents that this was normal, that it was fine to not have our lives all planned out. And I accepted this explanation without even thinking about it. Looking back I wish I thought about it more.

It is perfectly fine to not know what you want to do or how exactly to do it, as long as you are actively searching for those answers.

Yet rather than actively looking for these answers and going out of my comfort zone to find them, I made the mistake of taking things lightly and hoping that I would come to some magical realization. I should have reached out to people more experienced than me, contacted professionals from the prospective fields I was considering and basically put in more time and effort to get to know myself and what I wanted to do.

For a long time, I focused just on my studies and participated in campus activities without a clear sense of purpose. Slowly however, the realization dawned on me that time was slipping away.

I realized that in order to attain something, I had to make some very specific goals and implement a strategy to achieve my chosen goals. I became a lot more motivated and started focusing on my career choices and what they offered me and what I offered in return. Once I started the process, the details fell into place and I started to see some of the fruits of my labor.

I interned over the summer at a large public accounting firm. My experiences there, while providing me with a host of answers about career prospects and expectations, gave birth to just as many more questions.

The point that I am trying to make is that I had an unrealistic view of how a career and/or a job would play out. It is very important to put yourself out there and to obtain as much information as possible.

Each experience that I have had has allowed me to judge my own skills set and inclinations better and hopefully, make informed decisions about the next step.

Too many of us delay the process, waiting for senior year or perhaps just for that weekend around the corner; the time is now to search and to learn because the process is long and arduous and the implications, dramatic.
The career choice we make will have an effect for a long time and therefore, it is essential that we do so with as much knowledge and insight as possible to pave the way for a satisfying and successful career.