Written by Natalie Beene, MSU Student Affairs in Higher Education Graduate Student and Career Center Practicum Student
Coming to college without a solid decision on what a student might want to major in can be a massive stressor for college students. This stress might be caused by a few different reasons. One reason might be students are putting pressure on themselves to make a decision. It could also be their family who wants them to decide sooner rather than later. Additionally, students could feel left out if friends around them have made have already chosen their major.
IDS 120: Exploring Majors and Careers
Missouri State University works to support students by providing many helpful resources to assist them with deciding on a major. One way in which the Career Center specifically plays a major role is by offering a class called IDS 120: Exploring Majors and Careers. IDS itself stands for Interdisciplinary Studies. Interdisciplinary courses are described as resources to help students with learning processes and to provide support for students’ strengths and unique experiences. IDS 120 specifically helps students focus on career preparation and exploration, especially if they are unsure of what they might want to do in college or as a future career pathway. Having the resources of this class can help students gain perspective for deciding a major or career pathway.
This semester I have had the unique opportunity as a practicum student in the Career Center to engage with students and co-teach a section of IDS 120. As a rising student affairs professional who enjoys helping students, I had never had the opportunity to assist in a class before or create content ideas and facilitate activities. Having this experience to draw from in the future is something I really appreciate. I like to help students solve problems, and this experience has allowed me to do that. I have also enjoyed having face-to-face interaction with the students because during COVID-19 in-person classroom time was very limited.
Gaining the opportunity to assist students in a classroom environment has been an invaluable experience. In addition to helping the students, I have been able to use what I have been learning in the classroom to practice my own career readiness skills. IDS 120 has taught me to learn from students’ experiences to help myself. If the students have a concern, I can reflect on my own journey. Just last year I was an undergraduate student, so I was in their place not too long ago. It brings to my attention the importance of lifelong learning and how we never stop learning from each other. To students who are still searching for what they want to do, if you can take IDS 120, I recommend it. Not only because you will gain many professional skills, but it will also give you a leg up in your future job search process.