When students don't know what to do with their major

So what do you want to do?

In reading about education, admissions and jobs, I’ve noticed what I’d consider an overuse of the word “passion.” It has become a marketing buzzword — along with “brand” and “narrative” — that newly minted college grads have absorbed and now use to explain their interest in, say, accounting, volunteering or watching foreign movies.

This piece by University of Maryland – Baltimore County career services director Anne Scholl-Fiedler in the Wall Street Journal, however, made me realize that many students haven’t yet gotten with the program:

Students frequently ask me, “What can I do with my major in….?” I in turn ask them, “What do you want to do?” My question is then typically answered with some kind of “job title” or abstract function. There usually is not a lot of enthusiasm behind the answer and I am not convinced. And if I am not convinced, then a potential networking contact or employer won’t be either.

How do you become convincing or even convince yourself of what you want to do to make a contribution to the workplace and the world as a whole?