The School of Opportunity from a Student's Perspective
Finding the right major is not an easy decision. I came to Eastern Kentucky University with a full ROTC scholarship to study homeland security. After a few months, I realized it was not what I wanted to pursue and decided to swap my plans of being in the CIA for a career cleaning up after chimpanzees. I changed my major from homeland security to biology to pursue zoology. I wanted to be able to work alongside animals, doing what I loved, for the ultimate intrinsic motivation. Despite my strong passion for animals, the power of organic chemistry, quickly made me reassess. The courses began to add up, and so did the stress of being a working, first generation student in a new town. I was feeling burnt out and lost.
During the uncertainty, a path began forming. I decided to transition to a business administration degree. At first, I figured this would be an easy and versatile major that I could acquire to not waste anymore time or money. I knew that having a business degree was useful in many areas professionally and I wanted to get school over with. It soon became apparent that business would not be the easy path many claimed it was. When faced with finance, accounting, and computer information systems, I realized this too, would be a difficult fight. Something about this major was different, despite the difficulty. It started with economics and the fascinating concepts like the Phillips curve and specialization. I was intrigued by the real-world applications that came from this subject.
Soon after discovering economics, I was introduced to management. I was mostly drawn to organizational behavior. This aspect of management attracted me because it was a type of psychology that I could relate to. Every study that was discussed in class, I could relate to something that happened in my own workplace. The studies were fascinating, and it motivated me to do my own research and come up with my own questions. After taking a few management courses, I knew I had found a career path for myself. The professors at EKU helped me develop myself professionally and helped me formulate the mindset I needed to be inquisitive, professional, and understanding.
The professors helped mold my ability to think critically, but they did it by making me realize that all science is a way of thinking. I did not just learn the five functions of a manager; I was taught how to think like an innovative manager. This mindset became applicable to my whole life. I was able to shift perspectives more easily and understand problem solving better. I can apply these skills to my job at Costco, to my internship at Hanna Resource Group, to my career in the Army National Guard, or to any other situation or environment that I may come across.
I appreciate the service that the faculty and staff provided me with. Despite the class and major changes, the overrides, and the confusion, they never gave up on helping me find the right path. The professors challenged me and provided me with stern feedback, that allowed me to develop myself efficiently. I am now moving forward in every aspect of my life, and I owe part of that to the mindset I was able to form. I thank the school of opportunity, and the professors that devote their careers to nurturing the minds of the future.
Submitted By: Jose Martin Pena
Published on July 26, 2022