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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Takin' care of business

When I was in high school, I was not exactly the greatest at math. Geometry was my jam, but the second multiple variables started getting thrown in and formulas that were beyond my comprehension showed up, I quickly shut down from all things numerical in every way possible.

And now, oddly enough, I crunch numbers all day, every day.

Pre-cal and calculus were truly a struggle for me. I felt like I had to give a lot more effort than a lot of my classmates, and never quite got the grade I was shooting for. It was really disheartening to not do well compared to everyone else since I was used to being in the upper tier of my classmates.

When I came to Rhodes, I vowed to myself that the only math-related class I would take would be the one required to fulfill my math credit. I decided to take computer science to fulfill this requirement, unaware that computer science requires a decent amount of math as well as a ton of math-like logic.

I had planned to be a history major, as I had absolutely adored history in high school and I had done really well in it too. I was leaning towards pursuing law school after graduating from Rhodes because I liked people-oriented fields and if I liked history or political science, law school seemed like a good fit.

After completing computer science, I decided to give some introductory level business classes a shot after I realized that I did not want to go to law school after all. Although I have the utmost respect for lawyers, and I will never completely count the possibility of law school out, I realized through blogging that I really liked marketing. Granted I had had limited exposure up to that point, but I wanted to learn more, and I wanted to make it a career.

Marketing provides a mix of creativity and tangible results, and even though I was solely focused on the creative side when I decided to start the business track, really just to see if I even liked it, I ended up slowly gaining my affinity for numbers back.

At Rhodes, we do not have separate departments for different categories of business. This is both the upside and the downside of a school this small (2,200 students!) - you have to try a little bit of everything. The way the business program works is that you have to take 4 lower level classes, and 3 of them are "weed-out classes," (unofficially, that is). Rather, 3 of these classes are intentionally challenging to eliminate from the get-go who can't handle the rest of the degree requirements.

Essentially, I have to take 4 challenging classes to make it into a marketing class. Admittedly, this is a gamble. I have not taken a marketing class yet, and I do not know for certain whether or not I will enjoy it once I actually am studying the material. But, I declared a major in commerce and business with a focus in marketing anyways. I took an inventory of what other majors Rhodes offers, and narrowed it down to what I was actually interested in, and business was the clear winner, every single time. I have a gut feeling that marketing will be the concentration I would stick with, but the thing I love and hate most about Rhodes' business department is that I have to take classes in all four concentrations Rhodes offers: finance, accounting, marketing, and management.

I'm currently in the last semester of the lower level accounting sequence, as you have to complete those in order to advance to any of the 300-level and above classes, which is where the concentrations begin. Both financial accounting, which I took last semester, and cost accounting, which I am currently enrolled in (and have an exam in tomorrow too), have been rigorous and challenging. They have given me a handful of panic attacks and made me question whether or not I wanted to actually continue to pursue a business major. Every time I thought this, I told myself that it wasn't too late, I could still change my mind. But, nothing was more appealing to me than the idea of designing a marketing campaign for a client or helping them find the perfect image for their target audience and helping them rake in new clients.

On top of that, even though I dreaded taking accounting at first, I actually found it incredibly gratifying when I understood something completely. It is certainly challenging, and there are definitely days that I want to pull my hair out, but when I get a test back and did well, it's all worth the extra hours I have to put in because this is not something I'm naturally good at.

The deadline for all sophomores to declare their majors at Rhodes was yesterday. I declared in October because I was applying for a study abroad program, and it required that I already be declared. Unfortunately, that opportunity didn't work out, but I sure was grateful that I knew what I was going to be studying for the rest of my time at Rhodes and that I had a strong inclination as to what I want to do for a career after graduate school too.

My brain is not wired for numbers. I'm not going to have the highest grade in my cost accounting class, and that's okay. I have had awesome professors in the business department thus far, and even if I end up hating marketing when I take it in the fall, there are so many other things I can do with a business degree that it's really okay if I don't.

I chose my field of study based on what I liked, what I wanted to do after graduation, and what could give me a myriad of career options. I'm (trying to be) takin' care of business, and Lord knows I'm working overtime, but I'm confident that a business major was the right choice for me, and I am excited to see what the future holds.

How'd you pick your major?

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xx, Victoria