Not Sure What You Want to Be When You Grow Up? You’re Not Alone!

Maddy Cantu | Belvidere DECA

Have you ever changed your mind on what you want to be when you grow up?

Well you aren’t alone, many others have done the same thing. I recently changed what I wanted to be and was left thinking how many others feel lost and confused about their future.

Just because we are all in DECA doesn’t mean we all want to go into business; I took a survey in my chapter and only 18% of our chapter members actually wanted to go into business.

So I started to do some research and came up with a program to help students, mainly juniors and seniors, find their true passions.

A study in 2013 showed 20-50% of teens enter college undecided and that 75% switch their major at least once before graduating.

The “Perfect Placement Program” will help students find out what they truly want in life. I am working on partnering up with multiple companies, teams and organizations to give myself and some of my fellow classmates a chance to experience what a day-in-the-life of a professional is like in some of our favorites industries.

The program would help students by giving them the chance to either intern and or shadow a professional for a day or two. This will really help students decide what they want their future to look like, as well as enter college with a better idea of the area of study they want to focus in.

I like to say it’s like food – how do you know what you want to eat unless you get a sample of everything first? Without students getting a taste of their preferred job choices, then how do they know what job they want to wake up to do everyday?

Not everyone gets a chance to do an internship, so if we can make this program more widespread than we can drop those scary statistics.

Now you may be wondering, “Why is she telling me this?”

Here is why – you too can use this program! All you have to do is schedule some meetings with local businesses and pitch the idea of having some high schoolers come in for shadowing or interning. It won’t be easy but it’ll be worth it, so go ahead and give it a try.

“I am focused on the marketing and economics track, so doing something in public relations was out of my planned area. However, I learned many important lessons that without the internship I wouldn’t have gained otherwise,” said fellow DECA member Lena Kellogg. “I learned that design and the creative parts of PR are not my thing, but the organizing, communicating and managerial aspects of the job are more of my strong suit. Furthermore, I was able to make connections with notable members of my community, such as the Superintendent, district PR specialist (my boss) and many administrators. Overall, I had a fantastic summer learning about myself in a work environment!”

Feel free to reach out to me with any questions about this program at or on Twitter @DECA_Maddy.

This article was written by Belvidere DECA President, Madeline Cantu. You can follow Madeline on Twitter @DECA_Maddy.

Categories: Career Advice, Choosing A College, Choosing A Major, College, College & Career Advice, Job Advice, Tips For Finding A Job