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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

NIU hosts Major and Career Exploration Fair

Victoria Wakeford
Brian Pillsbury, director of Career Services talks to Vishnu Gopu, a graduate student. Career Services will host career panels throughout the week. (Victoria Wakeford | Northern Star)

DeKALB – For one week, students are able to learn more about their majors and careers through the Major and Career Exploration fair. 

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday in the Holmes Student Center’s Regency Room, Career Services held a workshop and panel for the Major and Career Exploration Fair.

Each day this week will focus on a different area of study, Monday’s focus was health and wellness.

The goal of the fair is to help students look into their major not just educationally, but for their career.   

“The big goal is for mostly our undecided students, students who are thinking about changing their major, or just trying to figure out what career opportunities are within their major to really get a chance to explore these majors,” said Emily Raetzke, a graduate assistant for the Academic Advising Center.  

Two activities took place during the event; the first was a workshop hosted by Brian Pillsbury, director of Career Services, discussing how students can learn more about their major and career; the second was a panel that focused on a certain career area, such as STEM or communications, led by people in the field.

The panelists explained certain majors in that field and what a career in that certain area looks like. 

This week was coordinated by both Alexus Hughes and Raetzke, graduate assistants for the Academic Advising Center.

Prior to the event, students were recommended to take the Focus 2 Career Assessment, an online test to help students make choices for their academics or career through their interests, skills and values, according to the Career Service’s webpage.   

Pillsbury discussed how students can explore their majors and careers in various ways. Some of these ways were self-knowledge, using interests to evaluate major and career choices and academic knowledge students can use to research different options online or through NIU resources.     

Pillsbury said events, like the fair’s workshops, are important for students to attend. 

“I think it’s really important, because it helps you visualize life after college, not only visualize, but prepare for it,” Pillsbury said. “And to do that, you want to start with a solid sense of who you are, what you want and where you’re going.” 

Pillsbury said students can explore majors and careers through shadowing a professional in their field of interest or using NIU’s undergraduate degree programs page to dive deeper into information about different majors.  

Pillsbury is set to host the next workshop again at 11 a.m. Wednesday and will be on one of the panels this week. 

After the workshop, the panel was held, which consisted of Angelica Flores, an academic advisor for the College of Health and Human Sciences, Jennifer Ross, an instructor for NIU’s Public Health program and Joe Curran, an advisor for the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education. 

Angelica Flores, an academic advisor for the College of Health and Human Sciences stands during her presentation. Monday’s Majors and Career Exploration Fair focused on health and wellness. (Victoria Wakeford | Northern Star)

The panel concluded with a question and answer with the panelists and audience. 

The Major and Career Exploration Fair is set to take place throughout the week.

From 11 a.m. to 1:50 p.m. Tuesday in HSC’s Regency Room, the focus will be on Arts, Media, and Communications, which consists of an arts panel and a question and answer segment

From 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Wednesday there will be another career services workshop, and  then from 12:10 p.m. to 2 p.m. the panel will focus on government, non-profit and social sciences. From 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursday the focus is  STEM and 11 a.m. to 2:10 p.m. Friday it will be education, business and entrepreneurship. 

Hughes encouraged all students to attend the fair. 

“You don’t have to be a student who’s undecided or a first year student,” Hughes said. “You can be a sophomore, junior, or a senior potentially looking to change your major. So really all students are welcome to come and explore.”

The schedule for the fair is available on NIU’s event calendar.

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