How To Know Your Career Choice Is Right For You?
Answering Life’s Biggest Questions With CareerUp Intern Bonnie Wu
Pop the phrase Feeling Lost in University into Google. Hundreds of pages of Quora, Reddit, Forums, and public blog posts emerge where University students from every part of the world unleash a massive weight into the universe— their truths.
“I am not sure I want to be on this path.”
“I have lost my drive to finish my degree.”
“I feel like I have nothing to offer.”
“I feel so lost and directionless.”
The most terrifying aspect of these realizations is that Google fails us. No one can affirm a path in life for another person, certainty comes from our own human experience and an awareness of what resonates with your passions, unique skills, and vision. There is a powerful quote by Ingrid Betancourtif which says,
“Once you don’t have freedom and you’re obliged to do many things you don’t want, and it becomes a routine, then your identity is at stake because you can feel that you are not anymore yourself, that you are what they want you to be and you can lose yourself.”
In school, everything we do is for a grade. The repetitive nature of obligatory assignments, studying, delivering, and judgement can- unsurprisingly- zap the passion out of classes. By year three, no wonder so many students feel their personal value dangles on a grade point average. What can I bring to the world as an innovative employee when my numerical value is only 3.2! Bonnie Wu, a London CareerUp intern, had also been questioning her herself over and over again: Was her school the right place for her? Was she really getting a true experience in class of the marketing world she thought she wanted to be in? Did she have what it takes to thrive in the competitive work world?
In 2014, The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States performed a study on how to increase the successful completion of degrees through modifying classroom practices. This study showed that, “active learning … would raise average grades by a half a letter.”Active learning, which requires students to perform hands-on application of studies within the demands of their future profession, is the proven method of bringing students through university to the graduation platform. Completing an internship is active learning at its highest level, where each day you are asked to take a classroom concept and apply it to work that directly affects the reputation and successful operation of a company.
Bonnie wanted answers to her incessant questioning. So, she stopped asking herself How do I know if my career choice is right for me and applied for an internship abroad in London with CareerUp. She was going to throw herself into a real marketing and media environment in one of the most economically thriving cities in the world. She was going to test her ideas of what she thought she knew, what she thought she wanted, and what she thought she could bring to this profession.
“Interning abroad [would mean] that I was completely responsible for myself. Not only did I learn valuable skills for the workplace, but lessons that will continue to build my character and independence as I grow up.”
In University, the massive waves of information thrown at Bonnie were suffocating. She attended networking events, listened to successful speakers, and tried to take advantage of her school’s endless opportunities. But, unsure of what the marketing and media workfield valued most or what her preferred role within that expansive industry would be, she still felt directionless. The idea of interning abroad in London beckoned to her: this would be a place she hoped to work autonomously under the direction of successful mentors who could supply her with the marketing work she believed was her calling.
“Although coming to an entirely new country technically makes my perception of the world even bigger, being on my own allowed me to work and learn at my own pace while following my own plan. Over the two months, I am incredibly thankful for being able to grow in such a supportive environment where I developed valuable skills in digital marketing, such as writing articles, link building, and search engine optimization. “
After her internship, Bonnie felt affirmed in her career choice. Working alongside passionate employees and mentors emboldened Bonnie to stretch the boundaries of her creativity while upholding her to the highest industry standards. Returning to Canada, Bonnie no longer felt she was one amongst hundreds, floundering for answers about herself, her path, and the international work economy. She had found them.
“My time here in London was absolutely incredible, and I’m just so happy that I made this decision. Being able to get a glimpse into the real world was an eye opening experience that guided new ideas of where I want to be in the future, further driving my ambitions and goals.”
We are always told University is a time to find yourself; trudging through the forest of self-discovery, personal growth, and the endless objectives we could choose to dedicate our lives to is bound to bring up a lot of questions. If you find yourself praying to the almighty Google, asking how to know if your career choice is right for you, maybe it’s time you got out there and put yourself to the test of real work.