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How I'm Combining Two Different Interests Into One Career
Editor’s note: In recent weeks, the PreparedU Project has invited successful and accomplished executives to share insights into how women can help themselves and each other achieve success in the workforce. PreparedU research gave young millennials high grades for their skills, and so now we turn to female millennial students for their perspectives on preparing for a career.
There’s an old saying that the journey is as important as the destination. I think that applies to my college career, especially the discovery of what’s important to me and, as it turns out, my generation.
When applying to college during my senior year of high school, I wanted to explore two of my interests: business and law.
I’ve always had dreams of becoming a lawyer, but after taking an economics class in high school, I started to consider a career in business.
I spent my freshman year studying at Fairfield University, where I was business undecided. I absolutely loved the courses I took freshman year, including accounting, finance and law. When I decided to transfer to Bentley, one of the first courses I took was Business Law and Ethics (GB110).
From that point on, I was absolutely sure that I wanted to incorporate both my interest for business and my love for law. I never realized I could fully incorporate the two until taking GB110. That’s when I made the decision to major in Marketing and then minor in Law.
I didn’t know then — but I know now — that this type of disciplinary integration was endorsed by respondents in Bentley’s PreparedU research as a way to better prepare millennials for the professional world that awaits. While both law and marketing are pre-professional, in their way they reflect the study’s findings that a strong background in both business and the liberal arts is important for career success.
My thinking at the time was along those same lines.
I figured that a business degree would help me with any career I pursued, but I also enjoyed having the opportunity to take interesting law courses, which have provided me with extensive knowledge. Having this kind of flexibility in what you study is truly amazing, and it’s not always possible for a lot of students in college.
Work that has meaning
So much has been written and reported, on the PreparedU project website and elsewhere, about how much the millennial generation wants to have a positive impact on society. That certainly applies to me.
When I graduate from Bentley ext spring, I plan on attending graduate school to further pursue marketing. I hope to one day get my law degree as well. My dream is to work at a large marketing firm, but rather than just focusing on creating advertisements and marketing campaigns, I want to integrate law into my future occupation. I’d thoroughly enjoy providing legal advice to companies who are seeking to market to consumers not only effectively, but also ethically.
Mentoring to last a lifetime
As I look ahead to my career, I’m also looking back at my mentors.
Two of the people who have helped me prepare for the professional world are my parents. They’re both in the business world, and they’ve been my mentors throughout high school and college. Going on business trips with my father, who does real estate development, made the business world more attractive to me. Having said this, though, my parents always encouraged me to follow my dreams and take risks, whether I followed in their footsteps in the business world or not.
Another mentor of mine is one of the first faculty members I met at Bentley when I transferred: Valerie Como, a counselor in the Undergraduate Admission Office. She primarily works with transfer students and has given me knowledge about the professional world in general. She’s also introduced me to job opportunities on campus that I wouldn’t have considered without her encouragement and confidence. I’ll always be looking for her advice throughout my professional life.
Carolyn Jenkins, Bentley University ’15, is a Marketing major and a Law minor.
Learn more about Bentley’s PreparedU Project, which examines challenges facing millennial workers, the companies that employ them and the colleges and universities that prepare them.
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Bentley University is named one of the country’s best institutions for undergraduate education in the just-published 2016 edition of The Princeton Review Annual college guide, “The Best 380 Colleges,” (Random House/Princeton Review).