Tips on how to decide your professional path

Bibek Bhandari could have talked all day  about how he wanted to build his own house to anyone that would listen to him. He was fascinated with architecture and wanted to become an architect one day. But after two years at ULM he began to question his path toward career success.

Everyone has their own way of defining career success. Some focus more on the financial aspect of it while others care more about personal fulfillment. 

But a lot of college students struggle with finding fulfillment and confidence in their chosen career path.

Many students are overwhelmed with the decision of choosing a career out of the millions of opportunities available to them. 

Even after choosing a career, many still struggle with knowing whether it is the right career path. 

Bibek Bhandari, a senior computer science major, got an insight into what career path was suitable for him through volunteering in campus activities and working with professors. 

“After getting involved in various campus activities, I realized I was not interested in working in crowded places,” Bhandari said. “I liked working with small groups of people on a particular task.”

When you start to focus on personality, you start to learn what your strengths are and what you have to improve on to be successful. 

Paying attention to your likes and dislikes will make you more aware of yourself and what you may be interested in career-wise. Personality will always play a role while you look for a profession. 

Colm Bourke, a career coach at the Career Center, emphasized the importance of initiative when deciding a career path. He said it is important to take advantage of the resources around you while determining what career path you want to take.

“I have found that the students with the most success have been students that get involved in the university and their community,” Bourke said. “Organizing events with other people builds teamwork while helping you develop skills and knowledge that will not only make you more marketable to employers but will also help you realize what your strengths are.”

Go for experience rather than prestige. Treat every experience as a valuable asset rather than a waste of your time and energy. 

Getting a job at a smaller firm rather than at a big firm might not seem as impressive now, but it might help you figure out what type of environment you work best in.

“Those who have great initiative and can identify the value in the resources available around them are more successful than those who are too confident or are busy looking for the opportunity of their lifetime to seize those resources,” Bourke said.

Bhandari said that figuring out what you want to do is a process that takes time and effort.

“I spent two years figuring out little details of the type of life I wanted while factoring in what my strengths and weaknesses were. This helped me decide that the field of coding and programming would be more fulfilling for me,” Bhandari said. “One key thing to never forget is that the possibilities are endless.”

You can visit the ULM career center in Sandel Hall from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:30-11:30 a.m. on Fridays for more career advice.