Career Compass- A Guide to Choosing a Major

Extra!  Extra!  The Career Counseling website has a new and exciting feature for those who would like to explore majors, occupations, and extracurricular activities that pertain to their interests, personality preferences, and values.  The Career Compass is designed to introduce students to the idea of examining career goals from multiple perspectives, in an effort to determine where these perspectives overlap.  The Career Compass is specifically for those with ties to Baylor, with an emphasis on majors and student organizations offered here.  It is not a substitute for individualized, professional career counseling.  Instead, we hope it will open your eyes to a few of the ideas that you might like to explore further through the Career Counseling process.  As always, please feel free to contact us if you have questions.

Planning for an International Career

Many students come to Career Counseling uncertain about their majors and career goals, but confident in their desire to work in other countries or do work that is on a global scale.  Here are a few possibilities to consider:

Majors and Minors

Students who would like a major that is focused on other cultures and countries might want to explore:

Minors are available in Arabic, Asian Studies, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Latin American Studies, Middle East Studies, Russian, Spanish, and World Affairs.

Of course, students in other majors can use their education and skills in other countries or for international organizations, too.

Check out the Meet the Majors podcast series for more information on many of these programs.

Getting Experience Abroad

If you want to work abroad, one of the best things you can do as a student is to acquire international experience.  Baylor offers many study abroad programs, which allow you to live in another country and earn course credit.  Visit this page for more information, and consider attending an information session.

An internship abroad is another option for learning more about working in another country, while beefing up your resume at the same time.  The friendly staff of Career Services can help you explore international opportunities related to your major area of study.

If your schedule limits you from taking advantage of these experiences, you can also add to your experiences by participating in cross-cultural experiences here in the United States.  There are even student organizations and programs devoted to these types of experiences on the Baylor campus!

Additional Resources

Goinglobal is a fantastic resource provided by the Career Services office.  Of particular interest might be the country guides, which explain hiring trends in those countries, as well as links for job postings in those countries.  If you have trouble getting connected to the site, please contact Career Services.

If you are feeling confused about what major might be best for your specific career goals, or you want to discover what international career might be the best fit for you, Career Counseling is available to guide you in your exploration.  We would be happy for you to begin your international journey here!

Fashion Forward

Do you dream of New York Fashion week? Have you worn out your dvd of The Devil Wears Prada?  Do you find yourself doodling everything from elegant ballgowns to the latest in everyday casual wear?

Well, if the answer to any of these questions is yes, you might be interested in exploring the Apparel Design and Product Development major at Baylor.

Just watch this neat video about the program from KCENTV:

Baylor’s departmental website also abounds with info about this program from the course requirements to info about summer study tours to alumni updates. Take a look for yourself at

Oh, and speaking of fashion, just look at the new uniforms that Nike has just rolled out for the Lady Bears to wear:

Sic ‘Em, Bears!


You’re two and a half weeks in to the semester and perhaps some of those tests and assignments that used to appear on the syllabus as a vague future happening are becoming more and more real.  Stress happens.  A little bit keeps us on our toes and helps us to do our best work, but too much can greatly reduce our academic ability.  So, if you are noticing an increase in stress, here are a few things you might look into to reduce any feelings of being overwhelmed:

1. Take a walk or a run or a bike ride or maybe go to the SLC for a game of hoops — just getting active can help reduce stress levels.

2. Talk to someone.  Sometimes talking it out can help with stressful situations.  Whether it is a friend, a family member, your CL, Residence Chaplain, Hall Director, someone in the Spiritual Life office or someone in the Counseling Center, be sure to visit with someone.  Remember part of your student fee includes an intake and 6 sessions at the Counseling Center on the second floor of the SLC.  The counseling center is staffed with trained professionals who want to help you.  (254) 710-2467.

3.  M&M Hour.  Though these particular M&Ms stand for Meditation and Mindfulness, I have heard that they do also offer M&Ms of the chocolate variety.  This meeting on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 4 pm is an opportunity to learn about different relaxation strategies to help you deal with your stress.  No reservation is required.

4. Eat Well.  Try to incorporate more and more fruits and veggies on your tray in the dining hall.

5. Sleep.  Getting enough rest can be a challenge, especially when you are living in the college world that is always abuzz with fun friends and exciting opportunities of things to do, but try as much as you can to get good rest.

6. Academic Support Programs is a department in the Paul L. Foster Success Center that includes the Tutoring Center, Academic Mentoring, and Supplemental Instruction opportunities.  Also, this department has advisors on staff who can work with you to develop smart study strategies, time management skills, and a plan for test preparation.

These are just a few resources, but please take advantage of these if they would be useful.  Also, feel free to see us in Career Counseling if determining your major or career path are part of the stress.

Baylor in Oxford

Have you ever wanted to study in the same location as the history and authors you are reading about?  Would you like the opportunity to take courses on a variety of topics that could perhaps fit in your degree plan?  Have you always wanted to experience Great Britain?


If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, you may be interested in exploring the study abroad option of Baylor in Oxford.  The program has put together a fascinating prezi with photos featuring some of the incredible experiences you are bound to discover on this amazing journey.  Please take a moment to view the prezi here:  You will also find an abundance of information on the website:  Please take some time to consider this option for Summer II study from July 5 – August 8.  The deadline for application is February 1, 2012, so act quickly!


If you would like to explore other study abroad options available at Baylor, please see:

So, you’ve got your syllabi…

The first day of class was always a joyful thing for me.  I usually hadn’t had an assignment required of me prior to the class, so I could walk in eagerly expecting a rundown of the semester and plan to leave with a copy of the professor’s syllabus for the semester or at least where to find it electronically.

Now, I know it has been awhile since you walked into class that first day, but one of the things that I think can help the most regarding your newly acquired syllabi is to take some time to write down all of your assignments in a planner for each day.  These notations can include daily reading assignments, quizzes, exams, papers, projects, midterms, and finals.  I’ve always found combining your class assignments to be a very strategic move that will enable you to prep holistically for the semester.  If you plan ahead now, you might note that at the end of February you have three exams and a paper due over two days.  Knowing that now can help keep you from any surprises like flipping to that week in your calendar or on your smartphone and seeing it then.  The more you can plan ahead now will hopefully reduce the stress you experience later.  So take a minute, grab a cup of coffee, your stack of syllabi, and your calendar or electronic device, and spend some a little time inputting all of your assignments for the semester.  If you are involved in other student organizations, you might want to take a look at that semester calendar and add those events and meetings as well.  This way you will know ahead of time if that major Biology midterm happens to be the Monday after your Spring Formal, so you can plan ahead.  If you need additional help with time management and study strategies, please contact Trish Baum in Academic Support Programs.

Gaining Relevant Experience through Community Service

In recent years, job seekers have become more and more aware of the importance of relevant experience when it comes to landing a job.  Most college students tend to think of internships first, if someone suggests that they get experience.  What about students who do not get internships, or those whose parents do not allow them to work?  Volunteering could mutually benefit a student who needs experience and the community in which they live.

Waco has many opportunities for reaching out to those in need.  You could consider getting involved with Urban Missions through the Spiritual Life office.  These activities might appeal strongly to students with interests in ministry, education, social work, art, and agriculture.  Even students with other career goals can benefit from the transferable skills acquired during these types of experiences.

The Student Activities office also coordinates service opportunities in the Waco community.  If you want to unite with fellow students in an organization devoted to service, check out the list of relevant student organizations.

Outside of Baylor-coordinated experiences, students can seek volunteer opportunities through some of the following organizations:

United Way of Waco-McLennan County Partner Agencies

Volunteer Opportunities with the City of Waco and Community Volunteer Opportunities

Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center/Scott & White Healthcare

Providence Healthcare Network

Waco-McLennan County Public Library

The Art Center of Waco

Dr Pepper Museum

Mayborn Museum Complex

Need help identifying your career goal, so you can decide what experiences are relevant?  Make an appointment with Career Counseling.

Exploring Careers in Healthcare

When analyzing our blog statistics, it is evident that the healthcare field is of significant interest to many of our readers.  For those of you unsure of your career direction (though confident that you want it to be in healthcare), as well as those pre-healthcare students who have not yet developed a Plan B, here are some incredibly helpful resources for you: provides information on more than 115 healthcare occupations.

Texas H.O.T. Jobs is a similar resource, with profiles of professionals working in our state in healthcare.  There are also listings of academic institutions in Texas that offer the relevant training needed for the healthcare professions that are described.

For personalized assistance with your career exploration or development of a Plan B, contact Career Counseling to schedule your first appointment.

The Elusive Career Path

I have an idea about a career path I’m interested in, but now what do I do?

Maybe you have a few ideas about careers you are interested in, but are you at a loss for how to find information about them?  Are some of the careers you are interested in very specific and nowhere to be found on the O*Net or Occupational Outlook Handbook?  Have no fear!  Here are a few tips for ways to discover more about some specific careers.

  1. Google it!  As always please take care when googling something because goodness knows what all might pop up, but if you see things with .org, .net, .edu or . gov, you may feel a bit more confident in the options that pop up.  Specifically, look for professional organization websites.  You may even google something like “professional organization website for rehabilitation counselors” as an example.  Here you may be likely to find information regarding current trends in the field, education requirements (especially if graduate school is part of the path), and also you may see a link for looking up professionals in that field in your area.  This little jewel on the website can help give you a head start with job shadowing and informational interviewing opportunities, too!
  2. Talk to your professors.  If you have chosen a major and feel like this career path fits in that general area, an appointment with one of your professors may glean lots of information about a specific area within the field.  If he or she doesn’t know specific information about the area, she or he might be able to point you in the direction of someone who does.  Also, it is possible that you are not the first student from Baylor who has expressed interest in a particular path and the professor may be able to share another student’s experience.
  3. Use your social network!  I don’t just mean facebook and twitter (although those might be good forums for finding out information about someone in this particular field), but talk to you family, your friends, your family friends.  Sometimes just mentioning a particular area may get you started on the trail to someone in the career field you are interested in.  Someone might know someone who knows someone.  It’s kind of like the six degrees of Kevin Bacon idea, but use it for career networking!

As always, please let us know if you have tried all of these avenues and still can’t find anything.  I hope this helps as you explore your career paths!