What subject did you “major” in and why?

I’m back! I don’t know about you, but after that bucket list blitz last week I needed some rest from the deep thoughts! But we’re back at it today. After some lively conversation with the Husband last night, I wanted to revisit why did I choose to major in business anyway? I had to write a “personal statement” over 11 years ago in order to get accepted into the business department at Saint Catherine University and thought I’d whip it out for some thinking on the blog.

Remember this was my 19-year-old-self with added commentary from my now 30-year-old-self. Some immaturity in there, but hot damn! It’s still spot on. Check it out–

Me at about 19 chosen to lead this AWESOME team of 3M interns from across the country in our sales project!
The 19-year-old business side of me. This picture was Facebook captioned as “Our Fearless Leader!”  At a 3M Sales Competition with 20 peer interns across the nation!  I remember feeling humbled and honored that my peers selected me to lead our team.

What calls me to major in business? Well, for some people it might be the money, the challenge, the “common sense” strategy, the diversity of opportunities, the potential to travel, and the list goes on. That all sounded wonderful to me and definitely played a part in my decision to begin taking business classes. However, that is not what kept my interest in business. Actually, all of the factors that I mentioned earlier continue to dissipate in size to a much larger, totally enormous objective that has taken over all of my passion lately (Lately? Umm…always). What is it? Well, a little thing that I have deemed “World Change Power.”

Now, college is a confusing time for many (I am no different), but I have discovered one thing about myself that I know for sure: my strong desire to change this world in a momentous way—to shape it into something better than it is now. Yes, everyone might say this. They might even turn out to be that “idealist” that gets smiled at politely but never taken seriously. However, I am not that! I am not the idealist; I am the realist. Hey! Funny! My last boss and I joked that I was often “Captain Realistic.” I have a plan to change the world and recognize that I am not prepared to jump right in just yet. I first must start with St. Kate’s and establish my intellect thoroughly. Through my experiences in nineteen whole years I have discovered that the best avenue for me to attain “World Change Power” is through education first—business specifically. I can only gain more “World Change Power” by learning all that I can about business which is where St. Kate’s starts but never truly ends. Right on! I’m still learning from St. Kate’s most recently attending a lecture last week on environmental injustice with my husband, Nate.

(Me in Lower Left)–Here’s that AWESOME team of 3M sales interns! We won (duh!). 😉

After I have grounded myself thoroughly with a well-rounded business education, I plan to enter the business world with three main objectives (there are many more of course, but only a few worth mentioning right now): build my skill set, my network and achieve great financial success. Now, that must sound terrible, right? Well, before you question my plan allow me to share my motivations. I have observed that the best way to build up “World Change Power” is 1) by education 2) by (meaningful and genuine) networking and building a strong reputation and 3) by financing. After achieving those three things, I truly do feel that I will be ready to create many beautiful things in this world. By using the network that I have built through many years of working in the business world I will be able to influence others (who also have the affluence and means) to help me change this world. By earning as much money as I can I have ensured that the wealth is in the right hands to do the right things—whether it be restoring the education system in the southern United States (Hello…the achievement gap in Minnesota schools shows there are education issues plaguing us right here!), funding wells for water in India, or giving funds back to St. Kate’s for scholarships to inspire more women (yeah! I’m doing this!)—I will create world change.

(Far Right)–the other side of me at 19 (and now)–the social justice lover. Volunteering during January-term break after Hurricane Katrina in the lower 9th ward of New Orleans, LA.

You don’t believe me? Well, sit back and watch me then. Ha! There’s my sass factor. Ever present to this day. Tell me I can’t do something and I’d love nothing more than to prove you wrong. Watch me take the ethics and integrity I already (and always will) possess and climb my way to success in business over the next 30-50 years (or maybe only 10 or 11 years after all) only to give it all back to our world that needs it so much. Watch me retire early so I can lead a non-profit organization and speak at business functions encouraging corporations to donate. Watch me create an initiative to improve the US education system. Watch me inspire individuals to do more for others. Watch me build a scholarship fund for St. Kate’s business students encouraging them to generate their own “World Change Power.” You just watch me! After all, with the skills I’m learning in the business program at St. Kate’s I should be able to do all of that and so much more.

THAT is why I have chosen to major in business.

Revisiting that personal statement was a good reminder on who I was back then, what’s changed and what’s still the same. Overall, I’m seeing that my decision to “retire” was really not at all off base. In fact, it was always part of my vision. Phase 3 just started a bit earlier than I expected and hell. Phase 2 might not be over yet; I do miss the intellectual stimulation of business and ensuring that money is in sure hands that will give it back to others who need it. I’m thinking about a yearlong trial phase 3 (non-profit leadership) fellowship to decide if I’m ready to move full-fledge phase 3 or go back to phase 2 (business world skill & network building) with a clearer intention of what I have left that I want to give and learn to make phase 3 even better.

So that’s the question of the post: If you went to college, what did you choose to major in and why? There was totally a reason. A vision, a young dream in your heart to fulfill! If you didn’t go to college, let’s be real–you still majored in something! You developed expertise in something! What was that subject? Perhaps fitness, farming, parenting, etc. What made you want to “major” in that thing?  My dad is an EXPERT at farming and leadership. He only took one semester of college before looking out at the farm fields up by St. John’s and knowing he was not where he was supposed to be. He led on countless industry boards nationwide, the local school board, etc. 

And it’s ok if that vision/goal has changed! Let’s just let our younger selves in and embrace that dream again if only to learn more about where we came from and why we might be the way we are now.

4 thoughts on “What subject did you “major” in and why?”

  1. I love this! I’m a long time reader first time poster.

    I majored in cellular and molecular biology because I wanted to help people and as very naive adolescent I thought the only way to do that was to become a doctor. What I found as I graduated and worked overseas for an ngo is that anyone can help as long as you use the skills you’ve been given to help others. How that led to my current business/operations career I’ll never truly understand.

    I’ve always been fascinated by the idea that your major doesn’t define you but maybe your minor does. If you polled my colleagues, I’m not sure one of them would guess my major but a few might guess I have a minor in art history.
    Either way I think our passions are what drive and motivate us, so it’s amazing to see you getting back to what you laid out for yourself in college, your an inspiration!

    1. Rami! I loved reading this and hearing more about your logic behind it. Soooo good. I feel like I must know you well because Art History would have been a top 3 guess had I not just cheated and looked on LinkedIn. 🙂

  2. Do it. Go out there and change the world. It needs a little help, and I can’t think of anyone better to help it. I wish I could retire early and save it with you!!

    1. Thank you! And girl, I totally wish you WOULD retire early and save it alongside me. Really I’m just partially retiring. Half non-profit/volunteer work and finally pursue starting my own “side hustle” business. 🙂

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