What We Want to Be When We Grow Up

One of the biggest challenges for me when applying to college was figuring out what I wanted to do after graduation. For most of high school I wanted to be a doctor, but as it came time to actually take the first step in that direction, I realized that that wasn’t the right path for me. Since coming to college, I have made a point of exploring my interests through classes and clubs in the hopes of narrowing down what I’d like to do as a career, but there are still a lot of different paths through and out of college! In the spirit of these diverse decision-making processes, I interviewed some friends about their paths so far and how they’ve changed throughout the past couple years.

photo of Adam


Intended major when applying to college: Music and English

Major now: Music and English

Intended career when applying to college: Undecided/unsure

Intended career now: Composer-in-residence at an opera house

How did you get here? I knew both of my interests were in English and music and when I isolated exactly what my interests were in both I landed on dramatic writing, writing dialogue, and writing music. I tried combining all of those interests and landed on that job as my goal.


Intended major when applying to college: Earth and Plantary Sciences

Major now: Earth and Plantary Sciences

Intended career when applying to college: Climate scientist

Intended career now: Climate scientist

How did you get here? The classes I have taken have reinforced my decision to study climate and weather; I’ve really enjoyed the classes I have done here so there have been no changes in my path so far.

photo of Dani


Intended major when applying to college: Art History and Anthropology

Major now: Art History and Comparative Literature

Intended career when applying to college: Museum curator

Intended career now: Art historian and literary translator

How did you get here? I really experimented in my classes; by taking classes in film, art history, and literature I realized I had a lot of multifaceted interests that intersect but don’t all necessarily combine to one straight-forward career trajectory. This led me to connect my creative interests with my more academic interests and pursue a career that combines them all.

Photo of Keeley


Intended major when applying to college: Music and Political Science

Major now: Music and American Studies

Intended career when applying to college: Unsure/something music-related

Intended career now: Music education or ecoacoustics

How did you get here? Making connections between classes and having more in-depth conversations with professors really helped me figure out my interests, especially making connections between classes; that really helped me discover new fields and intersections of my interests.

photo of Jenesis


Intended major when applying to college: Anthropology

Major now: History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health

Intended career when applying to college: Pediatrician

Intended career now: Attorney (General Counsel for national organization)

How did you get here? I was pre-med but realized I didn’t want to be a doctor as much as I thought I did; I was also doing a bunch of law-related extracurriculars like Moot Court and Mock Trial which pushed me in the direction of law school.

For some people, they knew exactly what they wanted to do before coming to college and studying at Yale has only reinforced those goals. For others, things like classes, peers, and extracurriculars have a major influence on majors and intended career. I feel lucky that Yale students have a wealth of opportunities and resources that make it easy explore tons of different options until we find the one that is right for us.