It's that time of the year where summer is more than halfway over, and upperclassman are waiting to be asked the question:
"So what advice do you have as a senior in college?"
While I have an endless slew of advice that I could offer to these inquisitive freshmen ranging from dorm life to friendships to study habits to clubs to *insert anything here*, one important piece of advice that often goes overlooked is choosing a college minor.
Choosing the right minor that is suited to your interests, strengths, and career goals may not seem like a big deal at first, but it can become a source of stress later in your college career. For me, I knew I wanted to be bilingual so opting for a Spanish minor was a no-brainer for me. Had I put more thought and effort into researching other minors, I would have chosen to complete two minors and diversify my skill set even more. Hindsight being 20/20 for me (as it usually is), here are nine different minors my freshman self should have considered adding on but unfortunately did not.
Money makes the world go around, so why not understand how it works, right?
Communicating effectively and creatively in the workplace is a critical skill no matter what your profession may be. Even as an engineer, I see my strengths and weaknesses as a communicator and there's always room for improvement.
It is not uncommon for engineers to take on more managerial roles as they progress in their career, and I am finally noticing my strong desire to follow this path. While these are skills that I can learn later during employment, having a better understanding of the basics of accounting, operations, and strategy are key skills to help you become a well-rounded employee eager for advancement.
4. Foods and Nutrition
This one is quite different than the others, but frankly, I found this one just straight up intriguing. I have been focused on living an overall healthy lifestyle this past year, and I am fascinated by all the science that goes into creating healthy and effective foods, snacks, and beverages.
5. Organizational Leadership
If you have a passion for leading your teammates, managing projects, and understanding how businesses operate, this is an excellent choice of a minor to develop those skills.
Understanding how people think and why they act in certain ways can lead to more effective communication and business practices. I also just think psychology is downright fascinating and would have loved to understand how the brain works.
When I graduate, I will be working for a real company making real products that will affect real people. Understanding society and the problems we face is an important factor to making informed business decisions, hence the usefulness of this minor.
I. love. data. I am not ashamed to tell you that I love gathering data, organizing it into graphs and Excel sheets, and understanding what it is telling me. I already took several statistics courses for my major, so taking a few extra courses in statistics would have strengthened by the ability to dive deeper into data analysis.
9. Supply Chain Management Technology
To be honest, I probably didn't even know what supply chain was when I was a freshman. Now, after I've done several internships and taken more higher-level classes, I have a much deeper understanding of supply chain and how it is a direct link from the business to engineering world. I did cover these topics generally in some of my engineering classes but taking this minor would have equipped me even further to understand supply chain on a very technical level.
All in all, I do not regret taking my Spanish minor instead of one of these other options. The ability to be bilingual, in my opinion, is a very valuable skill for both personal and professional reasons. Looking back at my last three years, though, I definitely understand the value that these other minors can add to any degree.