Driving down success lane

What do you want to do with your life?

Some students already know their professional career goals, but others are undecided.

This year, the Meet Your Major Fair was a two-part event to give students the opportunity to possibly find an answer to this question and to explore different majors Pierce College offers.

On Oct. 3, the Great Hall Fair had professors and department chairs from different programs tabling to answer student questions. A couple in attendance were arts and architecture, computer science information technology, nursing and child development and education.

“I want people to find where they belong,” Child Development and Education Chair Patricia Doelitzsch said. “If they truly have a predilection and a heart to work with children, then it’s our job to help them figure out where does that fall.” 

An Associate of Arts degree in child development and education can result in a “very, very decent living,” Doelitzsch said. It can lead to jobs as an assistant in the Los Angeles Unified School District or in special education as as behaviorist.

For students interested in political science, professor Thomas Klein was there to explain the curriculum.

“I think it’s a great major if you’re not sure what to do yet or have a big idea but also because it opens a lot of doors. If nothing else it makes you a much more worldly person,” Klein said. “I think that’s very important especially in today’s political climate.”

Part two of the event was Roadtrip Nation. The nonprofit organization has multiple RVs traveling the west and east coast and have interviewed more than 1,000 professionals in different fields, according to their website. The interviewees are asked to give students career advice on what to study and how to achieve their goals.

The “Roadies,” the job title for those aboard the RV, have also visited more than 7,000 schools and colleges to help guide students on what career path to take.

Each RV is given a name. The green RV stationed at the Mall for the Meet Your Major Fair is named Hopper. The Roadies in transit are currently on a six-week tour to further inform 18 community colleges throughout California.

“We want students to be going for a career that they’re interested and passionate about rather than something that just makes the most money or society is telling them to do or what their parents are telling them to do,” Roadie Alli Brinkerhoff said. “We want to shut that noise. We want students to hone in on what they actually want to do because you spend most of your life working.”

Roadtrip Nation is premiering an online tool during their tour that matches students to careers based on three interests selected. It’s called Roadmap to Careers and it’s available online for free. After being matched with a variety of career options, it shows the projected job growth in that field and interviews of professionals in that field.

“I put in that I like to travel, nature and helping others. It recommended being a lawyer,” Emily Bennet, first year student, said. “That might interest me. I think that might help me out.”

Besides traveling across the country, Roadtrip Nation also has a “New York Times” bestselling book called “Roadmap.” They have multiple feature-length PBS documentaries and a PBS show called “Roadtrip Nation” that’s on its 18th season.

“One of the things we like to say is that once you put what you want to do out there into the world and you have conviction about it, the world conspires to help make it happen,” Roadie John Broadway said. “So, take advantage of all the resources that Pierce provides and Roadtrip Nation provides.”