Undecided Studies and how Centenary can help you choose.

Mary Busichio ’10

Major: Business Administration/Marketing
Minor: Communication

Mary Busichio ’10 matriculated to Centenary College thinking she would study art. “I decided to enter as an Undeclared major, because I realized that I was young and needed time to explore my options,” she explains. “I took elective courses in different majors and realized that Business was right for me. Looking back, I’m glad I gave myself some room to think about what I needed.”

Mary participated in “Major Discoveries,” an Academic Foundations Course (AFC) as a first-year student. “I loved the class, because it really helped me to make the transition to college,” she says. “It helped me develop good study habits and to learn to budget my time. In high school, I was a procrastinator, which caused me to become frustrated and sometimes give up. But at Centenary, I learned to set high standards for myself. As a result, I found myself excelling.” Three years later, Mary continues to apply those principles and plans to graduate a semester early. “’Major Discoveries’ is one of the most helpful courses I’ve taken at Centenary and I’ll be able to use that knowledge throughout my career.”

Mary has participated in two valuable summer internships: in the purchasing department of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (2009) and in the marketing department of Aspire Federal Credit Union (2010). “These experiences have given me my first taste of the business world, and I love it,” she remarks. “It’s made me realize that I made the right decision with my major, concentration and minor.”

To any prospective students who haven’t settled on a major field of study, Mary offers the following advice: “Get a taste of everything Centenary has to offer — that’s what electives are for! Also, set goals for yourself — you’ll be surprised at what you can do if you really commit.”

Megan Kelly ’11

Major: Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

“When I first arrived at Centenary, the idea of choosing one career path for the rest of my life was scary,” confesses Megan Kelly ’11. “When I thought hard about what I wanted to do, I realized I had no idea.” Megan enrolled in the “Major Discoveries” course offered to first-year students, where students “explore our passions and learn to focus on our goals. Professor McCarthy helped me to find out who I am and the kind of career I want to pursue.”

During her freshman year, Megan’s mother suggested she research the counseling field. “She told me that my high school guidance counselor thought of me as a caring person who is considerate of what other people need,” she explains. “My mother agreed, and she recommended that I look into social work.” At the same time, Professor McCarthy gave the Major Discoveries class an assignment to interview professionals in various fields. “The catch was that we had to interview people who had careers that interested us—we couldn’t just choose subjects randomly,” Megan says. “I spoke to a number of people, including a police dispatcher, a teacher, and, finally, a social worker. After talking to her for about an hour and a half about her work with the YMCA, I realized I, too, wanted to be a social worker who focused on children.”

Megan declared a major in Social Work at the end of her sophomore year. “I knew I had time to complete all my major requirements, so I concentrated on my general education classes first,” she comments. “In the fall of my senior year, I’ll have a lighter course load so that I can pursue an internship with the NJ After 3,” a private, non-profit program dedicated to improving the after-school life of children throughout the state. After graduation, she plans to translate her experience to a full-time position as a child social worker.

If you’re thinking about enrolling at Centenary as an Undeclared major, Megan advises you “not to panic!” The first two years of college are about “finding out who you are and what you want to do,” she explains. “You have plenty of time to figure everything out, so just enjoy your Centenary experience and keep your mind open to the possibilities.”

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