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Freshmen, Sophomores and Undecided Students Explore what BSU Has to Offer

By Kelsey Jacobson

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4054_bemidji_state__beavers_-alternate-2004On October 29, the Major and Career Expo had students thinking about their futures at BSU. They met with advisors of different departments and were encouraged to make decisions about what they were looking for in their education.

Nancy Haugen, Associate Director of Career Services, recalled that the event was first introduced in spring semester 10 years ago. They started out with 60 students coming to the event that year and have been expanding that number ever sense.

This past month, Haugen worked with Residential Life and the Advising Success Center to promote this event and why it matters to students. In the past, she has heard positive feedback from students and faculty.

Haugen’s main goal every year is to keep students at BSU. She wants to provide them with connections for seeking a major or minor while getting them out of their comfort zone by participating in the community and looking at their strengths. In the future, Haugen wants students in their first couple of years at BSU to have access to faculty, become involved on campus through clubs, learn more about themselves, and form their own path to a career.

The event brought in students who knew their majors and what they wanted in a career, and helped them understand how to attain that goal. Katelyn Voll and Alyssa Culleton, both freshman and Physical Therapy majors, thought the event was overwhelming due to the crowd of people there. They felt it was hard to not feel rushed talking to faculty, but they were glad to see that faculty was able to talk to them as well as the other students. Culleton said that she was glad she came to the event and learned more about how to get into her major. They both liked that clubs where there to show freshman that getting involved in the community and on campus matters.

Virgil Bakken, a Mass Communications professor and the department’s chair, was impressed that freshman and undecided students were looking at different majors and opportunities. He thought the event was a great way to help students get out of their comfort zones to talk to faculty. Bakken was also impressed when he saw departments supporting each other at the event. Bakken thought it was nice to see BSU’s department faculty working together by directing students to different departments if they were undecided or seeking a minor.

Sadie Emerson, a sophomore and undecided student, thought the event helped her get an understanding of what major would interest her as well as work with her strengths. She was able to seek out faculty that she did not know and receive advice on what direction she should take at BSU.

This event brought in approximately 250 students. According to Angela Schmidt, Career Services Office Manager, this year’s Major and Career Expo is the largest they have had. Career Services plans to keep on improving and making the Major and Career Expo better each year for new and undecided students. They know they have the faculty supporting this event and want to use them as connections so students feel like they are not just a number at BSU.