Was Babson The Right Choice? Five Things I’ve Learned While Interning This Summer
Before being lured in by business and deciding to attend Babson College, I had once aspired to follow the very untraditional (sarcasm) route of majoring in political science/international relations, taking out a couple of hundred thousand dollar loans in order to attend law school, and ultimately “changing the world.” However, the summer before my senior year in high school I participated in the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) Startup Summer program, an eight-week accelerator for high school students that launches their startup by the end of camp. Needless to say, it changed my life.
I was chosen to be one of the six finalists that would compete in their Investment Panel (think something like Shark Tank) with $10,000 up for grabs. I won first place and received $4,000 in capital for my nonprofit organization One Page Closer, which provides fully stocked bookcases to kids and teens in low-income communities in Miami, Florida.
The reason I’m telling you all this is to convey my prior held belief in the fact that falling in love with business somehow signified falling out of love with politics. When choosing what university to attend I had the choice between Babson and two other schools where I could have studied business and political science. But, I was convinced that business was my future and my political ambitions were just another childhood career aspiration. When I arrived at Babson and immersed myself in the business culture, I loved it. Yet, I realized that I was constantly reading up on current government policy, watching political documentaries, and my favorite class was Justice and Inequality instead of something like Accounting (which I actually dropped my first semester, yikes).
Honestly, I kind of freaked out when my mom pointed out that it seemed I was more interested in political trends than business. For a brief moment, I wondered if I had made the wrong choice by coming to Babson. I decided to approach my interest in government the same way I was navigating my interest in the creative side of business, by pursuing extracurricular and professional opportunities outside of class that would expose me to these areas. At the end of the day, a business education is valuable and whether I want to go into entertainment or politics the education and skills I’ll receive at Babson are transferable into any sector I wish to go into.
When the opportunity to go into politics this Summer presented itself, I believed it was a sign and jumped on it. For the past seven weeks, I’ve been interning on the Matt Haggman for Congress campaign in my hometown of Miami, Florida.
It’s been great to have a firsthand look of what happens behind the scenes of a political campaign and I definitely have a better idea of what it is that I want to do now. After interning for a couple of weeks now and reflecting on my first year at Babson, I want to share five things I’ve learned.
Your major won’t necessarily dictate your career
Just because my degree is going to say Business Administration and Management does not mean that I’ll be working specifically in management. In some cases, work experience can be a lot more valuable than the title of your major.
My first job won’t be my last job
One of the reasons I freaked out was because I felt this sense of urgency to immediately decide my career path as if starting out in business would mean ruling out politics forever. People usually change careers anywhere from three to seven times, so this notion that my first job would dictate the rest of my life was not only false, but it was also pretty unrealistic.
College is what I make of it, not the other way around
I’ve realized that the only one who can determine my college experience is me. Obviously, there are factors outside of my control, but what I do over the next for years, the way I use the resources available to me, and the opportunities I pursue are. Is Babson the ideal place to pursue business and politics? Probably not. But, what I can do is take advantage of the liberal arts curriculum, seek knowledge on my own time, and look for professional opportunities in politics as I am doing right now.
There are always ways to pursue my interests outside of class
We currently live in a time where knowledge is a click away. College curriculum is available online and websites like Skillshare make it possible for individuals to obtain education relatively cheap. I’m actually currently taking classes on branding and digital marketing in order to supplement my business classes at Babson.
It’s good to jump on opportunities that offer me a chance to obtain experience in anything I’m remotely interested in
Although interning on a political campaign isn’t what I thought it was, I definitely don’t regret it. This experience has allowed me to have a better idea of what my future is going to look like which is why is how I’ve learned that it never hurts to look for a chance to work in an area you’re even remotely interested in. For my next internship, I’m hoping to do something in Finance/Investment Banking, not because I want to be the next Wolf of Wall Street, but rather to just to see if it’s something I could enjoy pursuing. At the end of the day, internships are about helping make your resume look good and figuring out if whatever you’re doing could be a viable career.
Overall, this Summer I’ve learned that you can be passionate about two different things and pursuing one doesn’t mean abandoning the other forever. For me, that’s business and politics. I might not know what my career will look like in three years, but I’m happy to say that I’m not freaking out anymore because of it and I’m open to whatever opportunities present themselves throughout my time here at Babson.