Career Planning for Students

What are your interests?

The goal of career planning is to find a career that is more than just meeting your needs. What you really want for your career is to be paid to play! So the obvious first step is to find out what is play for you.

The office of career planning and placement has an on-line interests test that you can take. This test has no right answers. It simply asks you to compare from some list of items what you would prefer to do. The questions are wide-ranging and sometimes humorous. Taking the test is really mostly fun because you just select your favorite things. The results you give are compared with people who do a wide range of occupations. The exam report will tell you which careers match most closely to your own interests and personality. You don't want to take the results as some kind of mandate engraved in stone, but the list of best-matches should provide you with some starting ideas.

Another way to find a field of interest is to take a trip to a campus library and/or the bookstore. Walk through the stacks and find the section from which you just can't seem to take yourself away. You keep looking over titles and opening books and what you see is exciting and you wish you had more time to just sit and read them. You may have found your field of interest.

The college catalog can also help you find your interests. Some department has course listings that just sound so great to you that you'd love to take them...if only you had time. Well, maybe you should take the time and take at least one of those courses. Is it the best course you ever took? Maybe you have found your new major!

At a small university, it may be that a particular field or major is not available. If your career needs such a major, then perhaps you need to transfer to another university.

What I am saying is to follow your dreams...pursue them vigorously! Here at the university you have the luxury of developing yourself in one of a myriad of directions. Take advantage of the diversity and find yourself a career that you will love. For the rest of your life you will be excited to go to work because it is really "play" to you...it is fun and your happiness is assured!

More Advice on Careers in Plant Biology

As a plant biologist, I have experience in developing a career in this area. Of course I am thrilled to talk with you about my favorite topic anytime. Feel free to drop in to my office hours if your interests lie in this area.

For now, let me just link you up to some sites that give a nice bit of advice on careers in plant biology:

Botanical Society of America
American Institute of Biological Sciences

I also have a page of advice on graduate school admissions.

This page © Ross E. Koning 1994.

Go to the Plant Physiology Information Homepage.

Send comments and bug reports to Ross Koning at: koningre∂gmail⋅com.