Career Exploration through the Journey Program

Name: Sam Secrest

Major: Philosophy, Politics, and Economics

Class Year: 2023

My major is a good indicator of my career exploration process: a little all over the place. I have many interests but have struggled to truly nail down any particular career I would like to pursue. This became very stressful for me during freshman year and carried into my sophomore year. Over winter break of my sophomore year, I signed up for the Journey Program, a week-long seminar on career exploration put on by the Knowlton Center. I hoped this program would help me decide a career path to lock myself into.

I now consider the Journey Program a pivotal turning point in my career exploration process. My stress over picking a career has eased significantly since the seminar. The funny thing is: the program did not lock me into a career like I had hoped. Rather, the focus of the Journey Program was to map out and discuss my many interests and possible career paths. In a group setting, with the help of a Knowlton Center career coach and a few other students, we created visual maps about different things we were looking for in careers, different interests, and even dream jobs. We then discussed our different plans and potential careers. Over the course of the Journey Program, I probably imagined 10 different life paths for myself. The seminar helped me realize that having a lot of different options and interests is not stressful when you organize your thoughts. Organization helped me see that there is not one correct path in my career searching process. It is a winding road.

Since the Journey Program, I have engaged my different interests rather than trying to focus in on one. I have made connections with people working in the NFL, the FBI, and various other business and law fields. I meet with the Knowlton Center regularly to organize my thoughts about these career paths. I now have many different viable options for a career in the future, and no longer feel stressed about locking into one. Therefore, the advice I would give to my younger self and other Denison students is to keep your options open and explore them all. Do not focus on locking yourself into one interest, but rather focus on exploring all your interests fully by meeting with Knowlton Center career coaches or participating in a seminar like the Journey Program. This will lead to less stress and more excitement about opportunities for your future.

Click here to register to attend the virtual Journey Program January 10-13, 2022.

By Sam Secrest
Sam Secrest Junior