As a student at Penn, at times it can feel like you’re expected to have your whole life planned out from the moment you attend your first NSO event. It seems like most of the other students you talk to go in knowing what their career path will be after graduation; they already know their top 5 employers by sophomore year, have already had their internships at high-profile companies by their junior year, and then already have at least 3 offers by the end of first semester senor year. Although many students at Penn do have a concrete idea of what they want to do after graduation, along with a plan of how to get there, this should by no means be considered the “norm”. Many students do not have a direct career plan until junior or senior year, and some may not have an idea until after they graduate.
With spring semester moving quickly to the half-way point, it’s important to remember that if you do not have concrete career plans (especially for juniors and seniors) it is not a reason to panic, or feel that you are doing something wrong. Instead, use this as an opportunity to explore different fields through internships or volunteering. What can be perceived as having no direction in your career interests may actually be that you have very broad interests, which would enable you to be a good “fit” in a variety of different organizations or positions.
If you know what you want to do after graduation, that’s great. But if you are still figuring it out, that’s great too! Remember, in the words of Aerosmith, “Life’s a journey, not a destination”.