Edit desk: Flexible passions


When I was a freshman in college, I had no idea what I wanted to study. Being someone who avoids anything science related, I didn’t have many options to choose from in arts and sciences. I was so focused on what people would think of my major, rather than choosing a major that I was passionate about.

Lisa Ulker

Lisa Ulker

You’ve probably been told by multiple adults that they changed their majors at least two or three times throughout college. Now that I’m a junior in college, I am one of those people who can now say that she changed her major three times. You’ve also probably been told that you’re major doesn’t really matter, which is something that I questioned until I realized my own sister majored in English and is now at medical school.

By the middle of my fall semester of sophomore year, I thought I had everything set. I was going to major in economics in the College of Arts and Sciences and have a business minor, so that I could eventually get a future career in business. Yet, after taking ECO 1, I realized midway through winter break that I really disliked economics.

From this point on, my winter break of relaxation became a break of stress and confusion. I had to sit down and actually think about what I was good at, which is when I finally realized the path that I should take: switching to the business school and majoring in marketing. But was it too late? Or was it even possible?

By doing more research and by getting advice from older peers, I realized that in order to switch to the business school and graduate on time, I would be really behind and have to take a lot of summer classes. I then realized that it would be risky to switch so late in the game, and that I should just stay in arts and sciences — once again back where I started.

At first, I was disappointed. The only major that was the closest to marketing was journalism, and I thought that journalism wouldn’t be good enough. But the more research I did on the journalism classes at Lehigh, the more interested I was in the major.

I thought that the journalism major was more geared towards broadcasting and being a news anchor, but I’ve learned it’s extremely beneficial for a job in public relations, marketing and of course, journalism.

Nowadays, the world is consumed with technology and most marketing channels are technologically based. In fact, the journalism department at Lehigh has multiple classes that are based on technology and social media. One class I took last semester, visual communications, expanded our knowledge on three programs that some marketing positions want people to have experience in: Photoshop, InDesign and iMovie. We created our own magazine layout, as well as our own video. As someone who is interested in the graphic design of marketing, knowing how to use these programs is extremely beneficial.

I’m currently in a class called multimedia storytelling, where we’ve created our own website, Twitter handles and YouTube accounts. We’re learning how to brand ourselves, as well as being more active on social media — two things that are important marketing tools for companies wanting to expand their brand and become more popular.

The more classes that I take within the journalism department, the more confident I am in that I made the right decision. Even though I used to get embarrassed when I’d get asked the typical, “What are you going to do with a journalism major?” question, I can now walk away with confidence. As journalism major and a business minor, I’m not only becoming a better writer, but I also have a diverse background of classes. I get a feel from everything from how to edit a paper, to writing blog posts and to filling out a balance sheet in accounting. I’ve also had two marketing internships, and will take on another marketing internship this summer, despite the fact that I’m a journalism major.

So I promise you, if things don’t go your way just know that everything does happen for a reason — for the better.

Lisa Ulker, ’17, is a designer for The Brown and White. She can be reached at [email protected].

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