Some people know what they want to study in college before they even start. Others figure it out along the way as they begin taking their generals. Jeanne and Cooper share how they decided what to study after making the decision of where to go to college.

Jeanne's Story

The beauty of going to a smaller college is the one-on-one guidance that can help you make a decision that could impact your future in a big way. Winona State is known as a top school for the nursing program, along with many other great programs.  I knew I wanted to go into the health field, but was not sure to what extent.

That is when I discovered the Therapeutic Recreation Program. Being someone who was very active in sports my whole life, I knew that this program would be a great fit to work with people with disabilities to be able to  participate in daily activities and sports if they chose too.

I loved the idea of being out and about in the community and also knowing that I can be a part of a team that can help make a difference in people lives. Many students change their majors early on or even mid stream into their college education and it is key that you have the right people guiding you to help you stay on track, that is what you will find at a school like Winona State.

Looking back not only did I have a fantastic support system but was also given the tools to help make my education apply to the work force and be ready with the skills I needed to be successful. Realistically, not everyone may even pursue a job in the field they majored in, but having the variety of studies through your education can be the key to opening many doors.

I obviously am not in that same field anymore, but with my educational background and work experience it made a smooth transition into broadcasting which is what I do now and have been in the field for many years. Winona State was a great for for me on so many levels and I am proud to say I am a WSU Alumni.

Cooper's Story

All through high school, I knew I wanted to enter the field of mass media for a career. Along with the other activities I was involved in, I essentially started a high school newspaper, worked as a photographer and videographer for a couple of our high school sports teams, and was one of a couple high school contributors to the local community weekly newspaper.

Entering college at Bemidji State University, I new I was declaring for the Mass Communications program, but I wasn't sure where my primary emphasis would lie. The cool thing about the program at BSU is that there are a number of hands-on opportunities to really get a feel for various aspects of the field and shape your direction.

Within the first month of my freshman year, a professor in the department by the name of Al Nohner offered me a job writing for the communications office at BSU. I got to write press releases and other outgoing information about the college, athletes, and students that got sent out to be published in newspapers across the United States and Canada.

Accompanying that opportunity were hands-on experiences with the campus television and radio stations and a wide range of classes in the program that gave me the opportunity to become a "Swiss Army Knife" in the world of media, further honing my skills in writing, photography, video production, broadcasting, public relations, and marketing.

While I slowly focused more and more on radio broadcasting later in college, I continued to take advantage of every opportunity to learn about the other disciplines in the program. The fact that the program at BSU provides a lot of diversity and flexibility within the spectrum of course offerings put me on a great path to make myself a valuable asset in the workforce, granting me the opportunity to have worked in marketing, television, and radio since graduating. I can say with confidence that those courses and experiences at BSU allowed me to enter into each of those job opportunities with comfort and ease, knowing that I was qualified to take them on.

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