My first informational interview was with a camper earlier this summer who works as the sustainability coordinator at National Geographic. We connected because I am the sustainability coordinator at camp, and we mutually were interested in talking with each other. During the interview, she described her untraditional career path. As an undergrad at U of M, she majored in anthropology and spent three years after undergrad to travel around the world. When she returned to the U.S., she decided she liked National Geographic and wanted to work there, so she contacted everyone she knew that had a connection to Nat Geo and persistently displayed enthusiasm about the organization. Eventually she was offered a position and worked her way up to eventually become the first person whose position is dedicated solely to Nat Geo’s sustainability initiatives.
I really enjoyed speaking with her because I’m also interested in traveling after undergrad and taking time to figure out my career path before I enter into graduate school. It was reassuring to meet someone who took a few years before entering the workforce and ended up with a highly successful career that is unrelated to her undergraduate degree. As a rising senior, there is a lot of pressure to have your post-graduate plans figured out and enter the workforce with career goals in mind. Although I have personal goals, I would like to keep an open mind about my career path because I know I will change my mind more than once.