This year has been a lot about career exploration for me. I started the fall semester at a new co-op position at GE Digital in their new office downtown. It was a very different experience from my previous co-op rotations. The culture was a big change, and so was the type of work I got. I continued the internship part time over spring semester, which gave me the opportunity to discuss some of my career goals with my manager. I mentioned that I don’t plan to stay in Cincinnati after graduation; I want to move somewhere warm. This lead to them transferring me to the Atlanta, Georgia office for the summer semester. This is a great opportunity to see if the culture, location, and work are a good fit for me as I start to prepare for after graduation.
This year I also started struggling with the decision of whether to go into industry after completing my bachelor’s or to continue my education. Although I have not decided yet, I have started taking steps to help me towards that decision. I have had many discussions with coworkers over the benefits and pitfalls of each option. I think the biggest thing holding me back from pursuing a master’s degree is that I don’t know what I want my focus to be. I have reached out to faculty to find a research position for my senior year, which is going to result in one of three things: 1) I discover I love the research and I want to continue my education studying whatever I’m researching; 2) I hate research and decide I want to go right into industry; or 3) (the most likely scenario) I enjoy research well enough, but not necessarily more than working, and I still have no idea what I want to do after graduation.
This leaves a lot resting on next year’s shoulders. My main goal for next year is to decide between industry and continuing my education. I have some subgoals for this: Get a research position. A master’s in computer science requires a thesis, so I would like to find a topic that I am passionate about researching before committing a couple years to it. Interview with my top companies. Maybe I’ll get a really good offer that I can’t pass up. Talk with professors and professionals. They went through this decision before, so they’ll be able to offer some insight into my dilemma. Next year is a big year for me, and I’m nervous and excited for whatever it brings. My biggest goal is to try to relax and enjoy my senior year!