Finding the right college fit

Celestina Maduro graduated Philadelphia University in 2012 with a Major in Fashion Industry Management and a Minor in Marketing. Wanting to be an integral part of her campus community she became Student Body Vice President and actively participated in multiple campus and community outreach programs.
Currently working for a domestic apparel production company, she’s pursuing new avenues of interests including the environment along with community and economic development. I can definitely say that life isn’t easy but it’s certainly an adventure.

College should be one of the most amazing times in a person’s life. It is the perfect environment for exploration. It gives each of us a chance to experience new subjects, activities, and people, all while gaining and sharpening valuable skills. It is a time to find yourself and, usually, your career path. What we don’t learn in college is that our majors and activities don’t always determine where we will end up in life.

My university experience led me to major in Fashion Industry Management with a minor in Marketing. Many people asked me how I learned that apparel production and sourcing is what I wanted to do. Honestly, I didn’t know. And if I’m being honest now, I still don’t. I knew that I had an affinity for fashion and enjoyed the versatility of the industry and the courses I took. At the time, that was enough for me.

Whilst in college we were encouraged to try many different programs and get involved in different clubs. I tried everything from organic chemistry to sculpting to Zumba. Any class or elective that I had any interest in, I would try. I got myself involved in student government, volunteered within the local community, and worked in the student center. But after college all my new skills and interests were never put to good use.

I spent four years in college studying what I enjoyed, graduated, and immediately started working in that same field. Two years have gone by and I find myself wondering whether I want to continue to pursue this career.

Initially, that was a scary thought. We go through college and learn a variety of things, only to be told that we are only qualified for what’s written on our diplomas. But now I didn’t want to do what was on my diploma. I was conflicted, but I realized that post-grad can be treated like college. I can still pursue an assortment of interests.

The many classes I took, the random clubs I joined, the sports I participated in do not have to be exclusive to college. I did all those things to find the right fit. And what I found is that I fit into a lot of different categories. So why box myself in when it comes to a career? We live in an age where people can have several careers in their lifetime.
College is about discovery and figuring out what it is that you would like to do, but what we all fail to realize is that we can do more than one thing. I enjoy spontaneity, I really don’t like being locked into any position or field too long. I like to learn and explore on the go. I plan on having several different rewarding careers in this lifetime. I don’t expect it to be easy but know it will be an adventure.

So I say take your time; there’s no rush. Explore different fields and try new things. Who knows? You might have an affinity for Japanese or forestry or maybe you want to make darn good fireworks. The point is that you can accomplish a lot, you can learn a hundred times more, and participate in anything you want to. It all starts with that first project, your first committee meeting or first time on the field. Both college and post-grad is what you make of it. Enjoy it. Work at your own pace and make life work for you.

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