You Can Always Change Your Mind

“I started my college career as a Civil Engineering major in the fall of 2015. I joined clubs, climbed the ladder, and went through the motions. By the fall of 2016, I was a UT study abroad alum, an administrative assistant and peer advisor in the engineering study abroad office, and president of the UT chapter of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute-- but I wasn’t totally satisfied. While I was home for winter break, mentally preparing myself for the semester ahead, I realized that I was not looking forward to my classes-- no interest, no excitement-- not only for the next semester, but for the rest of my college career. My entire future, the next four years and well after that, was laid out before me, but I didn’t like what I saw. So, I leapt. After combing through all of the majors available in various schools across campus, I decided on Anthropology...which I knew absolutely nothing about. The way I see it, the whole point of education is too learn, and if these are supposed to be “the best years of my life” I might as well enjoy them!

After a year and a half of engineering, I officially changed my major to Anthropology and hit the ground running. Now a year and half later, my passion shows through a significant improvement in my GPA, and I have two incredible jobs. To that end, finding an internship is easier said than done. My biggest piece of advice: don’t waste your time applying to stuff or going to career fairs.

*GASP* I know right? Use things like engineering EXPO or McCombs career services if you need to practice your social-professional skills or want to update your resume, but university sponsored career fairs are a dead end. I’ve found it truly is about who you know, but you have to put yourself out there. I started out at Insitome, a start up consumer genomics company, about a year ago, and I landed the job by literally emailing the CEO. I am the Scientific Content Coordinator, and I run most of the marketing for a largely media driven company.

Learning and growing is not always easy. From unpaid internships to volunteering, you won’t always find monetary reward, but it might be a catalyst for a career in the future. I also work pro-bono as the External Affairs Representative at Texas Memorial Museum. I found this job by simply offering my time and skills to the director. Now, I’m curating new exhibits, planning events, and communicating with other university officials and members of the Texas community to bring an 80 year-old museum back into the sunlight.

Finding your fit takes time and consideration. I’ve found the most joy and fulfillment in doing something I’m interested in--even if it doesn’t lead to me rolling in the dough in my starting position right out of college. If you can find your passion, money will follow.”

Mackenzie FinkleaB.A. Anthropology || Architecture Minor || BDP Museum Studies

Life as an engineer: President of Earthquake Engineering Research Institute at UT

Life as an engineer: President of Earthquake Engineering Research Institute at UT

 

 

Life as an Anthropologist: Scientific Content Coordinator at Insitome and Podcast personality ;)

Life as an Anthropologist: Scientific Content Coordinator at Insitome and Podcast personality ;)

Mackenzie Finklea