Step 1: Assess Yourself

Self-assessment is a vital part of the career planning process and will take a bit of time. You will want to consider and evaluate areas such as your values, interests, skills, personality, and desired lifestyle. Take into consideration your academic strengths and weaknesses. For example, if you dislike math, you will want to avoid those majors that require multiple quantitative courses.

Since it is often easier for students to determine what they do not want to major in versus what they do want, using the process of elimination can at least help narrow your options. You start by considering all the majors offered in CCAS, and eliminate the majors you do NOT want to pursue after reflecting on your interests. Then, take some time to think about all the majors you did not eliminate.

A good first step in the decision making process is to assess your interests, skills/abilities, and values. 

To start the self-assessment process, consider the following questions:

  • What are the subjects in which you excel and find intriguing?
  • What activities do you especially enjoy--research, writing, performing, sports, hands-on activities, organizing, creative activities? What are your hobbies?
  • What skills do you believe you possess, i.e., leadership, organization, teaching, research, etc.?
  • What do you value--service to others, accumulating wealth, happiness in your home, independence in work situations? What brings you satisfaction? What kind of environment makes you happiest?

You can also utilize many CCAS and GW student resources to help you narrow your focus:

  • Meet with a CCAS Academic Advisor to discuss your goals, interests and challenges.
  • Attend a Major Exploration Workshop.
  • The GW Center for Career Services located in the Marvin Center Suite 505, offers a variety of assessments to assist you in examining your interests, values, skills, and personality.  Drop in and meet with a Career Consultant for their recommendation for which assessment(s) to take.  In a follow-up appointment, the Career Consultant will review your results and assist you with interpretation.