"You Majored in What?" Now in Paperback

k_brooksThis May flocks of recent college grads will be polishing their resumes, prepping for interviews and priming their answers for The Question: “What are you going to do with that liberal arts major?”

According to Kate Brooks, liberal arts career services director, the answer is: Just about anything you want to do!

In “You Majored in What: Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career” (Viking, 2009), Brooks helps students on the cusp of graduation make sense out of their overwhelming job search.

Contrary to the traditional myth that liberal arts majors are limited to few career options, Brooks explains how degrees in such fields as English, economics and history can be very marketable to future employers in various sectors. Through practical techniques including visual mapping, storytelling and experimenting, she shows readers how to plot out their career goals and translate their broad field of study in interviews and resumes.

Brooks uses the chaos theory to show students how to make new connections from the seeming chaos of their lives. One popular aspect of this theory is the butterfly effect: the notion that a small action now can have a dramatic effect in the future.

book

In a recent Washington Post story, Ivellisse Morales, a public relations major at Boston University, said …“I’ve managed to reasonably plan out my life, but for the undecided college student, ‘the butterfly effect’ is a savior. With colloquial yet comforting language, Katherine explains the need to know one’s self —skills, interests and talents— to find a job after graduation, no matter what major or circumstances…”

“You Majored in What?” is now available in paperback with an added appendix on job hunting in a recession.

For more career advise, visit Brooks’ Psychology Today blog Career Transitions.

Have you been asked The Question? What was your response? Post a comment and tell us about it.

“You Majored in What?” Now in Paperback

k_brooksThis May flocks of recent college grads will be polishing their resumes, prepping for interviews and priming their answers for The Question: “What are you going to do with that liberal arts major?”

According to Kate Brooks, liberal arts career services director, the answer is: Just about anything you want to do!

In “You Majored in What: Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career” (Viking, 2009), Brooks helps students on the cusp of graduation make sense out of their overwhelming job search.

Contrary to the traditional myth that liberal arts majors are limited to few career options, Brooks explains how degrees in such fields as English, economics and history can be very marketable to future employers in various sectors. Through practical techniques including visual mapping, storytelling and experimenting, she shows readers how to plot out their career goals and translate their broad field of study in interviews and resumes.

Brooks uses the chaos theory to show students how to make new connections from the seeming chaos of their lives. One popular aspect of this theory is the butterfly effect: the notion that a small action now can have a dramatic effect in the future.

book

In a recent Washington Post story, Ivellisse Morales, a public relations major at Boston University, said …“I’ve managed to reasonably plan out my life, but for the undecided college student, ‘the butterfly effect’ is a savior. With colloquial yet comforting language, Katherine explains the need to know one’s self —skills, interests and talents— to find a job after graduation, no matter what major or circumstances…”

“You Majored in What?” is now available in paperback with an added appendix on job hunting in a recession.

For more career advise, visit Brooks’ Psychology Today blog Career Transitions.

Have you been asked The Question? What was your response? Post a comment and tell us about it.

Texas Book Festival Begins this Weekend

1197052_texas_gov_house_at_austinUniversity of Texas at Austin faculty and alumni authors will share their expertise on topics ranging from the fate of Savannah during the Civil War, to mapping a career path, to the culture of Texas barbecue at the 2009 Texas Book Festival Oct. 31-Nov. 1 at the Texas Capitol and surrounding areas.

More than 200 writers will showcase their books, including a host of authors from our university. Some of the presenters include:

Author: Jeffrey Abramson, professor of law and government
Book: “Minerva’s Owl: The Tradition of Western Political Thought”
When: Saturday, Oct. 31
Where: Texas State Capitol: Capitol Extension Room E2.028

Author: Oscar Casares, assistant professor of English
Book: “Amigoland”
When: Saturday, Oct. 31
Where: Texas State Capitol: Capitol Extension Room E2.016

Author: Jacqueline Jones, the Walter Prescott Webb Chair in History and Ideas and Mastin Gentry White Professor in Southern History
Book: “Saving Savannah: The City and the Civil War”
When: Saturday, Oct. 31
Where: Texas State Capitol Extension Room E2.028

Author: Kate Brooks, director of Liberal Arts Career Services
Book: “You Majored in What?: Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career”
When: Sunday, Nov. 1
Where: Lifestyle Tent (10th and Congress)

Author: Lucas A. Powe, Jr., professor of law and government
Book: “The Supreme Court and the American Elite”
When: Sunday, Nov. 1
Where: Texas State Capitol: Capitol Extension Room E2.016

Author: Elizabeth Engelhardt, associate professor of American Studies
Book: “Republic of Barbecue: Stories Beyond the Brisket”
When: Sunday, Nov. 1
Where: Cooking Tent

Author: Mark Weston, UT Law alumnus (moderated by ShelfLife@Texas contributor Laura Castro)
Book: “Prophets & Princes: Saudi Arabia from Muhammad to the Present
When: Sunday, Nov. 1
Where: Texas State Capitol: Capitol Extension Room E2.014

The Texas Book Festival was founded in 1995 by former first lady Laura Bush to promote reading and honor Texas authors. Sessions are free and open to the public. Proceeds from books purchased at the festival benefit the state’s public libraries.

Visit this site for a full list of festival authors.

Career Counselor to Discuss “You Majored in What?”

Liberal Arts Career Services Director Kate Brooks will read and sign “You Majored in What: Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career” (Viking, 2009) at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 7 at Barnes & Noble, located in the Arboretum shopping center on Research Boulevard.

Brooks, who has been guiding students to successful careers for more than 20 years, points out that many college students feel a sense of comfort in thinking that their major will lead them directly to an ideal career path. While these reasoning methods are logical, they could find themselves lost when they venture into the working world.

Steering away from the dated career assessment tests and structured job-seeking manuals that guide career seekers on a direct path from major to occupation, Brooks encourages readers to wander off course and embrace the chaos.

“Foreign Language Major in the Workplace” course illustration by Samuel Martinez.

To help students find their true calling, Brooks created the Wise Wandering system to show students how to turn the chaos of their education and life experiences into a fulfilling career through mapping techniques, experiments and storytelling.

With an emphasis on the mathematical chaos theory, she illustrates how the path to a career can be thrown off course by a key element: the butterfly effect. The concept, built around the premise that little things can have enormous effects, illuminates how seemingly insignificant events can significantly alter a student’s career path.

An interesting read for college students and recent graduates of all majors, the career guide offers a practical and unique approach to discovering new opportunities and finding a final professional destination. Students enrolled in Brooks’ course, “The Liberal Arts Major in the Workplace,” use the book as a guide for their wandering journeys.

Read Brooks’ top 10 tips for landing a job

For more career advise, visit Brooks’ Psychology Today blog Career Transitions.

Did you end up in a job that doesn’t have anything to do with your college major? Leave us a comment and tell us about it.