My Best Advice…for Choosing a Concentration

By: Jyoti Devagupta

As a rising senior, I have declared a concentration in finance with a minor in economics. It took a long time to decide what I wanted to concentrate in and how it would fit into my career path. During the hours I work at the UDC and many of the ES interviews I have given, the biggest concern that I hear is about choosing a concentration. Here are a few tips to narrow down your choice:

  1. Use Past Internship Experiences to Gauge Your Interest

One way I was able to narrow down my decision was by my internship experience sophomore year summer. I was lucky enough to get a finance internship at a company close to my home, where I discovered I actually enjoyed the work I was doing and was able to apply knowledge I learned in my Questrom classes to projects I was assigned. My decision was easy after successfully completing this internship and receiving feedback from my boss. My advice is get some sort of experience in areas you are interested in. Whether it is an internship, shadowing an individual, sitting in on meetings with professionals, clubs or organizations at school, attending events, volunteering, whatever puts your closer to understanding an industry or role! Finding something you are interested in and enjoy is valuable information to take into account when you are deciding your concentration.

  1. Talk to People In The Industry

Another tip I would give is to talk to people who hold positions in the industry you want to go into. I think that this is one of the best ways to gain insight from people who have already been in your shoes and can look back to give you advice from their experiences. If you just simply ask them what their major and minor was in undergrad and how they feel that has prepared them for the work they are doing now, it will help you gauge how relevant concentrating in a specific area can be and how to best prepare yourself for the field. In addition, they may give you their take on what classes they wish they had taken in undergrad that you can put into your plans.

  1. Use Your Professors and Coursework to Aid Your Decision

Many people forget that most professors at BU have worked in the industry they currently teach. I found it very helpful to talk to professors because most of the time they have a good sense of a student’s strengths and weaknesses. They are an invaluable resource that many students often overlook. In addition, use the course descriptions and assignments from introductory courses to see if you enjoy the subject. This helped me eliminate a few concentrations and narrowed down my decision.

I hope these tips encourage you to start thinking about what you want to concentrate in and make your decision a bit easier! Always remember that the UDC is a resource to help you with this decision! There are many resources to explore industries, roles, and skills relevant to them. Use things like Vault, Concentration to Career Guides, What Can You Be With a Questrom Degree Facebook Live events, etc. Most importantly, pick something you enjoy and the rest will fall into place!

By Trish Harper
Trish Harper ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, UNDERGRADUATE CAREER ADVISING Profile Picture