Discovering What You Want

Annie ThomasWhen I was just a young kid, I remember expressing to anyone that would listen what I wanted to be when I grew up. The conversation would always go something like this:

“I either wanna be an astronaut, a cowgirl, a singer, a writer, or President.
Or maybe a teacher, like my mom. Or an engineer, like my dad.”

Every time I told a new listener what I wanted to be, I added preposterous new desires to my list of possible careers. As I grew older, I began to exclude the more unlikely occupations from my list ( I can’t sing, and being a cowgirl doesn’t  offer a great benefits package). When I reached high school, I was focused on becoming a chef and local restaurant owner. As I started my first years of college, I wanted to be a social worker, helping young and struggling families. I changed my major five times, exploring nutrition, athletic training, sociology, teaching, and business. After two years of aimlessly registering for classes all over campus, I finally landed on Business Administration. I even added a minor in Human Resources because it only required one extra class.

After my first year in the business school, I applied for the Huntsman Scholars, a rigorous academic program that imitates a graduate studies semester for international business. At first, I wasn’t accepted.. I was absolutely deflated when I read the rejection email. But after a couple months, someone dropped out and I was asked to take their place. Twenty-three of the most academically driven students in the business school were also accepted into the program, and I learned more from associating with them than I did in most of my classes. In addition to my classmates, my professors were some of the most intelligent and thoughtful people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. I consider their mentorship some of the most important investments I made in college.

I absolutely loved my college experience in the Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University. After four and a half years, I graduated with honors. But if I’m going to be honest, even after all that exploring, participating in the Huntsman Scholars, two internships, and a new job as a Recruiting Associate, I still have no idea what I want to do as a career.

What I do know is I know I have the determination to work out at 5:00 am before I head into work, and the energy to hang out with my loved ones when I get home. I’m smart enough to excel at any job I get, and that I’m qualified to apply for any promotion that comes available. I know I’m tough enough to recover from the disappointment of not getting a promotion. I know I have the discipline to stay focused, even on a Friday afternoon.

College didn’t reveal which occupation was custom-fitted for me, but it did teach me how to work hard and how to recover when something didn’t work out the way I had planned. College didn’t tell me exactly where I should be working from 9 to 5 every day, but four and a half years of conversation with educated and driven people expanded my horizons beyond what I could have imagined. Maybe being an astronaut hasn’t worked out for me (yet), but my college education showed me that anything is possible, and with a little perseverance, doors will continue to open to me for the rest of my life.


Annie Thomas graduated from Utah State University in December of 2014 with a degree in Business Administration and a minor in Human Resources. During her tenure at Utah State, she was a four year varsity letter-winner on the softball team. After graduation, Annie moved to Washington D.C. for a four month internship with the Insured Retirement Institute, where she participated in planning and hosting events on Capitol Hill. Annie recently accepted a position at VISTA Staffing, where she recruits physicians and places them in temporary all over the country. In her free time, Annie loves to go hiking, boating, fishing, playing slow-pitch softball, and attending any type of sporting event.

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