Margaret Murphy, says, “Students should not pick a major because they think it will make them a lot of money.” Her advice, is to instead, “pick a major that makes you excited to learn and get better at, something you can see spending your whole life learning.”
As someone who switched majors, Margaret can attest to the importance of loving your major. She recalls her most meaningful experience on campus as finding a home in the agriculture communications major. “Agricultural Communications gives me the freedom to develop a wide array of skills. That sounds cliché, but it's true. I’ve taken photography, advertising, social media, agriculture, campaign, and writing classes. All are skills that I can use when looking for a job after I graduate.”
Margaret finds she is more willing to push herself to learn because she enjoys the classes in the AGCM program. She gets to apply two things that she loves, science and writing, to a future career. Choosing what she gets to study makes developing critical skills fun for her.
She also credits her passion to her advisor and appreciates that, within her major, the professors treat students like employees. This allows students the opportunity to prepare for the work force so they are not caught off guard when they graduate. Being able to connect personally with her professors and classmates gives University of Illinois the feel of a small school while still allowing students to reap the benefits of a large university, she says.
Margaret is currently working as a marketing intern at J&J Services and is a manager at Busichia’s Greenhouse. She also has worked at her family’s nursery for years, which she says, is what inspired her to pursue a career in the ag industry. “I like how my major allows me to take horticulture classes and communications classes, blending my passions into one career path.”