If you had asked me when I was six until I was about nine years old, I would have told you that I wanted to be Nancy Drew when I grew up. She was smart, and she did important things like solve crimes and make the world a better place. She got to uncover wrong-doing, have adventures, fight evil, and she always won in the end. That sounded like a pretty good career to me.
When I got older, I realized that you couldn’t just be Nancy Drew. You needed to go to school and get your high school diploma and then go to college and get a degree and when you graduated, you would have a career. Unfortunately, there was no “girl investigator” concentration I had ever heard of, and everyone told me that “mystery solving” was not a major at any college anywhere.
So instead of being a crime-fighter, I’d have to have a career. But it sounded dull to me. What I knew about careers: people who had them wore suits, carried briefcases, looked stern, and never talked about anything interesting. It sounded like a terrible life. I didn’t really want a career.
When I graduated from high school, I went to college not really knowing, exactly, what I wanted to do. I had a slightly more sophisticated view of the world at that point, and I understood that there was a wide variety of options out there for me, but nothing seemed right. I was interested in technology, in business, in communication. I was interested in marketing, I thought, maybe, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a marketer. I got a degree in business communication, and that was nice, but it didn’t feel like my calling. I didn’t feel like I had traded in my dream of being Nancy Drew for something equally important.
And sometimes that happens—sometimes it takes a long time to figure out what your passion is, to know what you’re really good at, to discover that there’s a way to become the person you imagine you could be. It happened to me when I discovered that I could get a master’s degree in business administration (MBA). That I could learn about business, and social media specifically, and how to use it to connect people and how it was changing the world and changing how we communicate.
It wasn’t crime-solving, but the idea of helping shape how we use technology in our business and personal relationships felt really important. I had found the thing I was passionate about. I’m working on my master’s degree now, and working as the Social Media Guru for CollegeAmerica. Getting a master’s degree feels like a huge accomplishment; figuring out what I want to do, the career I want to pursue, who I want to be when I grow up, is even better than being Nancy Drew.
Sara Nelson is the Social Media Guru for CollegeAmerica, overseeing the college’s profiles on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and more. She is also a student in the Master in Business Administration (MBA) program, and she enjoys spending time with her family, listening to good music, and eating freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.