Finding the Perfect Major

emily kicinski.

“A one hour appointment changed my life,” Emily Kicinski wrote on her blog. This meeting — with a counselor at Career Design Services — was her turning point.

Getting Her Head above Water

“When I first met with Holly at the Career Design Center, I had a complete breakdown in her office,” said Emily, who thought she wanted to be a marine biologist (she had even taken SCUBA lessons). “All of my friends were bio majors. I felt like I had to be a bio major.” But Emily’s grades were dropping, and she was starting to hate her initial choice. So she made an appointment to see Holly at the Career Design Center.

During their first meeting, Holly asked Emily questions about her personality and interests. Soon, Emily realized she could combine her skills in research and critical thinking with her love for reading and writing—as an English major. “I wasn’t given a brand new major out of a magic hat,” wrote Emily. “But what I was given was the confidence to make choices based on what I wanted and who I was.”

It helped her find a new career path, discover her confidence—and ultimately become a mentor to countless other students. 

Becoming a Peer Advisor

Once Emily was on the right track, she wanted to help other students who were struggling with their life choices. “I fell in love with the office and what they do there,” says Emily, who knows firsthand what it’s like to be frustrated as a student. So she became a Career Peer Advisor, working with other students to help them uncover their interests, strengthen their resumes, and ultimately find the perfect internship or job. As a Peer Advisor, Emily gets to give back to the campus community, learn new skills such as public speaking, and gain experience by working side-by-side with career service professionals. 

It’s OK to not have all the answers right away. There are people you can talk to.”

Helping Students Take the Next Step

“It’s so hard for students to meet employers,” explains Emily. Many are busy with classes, too shy to take the first step, or simply don’t know where to start. At the Career Design Center, students can talk with someone about how to write a cover letter, what to say in an interview, and the best way to apply their skills. “Everyone at the Career Design Center is really interested in helping other people succeed,” says Emily. And their work impacts students for decades to come. “When the Career Design Center helps someone get an internship,” says Emily. “That can grow into a career that they’re in for 30 years.” These successful UB alumni can then give back to the university, perhaps by volunteering, mentoring students, hiring UB graduates or even donating to UB—all of which enhance the university’s reputation and benefit future generations. “It’s a cycle that helps people long-term.”

Students needing help choosing a major or career should contact:

University at Buffalo
259 Capen Hall, North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260

Phone: (716) 645-2231