Our Academic Journey!

Hello there! We thought it would be fruitful for prospective students, parents, and possibly even current underclassmen to do a post on how we chose our majors. As we are both senior students, we can lend a unique perspective to this dialogue and explain a bit of our thoughts on the academic paths available here at Franklin.

I am an International Management and Finance major, graduating in May 2016. I had always believed I would study international business here at Franklin, and declared my major during my sophomore spring, which is when students tend to formally declare.

One of the deciding factors in choosing Franklin was the ability to truly experience the international aspect of an international business degree. I felt strongly I would be better prepared for an international career and management role if I had the opportunity to study with fellow students from all around the world and glean their intercultural perspectives as related to international business. I feel I have learned how to think critically, objectively, and analytically about global issues through my studies with Professors Rocourt, Colombo, Adams, Dudukovic, and others. Not only did I learn the fundamental skills needed to work for an investment firm once I graduate, but I also feel that my internship experiences, coupled with the fascinating students from around the world, has left me ready to graduate and explore career opportunities abroad.

Living in Switzerland over the past four years has contributed to my ability to be flexible, open-minded, and team-oriented in a professional setting. I feel like I am a much more dynamic candidate in an interview for a large, multinational company as I can back up my degree with real-world international experience.

Some of my favorite classes I have taken while at Franklin have included Quantitative Methods and Dynamic Forecasting, Investment Analysis I and II, and my Management capstone which I am currently enrolled in. I am lucky to have had the full support of Professor Rocourt in helping to plan out my schedule and academic plan - such a unique access to professors is a huge advantage of choosing Franklin.

Jessica and I share similar advice for freshmen just beginning their Franklin studies... but we were able to differentiate a few!
My advice to freshmen just starting their academic journey:
- Reach out to as many fellow students and faculty members as possible for advice on which major to choose, early on in the process. I paid attention freshman year to what upperclassmen expressed about their majors, and tried to listen to all advice they offered. The input I received as an underclassman factored into my decision, although I had a general sense when I committed to Franklin.
- Most notably for the freshmen who believe they will want to do a study abroad program at Franklin, or would like to study at home for a semester, it is essential to remain organized and plan your courses according to semester schedules. The sooner you can declare, the better your odds are of being able to spend a semester away from Franklin, see somewhere else, and still be able to graduate on time!
- Take an eclectic mix of classes, regardless of which major you end up choosing. Some of the courses I have enjoyed most have had nothing to do with Management and Finance, such as a Hauntings and Ghosts course with Professor Ferrari and several art courses with Professor Zdanski. You never know what you'll end up enjoying or growing from until you do it!

Hi, Jessica here!
Like Morgan said, we thought it would be fun to share a bit about each of our academic journeys at Franklin. I am an Environmental Studies major with a double minor in Political Science and Sustainability and Social Justice.
I am the kind of person who always makes To Do lists, I’m pretty organized, and an avid planner. So coming into Franklin my freshman year I had already looked through the Academic Catalog online and picked out my major & minor and all of the classes I wanted to take. It was an excessive amount of planning! And definitely not anything you have to do, but I was really eager to figure out my academic path.
So I registered for my first semester of classes with the thought that I wanted to be an International Relations major with a minor in Italian.
That first fall semester I took International Environmental Politics and enjoyed it so much that I decided to add on an additional minor in Environmental Science.
So that’s the academic path I was on my freshman and sophomore years at Franklin. I took a lot of international relations/political science classes that I really enjoyed, but I found myself gravitating more and more towards environmental studies.

In the spring of my sophomore year I had the chance to go on an amazing academic travel to Botswana (which I blogged about!) where we studied environmental conservation and camped in the bush. It was truly one of the best experiences of my life! While rolling over the savanna in our open air safari jeep for hours on end I had a lot of time to think about life, about what I wanted to do after Franklin. And it was there that I decided that my true passion had shifted from International Relations to Environmental studies. So when I got back to campus I looked at my credits, did some calculating, and figured out that I could still graduate on time if I switched my major to Environmental Studies. So that’s exactly what I did!
Now here I am in my final semester at Franklin, in the Environmental Capstone class (similar to a thesis) working on a complete greenhouse gas assessment of Franklin University Switzerland and an accompanying climate action plan!

The great thing about going to a liberal arts college like Franklin is that you are actively encouraged to take classes outside of whatever discipline you are pursuing, and offered cross-disciplinary classes. I know of many students besides myself who started out in one area only to end up in a completely different major because of a class they took that completely changed their mind!

So my advice to freshmen just starting their academic journey:
- Pick a major you’re passionate about, but be open to taking classes in other disciplines and who knows, maybe you’ll find an even greater passion!
- Balance your schedule each semester as to have an even mix of upper level / lower level classes, so that you don’t end up having to take five 300 level classes during your last semester at Franklin. And an even mix of classes from different disciplines! While I've been at Franklin a typical semester has often included classes in environmental studies, psychology, political science, communication, and Italian!
- Enjoy the ride! I know it's all too easy to get so caught up in the homework assignments and papers that sometimes I've forgotten that I'm at Franklin because I love learning! Moreover, we have some amazing FUS faculty and staff who love teaching and have incredible backgrounds. So talk to your professors, ask them questions, and be an engaged student! These 4 years go by quickly!


  1. What an amazing experience you've had at Franklin University, Morgan. It makes your dad and I so very proud that you had the courage and adventurous spirit to travel abroad, broaden your (and our) horizons, and have so many opportunities to choose from now that you are graduating. I will forever be grateful to Franklin for providing so many avenues for you to learn and grow. I can't wait to see where the next path takes you! Carpe Diem!! xoxo Mom :)

  2. HI! I love your blog!!! I wanted to know if you knew anyone or anything about the Trojan Transfer Program at FUS- I heard about FUS when I was rejected at USC but offered to join the Trojan Transfer Program (where students attend FUS for a year and then transfer to USC).


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