By Swapna Vettiyil
Last Wednesday the Asian and Pacific Islander Student Center (APISC) held a “Fireside Chat,” presented by Associate Professor of Sociology Dr. Anthony Ocampo.
The discussion was about “challenges many students in the API community face when they are pursuing a passion and major, but parents have a slightly different plan,” according to Cal Poly Pomona’s event page.
Ocampo inspired many students to follow their dreams and passions.
One of those students was fifth year business student April Castro.
“I came into this event ready to talk about how my parents and I hit a rough patch when I wanted to switch from architecture to business,” Castro said.
“I came out of this event with confidence that my dream future is possible. I made new connections and received great advice that I could definitely apply to the future.”
Ocampo stated that students have the ability choose both what they are passionate about and what will help in the future.
“When college students pick a major, they’re weighing a lot of things.
What they’re passionate about, what they think will pay off in the future, and for many, what their parents are encouraging them to do,” Ocampo said.
“They often frame it as a choice between passion and practicality, and I wanted to show them that it doesn’t have to be one or the other.”
Jenny Thai, a fifth year communication student who is also on the center’s staff wants students to feel confident about the major they decide to pursue.
“I hope students realize their major should reflect themselves,” Thai said.
“It should represent their interests and aspirations rather than what their parents want from them.”
The advice given by Ocampo resonated with her, especially when the professor talked about taking advantage of every moment as a learning opportunity.
In addition to leading a discussion, Ocampo facilitated an exercise where students described their goals to the person sitting next to them.
Ocampo then asked the students to share about the person they learned about.
“Sometimes we tend to underestimate what we are capable of or what’s possible for our future,” Ocampo said.
“When we say our dreams out loud, we see how other people react, and most often times, they believe in us more than we do.”
Ocampo told students that failure is normal and everyone will experience failure at some point or another, but that should not keep anyone from reaching their goals.
“One of my favorite pieces of advice comes from Cal Newport, a professor at Georgetown and career happiness expert. He says you need three things in order to be happy at your job: autonomy, creativity and impact,” said Ocampo.
His encouragement as a professor did not stop there; he wants students to be the “author of their own narratives.”
“I want them to develop a confidence in articulating what they want to do,” said Ocampo.
“When they put that narrative out there in the world, then it becomes more real.”
Students’ part of APISC encourage everyone on campus to stop by and take part in these events because it is an opportunity to receive advice and learn something new.
“CPP students should definitely attend this event because it is not so much a lecture, but an opportunity to expand your horizons and be exposed to people who may just have similar or the same goal as you.” Castro said.
Courtesy of APISC
The APISC wants students to pursue their passion
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