CM’s Guide to the Women’s Studies Major

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Take a quick dive into some intellectual waters. Submerge yourself in the life of those who are of a different gender, class, sexuality and race. Are you in a constant state of awe? I’d bet you want to stay submerged in that multicultural pool. It’s too enticing to step away from for too long. It’s the eye opening Women’s Studies major. Just one class will have you looking at the world differently.

What Do Women’s Studies Majors Do?

That’s the number one question people ask when someone says they are a Women’s Studies major. To all of you skeptics, it’s more than just a glance at the everyday life of a woman. So get that critical glare off your face. “Classes in Women’s Studies expose students to interdisciplinary scholarship, encourage students to develop critical thinking skills and analysis, and expand their international awareness,” University of Georgia’s Women’s Studies Assistant Director and Undergraduate Student Advisor Cecilia Herles said. “Students develop communication skills, a deeper appreciation for diversity, and strengthen their ability to work well with people of different backgrounds.” As a Women’s Studies major, students will learn about everything from women’s lives and experiences on a global level to the current issues women face now. Oversexualization in the media, ideal beauty, under-representation of minorities in awards ceremonies and even the issue of colorism are just a few issues covered by courses in the major.

Upsides

“The women’s studies major significantly helped to improve my writing and communication skills. Plus, the Socratic teaching method assists students on formulating an opinion that is backed by facts.” – Jaime Richards, University of Georgia Class of 2013

“The major offers well rounded perspectives that you don’t get from other courses. It’s something that gave me validation on the women’s rights movements. It let me know more about them.” – Hannah Barfield,University of Georgia Class of 2010

“An upside would definitely be the improvement in my critical thinking skills. The course work provided allowed me to think at a higher level.” – Nico Boggs, University of Georgia Class of 2015

Downsides

“I wish the department had more of a presence on campus. Feminism gets a bad name. People have a misconception of what women’s studies is. So as a department, it’d be good to have events so people can understand what feminism is and what it can teach you.” – Richards

“It doesn’t have the exposure it needs. Most people on campus and in the workforce don’t understand the critical thinking it requires.” – Barfield

“The way the classes are taught is centered on older concepts. It made it hard to relate those outdated concepts with issues now.” – Boggs

Career Opportunities

1. Human’s Rights Activist

Want to combine that multicultural knowledge with your love for human rights? With a major in women’s studies, you will have the knowledge of issues across areas of race, class, gender and sexuality to actually make a difference. Getting into a field that advocates by engaging in media outreach and spreading awareness of human’s rights violations will be a nice fit. It’s about spreading the word and grabbing the attention of not only fellow citizens, but also public officials in order to bring about change.

2. Public Relations

Those group presentations you did in your courses were not just to cause stress and headaches—they prepared you for presenting in front of crowds. You don’t have to be apublic relations major to know how to communicate effectively. Public relations specialist speak on behalf of companies, present reports and project proposals. As a Women’s Studies major, you just need to bring in those presentation, critical thinking and research skills.

3. Journalist

Some women’s studies departments can be writing intensive, giving you even more great skills. Now you can go out and report on different events and issues concerning women across America and even internationally. Have fun traveling around the country, hearing stories from various women and organizations and then being able to share with the rest of the world.

4. Counselor

All of the classes offered in Women’s Studies allow you to understand other cultures and experiences. Being able to sit, listen, respect and advise others that have had different life experiences should remind you of your adorable high-school guidance counselor. It’s practically what you’ve been doing as a Women’s Studies major. You can connect with your clients and create an environment for them to feel safe and comfortable.

5. Teacher

Teaching is one of the more obvious career opportunities out there for Women’s Studies major. I mean, think of how influential the Women’s Studies teachers are for you. You can become that teacher for someone else. Inspire students while also educating them. Allow them to raise questions and come to a better understanding of all the intersecting categories and labels women face.

I am a sophomore, Journalism major at the University of Georgia. I enjoy spending time with family, reading, shopping, hanging with friends, and creating amazing memories.

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