As an incoming student, you may or may not have an idea of what you would like to study at Milligan. Let alone, you may have no idea where you want to go with your career in the long term. As a college senior, I have experienced most of the thoughts, activities, and opportunities that a typical student will go through over the course of their time here. I have moved from being a business student with no idea of where I wanted to go to a business student with a much better idea of a potential career path. This is my attempt to put nearly four years into a few paragraphs!

Upon arriving at Milligan, I was quickly connected with my peer mentor group. It was a group of 5-10 students all with similar interests within the business field. It was a great way to become connected with other students of similar mindsets, but on the other hand, I couldn’t help but wonder if business was the right path for me. Some students seem to know exactly what they want to do with their studies, whereas I was still largely unsure. Quite frankly, at this point I was still thinking about pursuing biology, another interest of mine.

After a few weeks passed by, I was well into my courses, many of which were general requirements (Bible, Humanities, Comp, Speech, etc.). My first major-oriented course was an elective called Survey of Business. It was great because it touched briefly on management, marketing, international business, and even some finance and accounting topics. I enjoyed all aspects of the course, and ultimately, I found that I wanted to pursue a concentration in management. Later, after taking a course called International Business with Professor Dove, I decided to add a concentration in international business as well.

Now I am a business administration major with concentrations in both management and international business. As an underclassmen, I was not the most outspoken. How would I make a good manager/leader in a business environment with a more reserved personality type? This is the question that seemed to always be circulating through my mind as I observed great presentations and learned about the heavy communication skills generally needed to be successful in business.

By the time junior year came along, I had made it through most of the general business courses such as economics and accounting. I knew I wanted to work more on the people side of things rather than the numbers-crunching side. In addition to courses, multiple professors mentioned how valuable internships were in addition to classes.

My first internship was spent as a manager at AQUA Swim School in Jacksonville, FL. This was my first exposure to management and all the communication skills that it entails. Because of my courses up to this point, I definitely had the groundwork to be successful in the position. During this internship I really learned how to become more confident in a business role, as well as how to apply all I had learned to the workplace environment. The following summer, I completed another internship with Outside Brands in Hilton Head, SC. I would label this as a pivotal moment during my college career.

As an avid outdoorsman, Outside Brands showed me the potential to incorporate business with something I am passionate about – something professors at Milligan have hinted at all along. Often, working in the field is the most valuable way to find what you enjoy and don’t enjoy. Thankfully, Milligan paved the way for me to work in these various positions.

Currently, in my final semester of senior year, I am still somewhat unsure of what the future holds. While this may seem worrisome, I feel more comfortable than ever with the idea of not knowing exactly where I am headed. At the moment, I am in the midst of another internship with Milligan Admissions. This is my third internship, and it is in a totally different category of business than what I have experienced in the past. All of the variety and growth at Milligan has prepared me for just about any business career in my fields of interest. To further broaden my managerial and leadership knowledge, I plan to pursue my MBA at Milligan starting Summer 2021. I believe the future is largely discovered on the go, but it is great to feel more equipped than ever to handle whatever comes my way.

-Written by Robert Comfort (’21)