Personal Brand Stereotypes #8: Choose Your Major Wisely

Career Development

The number one most important factor to employers selecting entry-level candidates is their major (44%). I think it’s pretty obvious why this carries the most weight. If you are a finance major applying for an entry-level position in marketing, it may be challenging to convince them that your experience and learnings can apply to that position. I always say that you need to discover your brand during college because you have the most amount of choices, including which major you select, what classes to enroll in and what organizations you participate in. If you select a major based on what your parents or peers want you to do, then at some point you will be caught in a chokehold. You may not even be chosen to interview for a job just based on your major. Today I want to discuss how major’s are stereotyped.

The Series:

  • #1 – Tall people are basketball players
  • #2 – Glasses make you look smart
  • #3 – Men who wear pink are homosexual
  • #4 – The hippie phenomenon
  • #5 – Only punks wear mohawks
  • #6 – Ageism puts Gen-Y in danger
  • #7 – A nice car means you’re successful

My Experience at School

I attended Bentley College and there were two types of people. In your right corner, there was people who could crunch numbers and in your left corner there were people who had creativity. All the football and hockey players would be management or marketing majors, typically because they were either lazy or only got into the school because of their athletic talents. Sophomore year was when everyone picked a major, right after they took an accounting class. That single class would depict your future at Bentley. Most people did poorly and would attach themselves to marketing or management as a result.

Those who succeeded would typically stay in accounting, finance or economics based on their skill level and what their parents wanted them to do. These classes were far more difficult at college, especially because Bentley was originally an accounting school.

Scott Bradley Takes the Mic

“As a serial entrepreneur, when I came into Boston College I knew that I wanted to be in an entrepreneurial major and initially chose finance. When I found out that most finance jobs entail sitting behind a desk crunching numbers all day I was far from flattered. Because of my creative abilities I decided to switch to a marketing major because I could leverage my creative talents, and be able to blend them with my entrepreneurial skills of continually producing top line sales. While the marketing department in a corporation is always seen as the “unnecessary organization that spends money frivolously” I have come to see the entity as the organization that keeps everyone in the company secured in their job. If it wasn’t for the marketing department and their efforts to continually bring in new business and maintain relationships with current clients…the company wouldn’t be around for very long!”
Thanks Scott


When someone tells you they are an accountant, you may think they are boring and have no social skills. If you speak to a marketing person, you may position them as creative, a liar or a salesperson. If they are in finance, you automatically assume they are good with money and if they are a management major, you would ask yourself “you just got out of college, you can’t be a manager anyways.” Again, the major you choose does impact how people perceive you and may or may not help you get the job you’re looking for.

Coming Up Next

Are you Jewish? Well I am and I know that there is a major stereotype with our last names. Sure the name Schawbel doesn’t sound very Jewish, but what about Goldstein or Goldberg. How about all Jews having big noses? We may have fun with this one at my expense. The next part in this series will examine how we already know who is Jewish in society by a name or by physical appearance.