Why Are You Here?

This is a question that I am asked often by my peers.

Sometimes, I feel like I’m out of place. As a business administration major, every time I am asked the “major” question, I embody and encompass the weight of the Haas School of Business on my shoulders. There casts a light of “pretentious”, “overconfident”, and “cutthroat”, as seen in the eyes of other students on campus. Initial acquaintances in the organizations I frequent see me with these lens, and ultimately the question arises:

“Why are you here?”

I want to ask back,

“Why can’t I be here?”

But often, I can’t. I feel like I am forced to fit the mold of “business major”, and so I come up with some tacky excuse like “I want to help people” or “I want to learn more”; both of which are true, but I don’t deserve to have to give that explanation. I don’t deserve to explain myself every time I’m somewhere where I historically “don’t belong”.

Just because I’m a business major, doesn’t mean I can’t lead technical projects or organizations, sing classical a cappella, or take an interest in linguistics and computer science. I don’t have to limit myself to consulting, iBanking, and accounting. As much as I struggle through it, I know that my major does not limit the opportunities and possibilities of what I want to do.

Don’t let a stereotype define who you are.

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