Mariah Nichols

Mariah Nichols reaffirms her major with an on-campus job

At Iowa State University, the Office of Student Financial Aid is a place where students can go with questions and concerns about how to pay for college. For Mariah, it’s also a place where she can use her major to help people.

“I like working with the students,” she said. “No one comes into the office of financial aid because they’re having a good day, but it can be rewarding to help solve problems.”

Mariah has worked as a financial counseling assistant for the Office of Student Financial Aid since she came to Iowa State as a transfer student. She knew she wanted to start gaining new experiences right away, so she sought out job opportunities as soon as she arrived.

“I wanted to do something related to my major,” she said. “The office didn’t have any openings, but I just walked in and told them I was interested in it.”

Mariah always knew she wanted to study something business-related in college. She was drawn to the College of Human Sciences and the financial counseling and planning major because of its human-centered focus.

“I loved that this major allowed me to combine helping people and numbers and finances all in one,” she said. “It’s not just limited to financial planning; it’s so much more than that.”

Mariah says her job as a financial counseling assistant has helped her figure out what she’s looking for in a career. For students who are sure of their major, but not yet sure about the career they want, Mariah suggests exploring job opportunities.

“I would encourage everyone who’s going to school to get a job related to your major,” she said. “Even if it’s not exactly what you want to do, it’ll have little things that teach you.”