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Leslie Picker

Leslie Picker

Business reporter | New York Times, CNBC | Class of 2010

Leslie Picker arrived at the UI a theater major.

“Then, I thought about switching to meteorology, and later considered architecture," she says.

"I took economics and accounting classes to pursue a business degree. But I liked my political science classes better and thought about making that my major, or maybe my minor.

“Finally, by junior year, I found journalism, although ultimately graduated with a bachelor’s in political science."

Her advice for future UI freshmen? “Use this time to experiment. You have your whole life to be decisive."

It worked out all right for the business reporter, now of CNBC and formerly of The New York Times.

"Try different classes, see what you’re interested in," she recommends. "Some may surprise you. I didn’t think I could write until I took a journalism class at the University of Illinois.

"There will be people who have it figured out, who have known since they were small that they wanted to be a doctor or a teacher. But if you’re not one of them, that’s OK. There will be something out there for you.

“And the secret is: Many future employers don’t really care what your major is anyway. Just have fun.”