“It’s okay to take time, change your mind, and pivot. It’s okay to do things a different way than everyone else does.” – Carrie Young

College. If your origins story includes a collegiate stint, the word either ushers in a flood of autumnal-toned nostalgia or overwhelming anxiety. Which camp you occupy depends, in part, on the support you received from professors and administrators while attending school. Wouldn’t it be great if all guidance counselors approached their task as Carrie Young did when she occupied the office, full of heart and candid intel on career paths? Luckily for millions of students, Carrie has since traded in one-to-one academic advising for guidance on a grander scale. As host of the Paths In Progress podcast, Carrie invites her guests (yours truly included), all of whom pursued a variety of majors, to reveal how they navigated all the twisty post-collegiate turns they took on the way to becoming who they are today.

“I taught a class for several years that I created bringing people in to talk about their career paths––and not just like here’s what it’s like to be a blah blah blah,” Carrie says of her early advising days in higher education. She wanted to present a more transparent take on life as a working adult, highlighting rather than downplaying all of its roadblocks, u-turns, and serendipitous detours. “[I wanted] to give students a realistic picture of a real person that took this path and has this career.” To that end, she fostered an environment where students could express their anxieties without receiving one-size-fits-all advice.

The interpersonal skills she honed on campus have translated well to Paths In Progress, as has her own evolution from music major to office administrator to marriage and family therapist to educator. While she misses working directly with students, Carrie loves podcasting’s ability to reach a wider audience, including those who’ve opted out of college. “Most people I’ve talked to have had a winding career path or had some kind of huge thing happen in their life that made them switch gears,” she observes. “So, just to be encouraging to students in that way, to see these paths and to see that this person made it through and still found their way [to] doing a thing that they love…I want to be encouraging and realistic.”


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Carrie Young is a classically trained musician and experienced higher education administrator and educator. She recently started a podcast called Paths in Progress to help students and recent graduates learn about the education and career paths of professionals across a variety of fields who often had challenges, pivots, and roadblocks along their path.  Carrie has prioritized mentorship and relationship-building throughout her work with students.

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