Ideal Major, Custom-made.
After spending time studying at a couple different colleges and working in Brazil, Patrick Sodums '12 knew what he wanted out of his last two years in college.
"The ability to individualize my own major was important, and I could study exactly what I wanted to at Wells," says Patrick, who transferred as a junior. "And there's a sense of humanity here rather than a sense of institution. That really spoke to me. That, plus affordability through scholarships made the choice easy."
Patrick, a talented soccer player, took a non-traditional path to Wells. After high school, when all his friends were heading off to college, Patrick headed to the soccer-player's paradise in South America. In Brazil, while working in a restaurant and playing soccer, he developed an interest in international business. He later returned to the US to begin his college career, but he didn't feel fulfilled. Before long he found his way back to Brazil to refine his long-term goals—and his soccer skills.
As he looked to return to school, he realized that at Wells he could custom-make a major to make him stand out in the job market upon graduation. "I wanted to anticipate where the market would be moving and design a degree that would put me ahead of the game," he says. He created a major in International Entrepreneurial Development with courses in political science, culture and language, international business, entrepreneurship, and quantitative measurement.
His individualized program allows him to be in the driver's seat not only in course selection but also his coursework. "Rather than just completing a project as assigned, I can actually go the route I'm interested in and make that fit the assignment. Before, I felt like I was reinventing the wheel, but at Wells I feel like I can create something new and exciting. And the professors notice your passion and take an active interest in helping you get to where you want to go."
As captain of the soccer team, president of a student organization, and a peer leader for transfer students, Patrick has gained additional experience that will serve him well beyond college. And while interning at Conservation International in Washington, D.C. and taking additional courses at Georgetown University, Patrick confirmed the direction of his career.
"I believe in making a difference through business rather than policy," says Patrick, who is considering job opportunities in Ghana and Montreal.
Although he has prepared for his career from day one at Wells, he's nostalgic as he thinks about leaving. "I've become enamored by this place," he says.