Words of Wisdom: Mission and Vision

Breanne Tepler

When I was a freshman in college trying to figure out my major, it was a stressful process. It’s very difficult, as you know, to decide what you want to be when you grow up. Picking a major means you’re saying yes to one thing, and no to everything else. It means you’ll really be focusing your studies in a specific area. Sure you can add more majors, minors and concentrations, but it has to stop somewhere.

I come from a very low income background. None of my family members had professional positions. I did have friends whose parents had professional jobs, and I learned about different jobs from movies and TV. I didn’t really know enough about my own personal skills and abilities at that young age. It was difficult to guess what I might excel at.

In the end, I decided to go with a business degree. The major I chose was marketing. My thought was that business people seemed to make money (my very narrow view of the world at the time). I also thought that, no matter what industry I went to and no matter what company I worked for, I was going to be able to market and promote myself because I would have the skills of a marketer.

It turns out that this was a pretty great degree for me. I like sales, marketing, advertising, promotion, and business in general. My original plan to market myself also worked out. I have been able to build a strong professional network, and I am proud of how I have been able to promote myself throughout my career.

No matter what major you have chosen at St. Scholastica, you will need to know how to market yourself. One way to do this is to create a mission and vision statement – for yourself! Organizations create mission and vision statements to provide direction for their companies and to show employees and customers where they are headed. You can do this for yourself.

Mission – A mission statement declares what you’re going to do. When I was in college, my mission was to graduate with my marketing degree and become a Marketing Director in the Twin Ports area within 5 years of graduation. More specifically, I wanted to be the Marketing Director for Miller Hill Mall. What’s your mission statement? Be specific!

Vision – A vision statement paints a picture of what things would look like if you were to accomplish your mission into the future. When I was in college earning my marketing degree, my mission was to be a credible and experienced marketer in the Twin Ports with a vast knowledge of the retail industry. I wanted to be the go-to resource for others in the field. What’s your vision?

Currently, I am not living out that mission and vision, which is still good. My personal mission and vision statements have changed over the years as I have changed. With each new job I’ve had, the experience provides an opportunity to rewrite my future plans. If you’ve never done this for yourself, I recommend you do it now while you’re still in college. You, and probably your parents, will appreciate the direction as you move forward!

Breanne Tepler is an Admissions Counselor in the Office of Graduate & Extended Studies and a current student in the Master’s in Management program.