By Nancy Young | The University Star
After earning a degree from Texas State, one alumnus decided to abandon the career path he chose in college to pursue something more adventurous—opening a food trailer.
Chris Pasztor graduated with a degree in psychology in August 2009. He originally planned to attend graduate school to further his career and eventually become a professor at the collegiate level. However, Pasztor soon realized he had been in school long enough and was ready to move on to other pursuits.
“I got my degree and ran off into the adult world,” Pasztor said.
Pasztor ran a dating website for about a year following his graduation before deciding he would be happier opening a food trailer. Neither of the career choices pertained to his psychology degree. Pasztor opened Smoked Out Barbeque in March at Mimi’s Trailer Park Eatery with co-owner Brandon Bibeau, who has a degree in biochemistry and genetics from Texas A&M.
The Institutional Research Office Texas State conducts a survey every summer of alumni who graduated the previous year to collect information on employment status and other activities.
According to the survey administered to alumni who graduated in May, August or December 2011, 27 percent of respondents said their current jobs were not related to their college major.
Additionally, 41 percent of respondents said finding the kind a job they wanted immediately after graduation was a “major problem.”
Bibeau graduated from Texas A&M in 2007 and worked in the biotechnology industry for about five years before realizing it wasn’t for him.
“If this does not work out then I would consider going back, but I couldn’t imagine going back into the cubical environment,” Bibeau said. “I’d rather be my own boss from now on. It was just one of those things where I graduated and felt obligated to go and put in some time working.”
Norma Gaier, director of Career Services, said graduates can draw some relevance from their degrees into other fields of work. She said Pasztor used textbook knowledge from psychology to understand what customers want and respond to.
Gaier said some students pursue majors because they are interested in the academics behind them but are sometimes not able to find a job once they graduate.
The two say choosing to open their food trailer instead of pursuing careers in the fields of their respective majors was the right choice. They wanted to do something that made them happy instead of being stuck behind a desk.
“I could have done a couple of things different, but I’m pretty happy with who I am and where I am now,” Pasztor said.