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Parker Carlquist

Exploration Specialist

Meet Parker

Books: I love books! A recent favorite of mine is Unbroken
Movie: I like a lot of movies, but Captain America: The First Avenger will always be near the top of the list
Food: Oh goodness, there are so many good foods. But I will never reject waffles
Animal: Dogs
Color: According to my wardrobe, blue is definitely my favorite color, since 93% of my shirts are blue

Exploration Experience?  

My exploration experience began simply with me thinking about my interests, desires, and dreams while factoring in what type of lifestyle and family life I hope to have in the future. I also talked with other people about what they thought I could do or be. I then began looking at the list of majors at BYU and started just going through what sounded interesting to me. I ultimately took a few classes exploring different majors that had piqued my interest and went to the major fairs. Nothing really clicked though. I ended up taking STDEV 117 Career Exploration to broaden my horizons and with the hope of having an “aha” moment during the class. Fun fact: I didn’t. Instead, it just broadened my view of what was out there and helped me understand myself. During and after that class, I took career assessment tests, went through website after website, job shadowed a little, and met with advisors. I explored Mechanical Engineering, Political Science, International Relations, Economics, Communications, Public Relations, Biology, etc. I still felt like I was just spinning in circles though.  

After I got back from my mission, I dreaded starting the whole process up again. But I did. In the first few weeks of the semester, I met with two advisors and actually a Career Exploration Specialist! With the second advisor, I talked through everything I was considering, my interests, what I had tried, and what I wanted in life. At that point, I was trying to consider between Biology, Molecular Biology, and Microbiology. But instead of pushing me towards one of those, the advisor asked me, “You know, have you ever considered Public Health?” The lightbulb finally clicked. For the first time, I saw how my diverging interests could come together in one major. Everyone had always told me that science and politics/government were on opposite sides of the spectrum, but I was able to see how these seemingly different topics could come together. 

Why is Exploring Important to Me?  

Exploring is important to me because it is an adventure and a chance to uncover the unknown. There are so many possibilities in life, but you have to know what they are first! That means you have to explore and push back your horizons!  

Where to begin though? The first place to start exploring is with yourself! How well do you know you? Understanding who you are, what you want, what you like, where you want to go, is the first step to greatness and the uncovering of all the possibilities that await in life. So, let’s start the exploration together! Who knows where it will lead us?  

Looking Back  

I wish I would have known that it is okay to not know! People kept telling me that it was okay, but I couldn’t process that idea. I felt I had to decide right then and there. But it is okay, actually amazing, to explore and discover new things. It is okay to be undecided for a time! The idea that you have to decide now brings so much unneeded stress and anxiety to the process when you are just starting out.  

I also wish that I would have talked with professors, professionals, and anyone willing to share their career stories! It isn’t scary to talk to others about their careers and career paths because almost all are so willing to share their stories. Through their experiences you can truly see that it is possible to mould your career and that your major doesn’t define you, it is just the beginning!  

Does Pineapple Belong on Pizza?  

100%! And no one can ever tell me otherwise. It is SO good.  

Boring Fact About You

I grew up on a farm. And we did grow potatoes. :) 


I think my favorite thing to do in my free time is hanging out with friends and family. I also play the piano and enjoy listening to music. (I highly recommend film score music as study music.) I am a government and history enthusiast, so I love learning about those topics. I enjoy being outdoors, going on a run, and exploring nature. Lastly, I have collected coins since I was a little kid with my dad.  

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