Adding a Minor: AKA Putting the Odds in Your Favor

In college, we have to pick a major: the field that our degree will be in, the field that you will probably pursue a career in. But see, no one really ever talks about minors or even double majors and when adding a secondary field (or two) is the right choice. I was talking with some friends a while ago, and one of them said that unless a minor will set you back considerably (i.e. more than a year), do it. There are very few circumstances where adding a minor or second major is not a good idea.

Killer Harmony | Adding a Minor | Thinking about adding a minor to your major? Here's why you should!
When are those times that adding a minor isn’t right? When you are a semester away from graduation. When your major keeps you busy enough and you have to work a job. I can’t really think of anything else. And even if you do have a job that keeps you super busy, that is good experience to have. In that case, you might not need a minor.

Now onto cases where you can pretty easily get away without a minor. First, if you are an education major. In these cases, a minor can definitely help. I know of a few elementary education majors who have minors or are pursuing some sort of second field of certification. But, the education program will keep you really busy.

If you can barely handle the stress of your major classes, it might not be a good idea to add a minor onto all of it. If you are a secondary education major, odds are you probably have to pick a field of study, like English education. That field of study could be considered to be like a minor. If you end up not wanting to teach, your degree will show that you are experienced in English and thus, you might be able to get other sorts of jobs.
At my university, if you are in a Bachelor of Arts (BA) program, you are encouraged to earn a minor. The BA programs allow for enough extra electives that it would be pointless to not pursue a minor. I am currently in the Bachelor of Music (BM) in performance program, so it is not necessary for me to earn a minor, but I am still planning on it. Why? I want a minor so that I can get a competitive edge over other applicants for jobs or graduate school. Also, I have the time…and I will still be able to graduate after four years.
If you are in a major that doesn’t lead to any specific career, having a minor can help establish a focus and help you figure out what you want to do with your life. Even though I am in a career preparatory program, I want to be prepared to enter a career that is not specifically music performance. As an example, I am adding a Spanish minor which would allow me to work in Spanish speaking areas, get certified in translation and interpretation, or even go on to graduate school for something like musicology.
I have heard that you are supposed to major in something that will get you a job and minor in something that you love. I would say that while that is a good thing to keep in mind, know that pursuing a major in what you love will probably get you a job that you will be more interested in. Yes, you need to think practically, but I believe that is where a minor comes into play.
I plan on writing more about my experience of adding more to my program than just my major and how I am working it out in my last year of undergrad. If you have any questions, lease let me know by commenting below or tweeting me @HannahHaefele.
Thanks for reading!


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Portfolio Careers: What, Why, Who?

So, this post is part of my new career section on this blog. As I am growing and soon will be leaving college, I want to share what I learn along the way so that hopefully, it will help my audience and fellow soon-to-be college graduates. Today, I’m going to tell you about portfolio careers.

Killer Harmony | Portfolio Careers | What, Why, Who | Portfolio careers allow you to do different things and have variety in your work day. Read on for more about portfolio careers.

In a nutshell, a portfolio career allows you to make money doing multiple things. For musicians and other creative people, the need to have multiple streams of income is extremely common. Most people can’t make a full time wage simply performing or writing. You need to use different skill sets to earn a living.

Some people might teach part time at a university or in some sort of school setting during the day, have rehearsals for a chamber group in the evenings, and then perform a show or two on the weekends. A freelance blogger might have to (of course) work on their blog, write for paid publications, and maybe do a little bit of blog consulting in order to make enough money to do what they love.
I am currently looking at different options for me to pursue in order to run my own blog and online business and get paid for it. I am working on writing posts for websites that will pay, but those publications are obviously going to be selective, so I have yet to be accepted. I am also on Fiverr & UpWork, which are two places to go to find freelance work online. I have not had much luck on there, but I plan to stick with it as long as I can. I also plan on relaunching my Etsy shop at some point in the future, so stay tuned for that.
Now, the part about what, why, and who.


Portfolio careers are not your typical career path. If you have a portfolio career, you don’t just go to a day job from 9 to 5 and then come home. You will probably be doing a lot of different things and will have a lot of different income streams. That’s okay. If you are a graphic designer, you might have a consulting practice where you help budding graphic designers as well as an online shop where you sell premade or customizable graphics.


So, why would anyone want this sort of career? Well, it gives you more flexibility and more variety in your work. You won’t have a monotonous 9-5 job where every day is the same. Each day is different. Each day might result in working with a new client or starting a new project. Portfolio careers often allow you to pursue something (or multiple things) that you are passionate about, because you call the shots.


Well, that’s all and well, but who is best suited for a portfolio career? You probably should stick to a 9-5 if you:

  • Don’t like change, and prefer to have a set schedule
  • Want to come home and be done with work
  • Need to work in an environment with other people

You should consider a portfolio career if you:

  • Don’t see any job listings that appeal to you
  • Are open to working odd hours and having those hours change
  • Would prefer to work alone and for yourself

You don’t like change and would rather have a set schedule. This is totally fine, and I completely get not liking change and not wanting to have a new schedule each day. I wouldn’t totally rule out a portfolio career, though, because if you can find multiple income streams doing the same thing, it might just work for you.

You want to come home and be done with work. If that’s you, I get it. But you probably should look for more traditional jobs. Portfolio careers often involve working for yourself or working odd hours or just bringing your work home in general. Just be sure you find a job you like so that you aren’t itching to go home as soon as you get to work.

You need to work in an environment with other people. You might be able to swing a portfolio career, especially if you have a business partner or you frequent your local coffee shop. However, if you crave that office camaraderie, you should probably consider a job in an office…

You don’t see any job listings that appeal to you. If you can’t find the perfect job, it might be a good idea to create your own. The internet is a great place to find anything you are looking for, including work! A portfolio career will probably work for you; it will be more satisfactory.

You’re open to working odd hours and having those hours change. Working different types of jobs as part of your career will probably involve some odd hours or late nights. Your hours might change a lot, at least at the beginning. You need to be flexible.

You would prefer to work alone and for yourself. Does the idea of working for “the man” get you down? You should probably start your own business. With the rise in popularity of the internet, self employment is becoming more popular. You can take the sorts of jobs and accept the sorts of clients that you choose, rather than those assigned to you by your boss. Do what you want…within reason.

So, those are the big points of portfolio careers. I would love to do a lot of things, and so that is why I am definitely considering a portfolio career for myself. I hope this information helped you and maybe made you think about some different options for your career.
Are you (or will you) consider a portfolio career? What would you be doing? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading!



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Graduate School? Planning for the Future

I’m currently a senior. That means that I need to start thinking about what to do in a year from now. I want to start a series on this blog that will catalog my experiences with planning for the future: deciding on graduate school or to start working, where I want to go, and what I want to do with the rest of my life.

Killer Harmony | Graduate School: Planning for the Future | For seniors in high school, this year is all about college, and for seniors in college, this year is all about post college life. The choice between going to work and going straight to graduate school should not be taken lightly, and here is where I am in my journey.

This is the first in that series of posts that will be over the next few months of my life.

Post-Bachelors Options.

So, what to do when I graduate from college in just a year? I could go into the working world. I could continue my education and earn a graduate degree or some sort of certification. I am looking at a few programs right now, a couple online programs in digital media and one hybrid (part online, part in person) digital media certificate. I have fallen in love with digital media, and it would not be without this blog.

Graduate School

The last choice that I could make is to put off graduate school and start working immediately. This is something that, at this point, seems almost easiest. Even though I would rather continue with school, I would be responsible for the cost of it. And while I believe that I would find it more difficult to go back to school the longer that I am out of it, I have to think practically.

I would like to get my masters at some point, even if it is not right after my bachelors. I also don’t want to become a “professional student” who is scared of the working world and just stays in school forever. And, student debt scares me, so I would like to keep mine to a minimum; if I am not able to get a graduate assistant-ship, I will probably have to work and save for a little while.

Finding a Job

Another part of this series will deal with finding a job outside of my major. While I would love to pursue a career in music, it doesn’t seem very realistic. I also know that, unless you luck out, most music jobs come with long hours, little pay, and little to no benefits, like health insurance.

I would love to eventually take some performance jobs, but I need to establish a routine and have a decent and regular income first. I have come to love working with different forms of digital media, such as graphic design, social media marketing, and copy writing, so I would love to start a career in this field.

Whether I make this blog into a business or I work for another company, I love the digital world. And even if I don’t ever end up pursuing music professionally, I do know that I have no plans of quitting music. It will always be a part of my life. And if I have to get a job, I also do not see myself quitting this blog anytime soon, either.

These next few months will involve making a lot of decisions that will affect my life for the foreseeable future and beyond. I hope that this series helps anyone who might be in the same boat as I am, musician or not.
Thanks for reading, and let me know if you have any ideas for posts by commenting below or tweeting me!

Advice for Incoming College Freshmen

So, you’re fresh out of high school, and you have your whole life ahead of you…except you have to get through college first. Well, I’m here to tell you that college isn’t all that bad. I’m three years in, and so I think I have gotten the hang of college things. College is much better than high school, and there are many things that make it better. That’s a post for another day, but today, I’m going to give you some of my best advice for incoming freshmen!

Killer Harmony | Advice for Incoming College Freshmen | Here are some top tips for rocking your first year of college!

There are a lot of advice posts out there, and some of them seem to be misinformed about college. They say that you should go to every home football game or that you won’t have fun if you don’t go out partying every night. Those things may be true for some people, but I don’t agree with them. Here are my top tips for you!

1. Go to class.

It seems obvious, but I feel like I should still tell you. You will probably have some classes that don’t take attendance, especially if your class has 100+ students. That can definitely make it hard to go to class, but in my experience, you are better off going to class. A lot of my classes do have attendance policies, since I took most of my general education classes online and I go to a smaller college. However, the classes that didn’t have attendance policies, like my first two semesters of music theory, were classes where you couldn’t learn the material on your own. Just go to class. But…

2. Stay away from people if you get sick.

No, getting sick is not something you want, but if you do, please stay in your room. Don’t go to class or walk all over campus coughing up a storm and blowing your nose every 5 minutes. It’s not good. If you do go anywhere, be sure you go to your campus’s health clinic.

3. Don’t pull all nighters regularly.

I get it, you have a lot more freedom being away from home. Your parents aren’t there to tell you to go to bed or that you can’t go to the movies with friends. The thing is, part of living in the dorms means being your own personal nag. You won’t have anyone to tell you what to do after you graduate, so you should practice now. Also, regular all nighters just aren’t healthy. Get ya dang sleep!

4. Don’t be afraid to hold off on declaring a major…or changing it.

A lot of people change majors nowadays. On paper, I have changed my major 5 times! 5 times! I went from entrepreneurship to liberal arts to Spanish to interdisciplinary studies to music performance to adding a Spanish minor. Now, you don’t want to put off picking a major for too long, but there’s really no rush.

5. Take a variety of classes.

If you are stumped on picking a major, take a variety of classes that might interest you. Who knows, that random gen ed everyone complains about might just be your calling. Also, don’t just take a class because all of your friends are, unless it genuinely interests you!

6. Pick your extra curriculars wisely.

I would recommend joining an organization that fits with your major/minor (or intended major) and one of personal interest. You don’t want to overload yourself with too many activities, but you should want to get involved at least a little bit. Also, certain clubs and organizations can help boost your resume.

7. Get your rules in writing.

At my university, every dorm room with more than one person must fill out a roommate agreement so that if someone does something bad, you can reference the agreement to work it out. If you school doesn’t already require it, make a list of rules for you and your roommate(s) to follow. That way, if your roommate is playing loud music when you need to study, you can have more to back you up than just yourself.

8. Go to things alone.

Sometimes your friends might be too busy to go to a concert, lecture, or other on campus event. Don’t be afraid to go by yourself. For one thing, you might see people you know there. If you don’t, going to things alone means that you don’t have to wait for your extroverted friend to stop talking to people you don’t know. When the event is over, you can stay or go. Your choice.

9. Get a planner.

Believe me. You will need a planner. You may have been able to get away with writing assignments down on post it notes in high school, but college is different. You want to keep everything organized so that you don’t go insane and have to stay up all night writing a paper you forgot about.

If you want to try the Erin Condren Life Planner, click here. *Note: if you sign up through my link, you get a $10 coupon, and I get $10 credit, as well. These planners ain’t cheap, so I wanted to help you guys out!

10. Have fun.

College is a pretty cool experience. At no other time will you be able to live down the hall from all of your friends, walk to all of your classes and appointments, or just be free to do what you want. As cheesy as it sounds, college is a unique part of your life. You don’t want to waste it worrying about the little things.

Well, those are my top ten tips for incoming college freshmen! I hope you found them helpful. Entering college? What more do you want to know? I would love to write more posts for you guys in the next couple of months! Already in college? Did I miss anything?
Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading!

Blog Updates and Things

Hello! I can’t believe that June is almost over! I just finished and submitted the last few assignments for my summer classes. That means, I am on summer break! I’m excited to announce a few exciting blog type things happening at Killer Harmony in the next few weeks. Read on the find out more!

Killer Harmony | Blog Updates & Things | I have been working on some awesome stuff for this blog, and I can't wait to share them with you all! This post has a lot of updates on everything from social media to the blog itself. I hope you enjoy!

These next couple of months will be great for the blog. Since I am done with classes, I can now dedicate more time to blogging. I can also spend more time connecting with all of you! I also have been working on a few more exciting things related to the blog.

MORE Blog Posts

Since I have a bit more time now, I am going to try and keep up with two posts a week for the next few weeks. I would love to continue with two posts a week into the fall, but I will be a senior. I will have a lot going on from marching band to planning and playing two solo recitals (I’m a music major if you didn’t know) and keeping up with writing for my school paper. If I can get enough posts written and scheduled before mid-August, then I will continue with two posts per week. I will update you on social media, so be sure to follow me!
I will always do my best to have a post up on Mondays. I don’t have any plans to change that. I will also post something on either Thursday or Friday when I have something.


 I spent a lot of time reading all about WordPress, and I finally decided to “bite the bullet” as they say and switch from Blogger to self-hosted WordPress. I now know why people say switching is the best thing you can do for your blog, because it really is. I decided to go with SiteGround (affiliate link) for my web hosting, and I could not be happier with my decision! They are currently having a sale where you can get hosting for up to 60% off the normal price!
I do think that self hosting your own blog or website on WordPress is not the best for a beginner. I am still learning the quirks of the program. If you want to start a blog and see if you like it, I would suggest Blogger or (free WordPress).


I have been posting on Instagram each day in June for my goal challenge. You can learn more about that here, but I definitely plan on continuing the daily posts into July. I might make a monthly theme, but we will see. I am really loving social media right now, so if you want to follow me, the links are on the side of this blog or in the image toward the top of this post.
I post on Twitter throughout the day, everyday. I post about my blog and business, but I also like to give little snippets into my personal life. I like posting a bit of personal stuff, because I can show you guys that I am a real person.
I am also on Pinterest. I like to post my own stuff as well as posts by other bloggers. My pins seemed to lose their links in the process of switching my blog over, so I need to do some maintenance. I hope to get everything working again soon, though.


I am so excited to start working on some back to school posts, because I am one of those nerds who loves back to school. Unless I go to graduate school, this will be my last back to school season (tear), so I want to make it a good one. If you have any requests or ideas for blog posts, please let me know! I would love to write stuff that you need/want! Let me know in the comments or on social media what you would like to see.
I would also love to hear from you guys in the comments on what you have enjoyed most from my blog. I want to make it better and better. This blog is for you, so please share your thoughts with me!

Summer Classes

So, you might be wondering what classes I took this summer. Well, I decided to take two. At my university, I need a certain amount of “residence” credits to graduate. That means that I need to take a specific amount of classes from that university. Since I transferred, I am cutting it a little close with that requirement. The classes I took this summer and the class I took last summer will help. I am almost positive that I will graduate next May!

First, I took an ethics class, which was very interesting. I had readings over everything from the basics of morality to animal rights. The class covered a lot of cool stuff, and I enjoyed it. The class also had no tests, which was a big plus!

The other class I took was Intro to Music Tech. This class will fulfill a computer science general education requirement. I am so glad that I could take a music class for that requirement. If you can, I would suggest taking classes as related to your major as you can.

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