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Evan Mannweiler | Weekend

You can't fit a square peg in a round hole. The Individualized Major Program is here to help.

Can’t find a major that fits? Make your own.

Individualized Major Program helps students create new career paths

While many students attend IU to get their degree in business or music, the Individualized Major Program allows students to become a little more creative with their degrees.

While the line, “How about a magic trick?” became a popular saying overnight after the release of “The Dark Knight” in 2008, Jordan Goldklang, a senior majoring in magic in the IMP, still uses it on a day-to-day basis. Learning his first magic trick when he was 7 years old, Goldklang, who is also known as “The Great Jordini,” became enamored with the idea of disbelief.

By the time he turned 13, Goldklang was performing professionally at friends’ bar mitzvahs and birthday parties, already starting to build up his client base for years to come. After graduating from IU, Goldklang said he hopes to return to San Francisco to continue performing as a magician.

Although he started at IU as a violin performance major, Goldklang began to think about applying to the IMP after learning about the program during his freshman orientation. And ever since deciding to go into the program in his sophomore year, Goldklang said he has never regretted the decision.

He believes that his studies in the IMP will boost his career by separating him from the hundreds of thousands of college students who graduate each year.
“The biggest thing that IMP has given me is the chance to be unique,” Goldklang said.     
Another student who took advantage of the opportunity to have a one-of-a-kind major is Georgia Perry, an alumna who got her degree in comedy writing. Perry said she first became interested in writing comedy during middle school when she heard the boys in her class quoting movies.

“People were always saying, ‘Oh, you’re so funny,’” Perry said. “And I wanted to have original funny lines that people would quote ... And I was not cute. I had to try to be funny to make friends.”

Perry said the flexibility of the IMP gave her the opportunity to set her own curriculum, allowing her to take classes that she might not have otherwise. This flexibility opened up new prospects such as the literary editing and publishing class that led to her publication of “The Robin,” a satirical newspaper funded through the Hutton Honors College.

Now working as an intern for The Second City, a comedy theater in Chicago, Perry is being given the opportunity to put her energy into several creative projects. Perry feels as though her participation in the IMP has greatly benefited her career search because the program is very career-oriented and makes students be proactive.

“IMP helps you to become independent and take a step towards growing up,” Perry said.

Parker Weidner, a sophomore majoring in the art of metal music, also believes the IMP is a crucial part of providing students with a good education. Weidner said he entered IU knowing that he wanted to apply to the IMP and planned accordingly during his fall semester, taking all of his classes around his intended major.

After completing the required one semester, Weidner applied, and he and his major were accepted into the IMP.

“IMP gave me the opportunity to have it treated with the same regard and respect as any other major,” Weidner said.

In December of last year, Weidner’s interests triggered him to get together with some friends and start a metal band. Since then, the band, Ballistika, has recorded an album, toured across Indiana and in Chicago and performed locally.

Weidner described his love for metal music as an addiction.

“Once I got introduced to it, I found out more and more about myself and I never really stopped.”

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