One thing you should realize is that your experience as a student may not necessarily be an indication of what your professional life will be.
Some stuff may be insufferable to study, but the actual practice much more interesting. Finance, in my experience, was much more interesting AFTER graduation.
Finance+Language+Travel = emerging markets/foreign securities analyst/trader/fund manager = $$$$. You could be another Mark Mobius.
(Don't worry, Wall St will still be there when you graduate).
...and the foreign service. My sister went in to it...already in her 40s (after a messy divorce...etc). Loves it. She's just finishing a stint in Malaysia, after jobs in Argentina and Germany. Now on to Jordan.
Good Luck. I know you're going to do great.
On a different track a bit, not far from accounting would be database administrator. You are good with numbers and seem to have a (based on some of your posts) a good feel for relationships. The pay is excellent, and the training to become a certifed DBA is relatively inexpensive. In fact you could by the MS course for about $150. average MS DBA salary is $80K and up. Oracle DBA's make a LOT MORE.
Raisel Ghul, the Demon's Head
On a serious note, camisa, what worked for me was going down the path of what I was good at that I also kinda, somewhat enjoyed. I'm not sure how much of a help that is to you though.
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You could be a teacher, get involved in government and or various different advocacy agencies, own a baseball team (Kevin McClatchy of the Pirates, found that on Google), travel companies, etc.
Someone mentioned Rick Steves, but I'd be pretty happy taking Samantha Brown from the Travel Channel's job...she's done some cool series about Europe and Central/South America...
Possibly something with travel agency, tourism, or cruises if you don't like "business"
The first thing that popped into my mind was also International Business. Your description of your preferences leads me to believe that you need to interact with people. The fact that you sought the advice of the zone tends to confirm that. So, if you do get into IB, you need to be on the front line and not back in the home office.
A big part of learning a language is being unafraid to make mistakes in speaking it. It never worked for me because I am too much of a perfectionist. It sounds to me as if you are more outgoing and would be willing to take chances. Your entry into International Business should be your linguistic ability and not your business skills. In this increasingly connected world a fluent, culturally aware foreign language speaker with modest business training is more valuable than the reverse. You would be the customer contact, not the person working the numbers on the details of the deal.
I would take some junior college business refresher and language courses. The experience will permit you to reflect on this plan to see if it is really something you want to pursue. You also need to make good grades to demonstrate to perspective colleges that you have matured and become serious. Colleges understand that competent people often get poor grades initially for a variety of reasons.
"The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer
"The single most important thing for a hitter is to get a good pitch to hit. A good hitter can hit a pitch that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”
At the grad level, the quantitative stuff is pretty rigorous. If you can make it through the initial methods class(es), you can get into the good stuff, where you'll either gravitate towards American or the Comparative/International side of the discipline.
(Or if you're a true sadist, you'll get into the Methods.)
I went into the program for some different reasons for most. However, in your case, it might open some doors and get you thinking about some things that most folks don't really consider. Things like interning for an elected official, getting involved with a lobbying group, working with a non-profit legal group, etc. See how law is made, how the judicial system works, see how a regulatory agency works, that kind of thing.
If you'd be going back at the undergrad level, a Bachelor's in Political Science would be a nice way to get yourself into a Masters in Public Admin program at the graduate level. There are a gazillion opportunities in government branches/agencies when you look at county, city, state, and federal levels. The MPA would also serve you well at a nonprofit / non-government organization.
As for the timing of everything, I'd say that this is the perfect time to start a program. Governments are slashing budgets in response to the crappy economy. Most signs point to a rebound some time in 2010. If that holds, then you'll start seeing most government agencies begin filling the positions in 2010-2011 that they are currently holding vacant or eliminating. With a degree in sight and an internship under your belt, you'd be hitting the market at a good time to find a full-time job with a lot of long-term potential.
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