It seems today that college graduates around the nation are finding the jobs they had hoped for after graduating aren't as accessible as they thought. More and more people are turning to their true talents in order to find the "dream" career.
Derek Henig, an artist from West Islip, is discovering that his god given abilities might turn out to be more rewarding than his college degree.
Henig, 22, attended Syracuse University earning a degree in biomedical engineering but has yet to find the ideal career path. While in college, he had the opportunity to live in Europe for a full year, where he was exposed to unique cultural influences from around the world. Exploring the music scenes in London, Paris, Rome and Ireland was the eye opening experience he needed.
During the past several months, while sorting through employment postings, company profiles and networking websites for a job in the engineering industry, Henig began turning back to his roots and exploring his musical talents.
"I've been around music forever," he said. "My parents have always been big into music and have so many CDs, they don't know what to do with them all. Every birthday morning since I was young, we would all be woken up to "Birthday" by The Beatles and it was a great way to start any birthday."
Henig has been playing guitar and writing and singing his own lyrics for years. Blending his talents together, he has been able to harness his imaginative and visionary abilities in order to create completely original musical compositions.
Over the past three months, Henig has moved forward avidly unlike some college graduates who seem to sit back and wait for success to find them.
Recently wrapping up his debut album, while playing the open mic circuit around Long Island, Henig is prepared to finally do what he loves, even if that means being both a professional musician and a professional engineer. He lists The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Pink Floyd as his main musical inspirations.
"They all had something they wanted to say or express through their music and lyrics," he said. "That is what makes a great song; pure emotion and rhythm."
When looking back at how far he has come, Henig said he's had to progressively adjust his thinking to keep his eye on the prize.
"Since high school, everything has changed for me," he said. "Everything. I've had the chance to see and learn from more people around the world than I ever imagined. Getting away from everything I have ever known helped me figure out who I really am and what is actually possible."