I’ve been talking to my mom about my future plans and that talk turns into others’ plans and soon we’ve got ourselves bringing up issues we see now that can be easily alleviated if people just found something they love to do (the most important being their job). I’m very happy and content with the route I seek to pursue, even though I have spoken to both sides of the argument about the pros and cons (and let me tell you, family says more cons than pros!). But, as much as we students would like to make our families proud by doing what they ask of us, I think it is more important we think of ourselves first in terms of what would make us proud of our accomplishments and how that would in turn make our families proud.
It scares me that many people who graduate with a bachelor’s degree have difficulty finding jobs unless they do more school by obtaining a master’s degree or had a lot of work experience during school. I know how important it is for me to have part-time jobs, but I don’t think everyone can handle a job and school at the same time. Even though I like to think that we’re all the same, we’re not.
So what’s the difference between the successful and non-successful people who leave college and find that job? I look at those close to me and this is what I notice about people who are successful after college (and this may or may not be obvious):
- They more likely than not had part-time jobs/work experience during college (even if not in the field they were planning to be in)
- They are adaptable to unfamiliar situations (whether through cultural exchanges in a diverse community or in an unstructured situation and you just have to roll with the punches or make your own structured plan to execute the task at hand)
- They rarely “give up” and persevere in almost anything they want to do, whether it is sticking to a work-out routine or getting a C on a test and working really hard to get an A on the final (to get an A overall in the course)
- Probably the most important, they are REALLY good at communicating with others. When I was taking an Honors 201 Seminar in Diabetes, Dr. Oberholzer gave us a guest lecture and helped us think like a real health care professional. He told us that if you can’t work with people, then you’ll almost always be fired and incompetent at your job. This is because no matter what you do, you WILL work with other people whether it is through clientele or your boss or a company … people are behind everything that goes on in this world and being able to communicate with someone on their level is a highly valued skill. Yes, I believe you can obtain this skill but you have to really try your best and WANT to.
I hope this brings some perspective on how we all view success and makes us analyze the people who are already doing these things. I would have to say the best way to improve yourself is find someone who is doing what you want to do in the future and talk to them, ask them questions on how they do it, and then think about what you can do to get there. My role model is my grandma, of course, but she’s not going to give me details on how to be an MD/PhD, lol! That would be silly! Have multiple mentors/role models that you can 1) emulate, 2) share similar morals/ethics with, and 3) argue with for the sake of listening to something you don’t want to hear because we should always consider the other side of the coin!
If you’re like me, a rising senior and going to graduate in the spring, I hope that you will make this year the best year you ever had. Start it off right by attending your classes and offices hours, keep it strong by forming weekly studying groups and creating other study aids, and finish with the grade that you strongly believe you deserve for the work that you put in.
Anyway, super excited for the fall! I had an e-board meeting with my pre-medical organization (Society of Future Physicians) and I am so PUMPED with what we have for our members. The whole calendar is going to be filled with events like physician lectures, surgery viewings/physician shadowing, volunteering events and a bunch of other great ways to be involved. We’re going to start something new in Health Activism Committee so that we’ll have our Health Education Program as an option for our interested members and/or our Social Outreach Program where we will be researching ways to inform uninsured adults about the Affordable Care Act and hopefully get them enrolled so that they can be insured!
On another random update note, I’m still vibrating diabetic mice and attending my MOST Summer Program seminars (we talked about ethics last week and it makes my judging cap go sideways) … and I am still tutoring at the Writing Center so if you need assistance I am there Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9 a.m.-11 a.m. for the summer. I have been using those services for everything from my medical school application to now my Fulbright application for the ETA position in Taiwan!!! I’m super psyched to finish this all before school! :D