Advice if possible!

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Advice if possible!

Postby C.A. » Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:33 am

Hey All,

I would really like some advice if anyone is kind enough to provide it. I graduated last year with a BS in biochemistry (graduated in 3 years) but my GPA is only a 2.944… I don't really have any research experience or anything except a bunch of volunteer hours at a local hospital. I actually just came back from studying abroad at a medical university for a year and I was hoping to complete my studies overseas to become a physician. However, due to some personal issues i've returned home only to be unemployed and sitting at home looking for something to put meaning back into my life. The reason I graduated early was because I wanted to go into that medical program overseas, but I ended up leaving and returning with nothing to start off with (a big mistake on my part, I guess).

I just wanted to know if anyone has any advice at what I should do, or let me know if i've been going about things all wrong. I've been applying to many lab positions, jobs back in my old campus, and just everywhere now actually (local stores, cafes, etc.) but it doesn't seem like i'm getting any calls or anything. I know the labs probably won't accept me since I have no lab experience, but I have had courses that employed some basic lab skills so I was hoping they would accept someone willing to learn and grow. I often e-mail the people I apply to after a couple weeks to ensure my application was received, but nothing. I also thought it was because of my resume, so I went and attended a resume class back on campus, and revamped my resume and such. I'm worried I don't get any notice because i'm too overqualified for a lot of the positions, but I really just want to find something where I can meet new people and learn new things... get a feel of the workforce, y'know? I feel like I have no experience other than studying, and no one will accept that. I know that the job market is really tough for science majors, but is that belief true? Am I possibly doing something wrong? I've been sitting and applying to jobs nonstop for close to 4 months and got only 3 calls and 1 interview offer. Is that how it normally is? I'm lucky to have been given that much right? Should I keep doing what i'm doing and know that I shouldn't be rushing things?

Now I'm trying to see if any professors from my old campus is looking for a student who has already graduated for their research or lab work, but I don't know if i'm going about this all wrong. I really want to pursue higher education (MS), but I really want to work first (make money to fund my future education and help parents with financial difficulty) and gain some experience because I know how bad my chances are of being accepted right now. Honestly right now, i'm still trying to find my place after i've given up and sacrificed my dream. I'm trying to stay positive, seeing how bad economy and jobs are right now, but I honestly don't know what I should be doing at this point... i'm kinda lost and confused. Am I asking for too much?

Thanks to anyone who was patient enough to read through all that!! I really appreciate it.
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:16 am

Re: Advice if possible!

Postby Teresa » Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:48 pm

I am responding because I advise a lot of undergraduate students who feel as you do, somewhat lost and unsure what to do if their main career plan falls through. These plans fall through for many reasons so all you can do at this point is learn from the experience. What you need for now are some lists of goals and desires. Having a job to pay the bills can sometimes be a very different thing from doing activities (community groups, church, bird watching) that give meaning to your life. It will be hard to convince anyone you will be a good employee if you are not even sure if you want to do the job.

You need to move from passive to active. Make lists of jobs/careers you want or don't want. Even if you can't be a Physician, might you enjoy staying in health care as a nurse, or a phlebotomist, etc.? Would working as a receptionist in a doctor's office remind you why you had this goal and help you network? Do you want to leave medicine behind? If you don't know what job then what are your current life priorities, working near home, being on the road vs in an office? Paying bills immediately versus having some time to get the perfect job? Tangible skills (are you sure you are overqualified for the jobs you are applying for? might feel overqualified, but maybe they are seeing you as under-qualified because you never worked in that type of job before...). From these lists you need a plan to work towards with options A, B , C...

It is a lot easier to be motivated and passionate if you have a goal. For example, if you think you want to work in a lab at a University and you don't have the skills, how might you get them? Could you volunteer? Go back and take some additional classes while you make sure to get to know faculty involved in research. Sometimes faculty are more interested in talking to you if you are a current student (whether returning or part-time or whatever). You have already mentioned working some ideas towards this goal. Sometimes (not always) a good networking contact and positive attitude can outweigh your GPA or lack of experience especially in an entry-level position.

Look, I am sure if you just search this board you will get many ideas. The key here is to pick a direction and go there just like you did once before. Maybe it won't be the right choice or the best choice or the choice for you, but just applying to jobs and sitting at home won't cut it. You need to get active in the world somehow, talk to people about what they do, and find some priorities so you have focus to make it happen.
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Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:28 pm

Re: Advice if possible!

Postby PG » Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:35 am

Writing a shorter post with specific questions increases the probability of getting replies. As Theresa says you need to decide what you want to do and then actively pursue it. This board can help with advice as soon as you specify what you want to do and especially if you have more specific questions.
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