I posted the other day about the excitement (and trepidation) associated with going back to school. Here’s the rest of the story…
I originally planned to go back to school for a Master’s in Equine Reproductive Physiology, with the goal of working for a private equine repro firm, or breeding farm, or possibly in research. I was very close to doing this immediately after I graduated from undergrad–I had met with the program director at Ohio State several times and thought I was ready to go–but at the last minute I found out I was missing a bunch of pre-requisite classes. (Neither the program director nor my academic advisor had thought to check on that.) That development combined with a few other factors (i.e. life) convinced me to put off grad school until a yet-to-be-determined later date.
Last winter I contacted the new program directors at OSU and, over the summer, trekked to Columbus a couple of times a month to shadow their research lab and clinical patients. Towards the end of the summer, I had a bit of an epiphany: I was bored to tears about 80% of the time I spent there. Around that same time, I did some additional research into the profession and found some key new bits of information. Namely, that the economic slump hit the tiny little equine repro industry hard and had turned it into a contracting career field. Also, the repro world now values hands-on experience above extended education, the average starting salary is about $40,000/year (not worth 2 more years of student loans), and I could go to a tiny handful of locations that *might* be hiring at the same time I’d be job hunting.
Can you blame me for reconsidering my chosen career path even before I’d really started down it?
So, I made a list. (I’m really, really good at lists.)
What I want in a career:
1. Intellectual stimulation
2. Emotional fulfillment
3. Financial freedom & the ability to support my hobbies (travel, horses, etc.)
4. Expanding job market
5. Multiple job location choices
Shortly thereafter, I stumbled across the Physician Assistant profession and began researching it. I met with the admissions advisor at the KCMA program here in Dayton, did a lot of reading & research, and went on some job shadows.
And the PA profession and I…well, we just clicked.
I sort of feel like I’m divorcing the equine science/animal health fields. But, you know what? I’ve paid my dues and it’s my right to walk away.