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Posts Tagged ‘grad school’

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.

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Einstein and such

I had planned to write a post venting about my day.  See, there were a lot of reasons for me to hate today. 

First off, it was Monday, which automatically gives it negative points. 

Second, I had to work.  See, I normally have Monday’s off…which I love, by the way.  However, I had to work today so that I could have the day after Thanksgiving off. 

Third, I began this Monday at work by unintentionally providing my arm as a doggie chew toy.  Said doggie had big teeth and he knew how to use them. 

Oh, and the list goes on.  But…I’m not venting, remember?

I decided to try to make this a positive post.

Or, at least a thoughtful one.  Mr. Albert Einstein’s going to assist me with that one.

This is the quote I’ve been reflecting on this evening:

I am neither especially clever nor especially gifted. I am only very, very curious.”

~Albert Einstein

See, I want very much to be “smart”.  Most of the time I don’t feel intelligent though.  I’m constantly thinking of all the things I don’t know.  Or the things I used to know, but have since forgotten.  (Periodic Table, whhaat!?)  I know I’ll never be an Einstein (the man was the living definition of genius-ness), but knowing that HE didn’t know everything there is to know makes me feel a tiny bit better about my (far greater) intellectual shortcomings.

What brought this line of thought on, you ask?

Grad school.

Honestly, it scares the beejeebees out of me, but I’m becoming increasingly more game the longer I ponder the possibilities.

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I’ve tried to write this post a couple of times.  And so far it’s ended up blank every one of those times.  This time, I’m just going to spit it out.  It may not make much sense, but at least it’ll be here instead of still just sitting on my shoulders.

I was extremely fortunate to have been offered a job almost a year ago which, at the time and for many reasons, served my needs perfectly.  However, I accepted the position knowing full well that it was not a long-term match for several reasons, which I won’t go into because they’re not really relevant to my current conflict.  (My supervisor and I discussed these issues when I was hired and agreed that the position would probably end up being relatively short-term for me.)

I’ve been having the “where do I go now?” conversation with myself a lot lately, for a couple of reasons.  One, my annual review is coming up next month and I’m pretty sure the subject will come up then.  Two, I’m having a mid-life crisis. 

Yes, I have come to the conclusion that I’m having my mid-life crisis at the ripe old age of 26.  Why, I have no idea.  Ok, if I’m being honest with myself, I know.  See, I had this novel idea that I would graduate from college, buy a horse (first things first afterall), find a dream job, and work my way up the corporate ladder to a leadership position.  Tada, career!  I had this notion that hard work, dedication, loyalty, selflessness, etc. all paid off in the end.  I don’t want to sound jaded–I’m not, just more realistic–but I know now that that’s not entirely how the world turns. 

Ok, back to my mid-life crisis.  It’s because my life needs new direction.  I need to have my life/job/career mean something.  You know–I want to make a difference, do something meaningful, all that jazz.  So…

Goal: find new direction for my life. 

I’ve come up with three possible options:

     1.   Have a baby.

Because this completely re-focuses your life, correct?  On days when I’m having baby-longings, this seems like the answer to my mid-life crisis.  I mean, a child totally gives new meaning to your life, right?  However, I also have days when I think my main problem is lack of mental stimulation.  On those days, I’m pretty sure having a baby isn’t going to solve much.

     2.   Find a new, more career-oriented job.

Really, this is the solution.  It’s just a matter of finding the right fit.  However, after 3 years of constant searching and a year of “keeping-an-eye-out” searching, I’ve come to the conclusion that there really aren’t any equine/animal sciences/research/veterinary jobs in Dayton, Ohio that fit my credentials.  (Bachelor’s of Science @ OSU, majored in Animal Sciences w/focus in Equine Science, minor in Communication, reproductive physiology research exp.) 

Major Concern(s): This decision leaves me with a requirement: MOVE.  Probably out of state.  Since we just bought a house and are still paying for our wedding, this isn’t really feasible.  At least not right now.

     3.   Go back to school for my Master’s in Equine Reproductive Physiology.

Also a valid solution, providing a Master’s degree can actually help me get the type of job I want, not just land me with more student loan debt.  This was where I was headed in 2005 (when I graduated from undergrad), before a few road blocks fell in my lane.  

Major Concern(s): Same as above for solution #2.  Also, I would have about 20-30 credit hours of pre-req courses I’d have to take before I could even apply to grad school.  And I’d have to re-take the GRE, since my score from 2004 doesn’t count anymore.

Ah, dilemma, dilemma.

Here’s where a few personal stories would be quite helpful.  Anyone care to share a similar story, preferably with your choice and how it turned out for you?

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