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Old 11-22-2007, 06:25 PM   #1
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Decisions, Decisions (school/career)

I know that I haven't been a member here very long, but Im in a quandry, and want some opinions from points of view that I may have never seen before.

I'm 25, and an undeclared sophmore at MSU (Mississippi State University). This is my second go at college, after screwing up my first college career before I was 20.

I'm having the hardest time deciding a path to take, with major, as well as career choice.

This might get kind of long, so anyone who isn't interested in some reading might wanna hit "back" now. I would appreciate it though, if some of you guys and gals would read on, and give me your opinions and thoughts - I would greatly appreciate it.

*takes a deep breath* Here goes...

When i graduated HS, I had full intentions of becoming a pediatric reconstructive surgeon, working with children with deformities, or the victims of accidents. I started nursing school, in an attempt to use "stepping stones" in medical education to get where I wanted to be. My lack of priority-setting got me put out after two semesters.

Since then, I have worked to get myself out of debt, and put back enough so that I could go back to school - I started back in the Spring of '06, and Im getting a degree, or dying trying. My reason fr staying undeclared is that I'm having to pay out of pocket, and/or go into debt to pay for my education, and I have NO desire to see all that hard earned money go out the window in the form of wasted time in majors that I dont fit into.

Ive taken subjects based on my thoughts of their merit/importance/interest to me, as well as some of the basics that I had to have no matter what I do. This next semester, being my second as a sophmore, will probably be one of the last semesters that I can remain Undeclared, so the decision of major has bene looming eerily, and with much disdain, for fear of wasting time/energy/funds in the case that i pick the wrong one.

Ive done all kinds of things for a living, from monitoring ATM's, to mixing mortar, to writing service at dealerships, to tech support for large american computer companies. I love to work with and help other people, and am a servant at heart.

My passions in life are people, cars, music, and technology. I eat, breathe, and sleep cars and music -those are my two forms of secondary sanity - I'd have already lost my mind without them. I love to express myself in writing, and have always been good at it, and never have failed to do well in writing projects in school. I have a desire to make a difference somewhere, to help others, and to be a rsource of information for those that need it. I am incredibly responsible, and more demanding of myself than anyone I've ever come into contact with. I do what I can to push myself to be the best that I can be. (no cliche' intended)

Here are what I desire to do with my life/career:
-I want to serve others, and be involved in my community, both whereever i live, and the automotive fields.
-I want to wake up everyday looking forward to heading to and being at work
-I want to be able to see the changes that come about in technology/performance in the automobile industry.
-To have the freedom to live when I'm not at work, as well as be financially stable enough to actually enjoy life, and take care of my family down the road.
-I want to be somewhere, or in an environment that learning something new is the norm.
-It also wouldnt hurt if I could help maintain and increase the health and livelihood of those around me.

Things that I've learned that I despise about some jobs:
-I absolutely hate being by myself, with no co-workers around
-I cant stand to work somewhere that there isnt a creative desire of some sort, or a passion to be the best.
-I cant work all week, and then not be able to live because I cant afford to leave the house (this is my current situation, as a college student, ad PT worker)
-I also cant work somewhere that the atmosphere is just cold and dull - I would lose my mind!

I have considered many different carreers, but I'm still unsure if they are what I'm looking for. Here are a few of them:

-Automotive Journalist (film, TV, print, etc.)
-Owner of my own performance/tuning shop
-College Professor/Driving school teacher
-Working with the members and activity sponsors of a motorsport sanctioning body (SCCA, NASA, NHRA, etc.)
-Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist()

*scratches head* I know that seems like a list of completely random things, but thats what has crossed my mind over the last couple of years.

With all of that said, I've considered some majors as well, but have some kind of drawbacks to almost every one of them
-Business - I don't really have a problem with this degree, but it seems as though everyone i talk to says that General Business degrees are being had by many of the college graduates these days, because they are the easiest to get. I just don't like being like other people, or taking the chance that someone will look at my future resume' and go, "Hmmm... Business - way to play the easy way out." I'm not knocking it, by any means, I'm just stating my fears that have kept me from going that direction

-Journalism - While I write well, it is SOOOO hard to ge on with an establishment that you would enjoy working with. I would love to write for MM&FF, or 5.0, but I've also been informed that print journalists are some of the least paid people in the journalism/communications industry. I've also considered being a film journalist, but since I have no acting experience, I'm afraid that I would never make it. I have a stellar, upbeat personality, and do what I can to learn as much about what I can about the subjects/topics that I am invested in, and write and speak passionately about them.

-Communication - still very unsure about this one - Ive considered working in the radio (DJ, and consultant)and television industry, but am still unsure what there is to really do in this field - ive had my instructors cramming the ins and outs of PR into my head for the last week or so, so Im a bit frazzled here.

-Nursing - Considered going back this route to become an RN, then go to school to become an anesthetist. I would LOVE to do this, but I dont know if i can afford or handle the stresses of nursing school again (40hrs of week in class, highly compressed classes, and off the chart stress levels), which would leave me without the opportunity to work and take care of myself while in school.

-Psychology - I looked seriously into this one, but in order to really do anything, or make any money, you have to have an MS to get anywhere.

Ive also considered some engineering, but have decided against it, as my math skills are garbage.

What do you guys think? I know there is a lot here, but hopefully someone can impart some thoughts or knowledge into this and help a guy out who feels like he is just spinning his wheels, and getting nowhere.

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Old 11-22-2007, 07:16 PM   #2
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Re: Decisions, Decisions (school/career)

health policy and administration perhaps?

you could get a job as a medical consultant at a company like stockamp... they do a lot of traveling (leave monday and return on thursday to client site).

consulting in general do a lot of traveling, group work, and people interactions.

IT consulting is pretty big too... and you definitely will be paving the way for innovation like you mentioned... some companies to look at are accenture, booz allen, deloitte, honeywell, lockheed martin, etc.

lastly, you could always try to become a nurse practictioner. they are like the middleground between nurses and doctors. its also in very high demand, expanding (with the ability to eventually become a doctor), etc.

my advice to you is not make the mistake of going to school for something you are passionate about... but rather going to school for something that will land you a job which you will enjoy. for example, my gf was a psych major cuz she loves brains or something and wanted to go to med school. her senior year she realized that she doesnt want to do that, picked up a HPA major and now is persuing something else. she totally regrets her psych major. i believe she might be working with this medical software place as a project manager.

thats another thing to also think about... you can warp your major's aim with minors, extra curricular activities, etc to make yourself appealing to employers. you might have less of a chance to land a job (like a psych major as a project manager), but diversity is risky and somewhat appealing. once again to use my gf as an example, she is a psych major with a health policy admin minor, bio minor and photography minor... she has all this research experience and stuff... her competitors for that PM job were business related majors haha.

so just read up on some companies to find out what you would like to do. would you like a desk job? travel? suit and tie? business casual? casual? big teams? small teams? lots of client work? business related? technical related? etc...

i recently got a job at booz allen as a consultant. i have no idea what im going to be doing there (its going to be IT related), but i know that consulting is right for me. its just a matter of specializing in a certain field now (enterprise systems, networking, business analysis, etc). also, consulting provides a wide variety of businesses you work with... everything from IT to government to oil refineries.

Stockamp & Associates: revenue improvement solutions for the healthcare industry
Epic Systems Corporation
Consulting, Technology and Outsourcing Services at Accenture
Booz Allen Hamilton: A Global Strategy and Technology Consulting Firm
Introduction - Honeywell
Lockheed Martin - We never forget who we're working for.
Deloitte US | Audit, Tax, Consulting, Financial Advisory Services - Deloitte & Touche USA LLP
Nurse practitioner - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

even some other companies like banks, boeing, etc. have a lot of different things you can get into.

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Old 11-23-2007, 06:10 AM   #3
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Re: Decisions, Decisions (school/career)

Hey now, you knocked on business majors...j/k.

I'll ask you this mike, this is something I had problems with. Think about working with/around cars this way:

Could you stand to work on cars and deal with cars all day long to make a living and still be able to mess with cars in your free time to relax? Honestly I couldn't, I would be so fed up with dealing with ppl and cars that I would have to find another hobby. That's why I went through and got my business degree. I have a job I really enjoy, challenges me (to wit's end sometimes as you have heard), and pay's the bills at the end of the day. I don't think I could ask for anything more on that.

When I graduated I really thought I was going to be working for a trucking firm / logistics firm somewhere in the southeast. Never even thought about going back to the company I used to do contract work under years ago in high school. So, to be honest, worry right now about getting a degree you can live with and you can always twist it around for a job down the road.
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Old 11-24-2007, 02:18 PM   #4
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Re: Decisions, Decisions (school/career)

wow, thanks guys for the input!

wiarumas, never really thought that much about consulting... Its definately something that looks like it might be enjoyable. Im less of a "stuck to my desk" type of person. As far as attire, I'm as comfortable in shirt and tie as anything else, but a little bit more of a casual attire would not be *****ed about IMO, lol. As far as the rest of the questions you asked me, Im still unsure on some of them.

lowflyn, You made some good points... I dont know if I could work on others cars all week, and then work on my own - it would depend on wht I was doing, I guess... Im gonna do some soul searching in the coming weeks to hopefully come to some sort of decision asap.

I'l keep you guys posted, and if there's anything else anyone would like to add, feel free!
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