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What do you tell a kid trying to decide what career path to choose

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Replies to: What do you tell a kid trying to decide what career path to choose

  • oldfortoldfort 22726 replies288 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 23,014 Senior Member
    My older daughter knew she wanted to go into finance since high school. I had her talk to a lot of my friends and shadowed them to make sure that's what she wanted. Five years after working in banking, she started to get bored even though she was doing well. I encouraged her to talk to her mentor(s) at work and her friends in other fields. She found out her friends' jobs were not better, her manager promoted her and gave her additional responsibilities, which made the job a lot more interesting. She may get bored again in few years and she may change her career down the road. She may get out of finance completely. This is very typical for many of us. We do not necessary stay with one career our entire life. There is no such thing as make or break when it comes to career choices. You can be a banker for 2 years and decide to study medicine later. What is important is to figure out if your personality is suited for certain careers, otherwise you could be miserable.

    I would encourage you to do some job shadowing this summer, or at least talk to some adults in similar careers.
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  • amarylandmomamarylandmom 623 replies8 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 631 Member
    edited June 2016
    I am married to a physician, and I think @wis75 's post is right on the money. We have certainly not encouraged our sons to go into medicine. For some people it is all they ever want, but medicine is changing and not in good ways. The bureaucracy is very tedious and being your own boss (private practice) is quickly becoming a thing of the past. My husband would not do it again if he had a do over.

    Obviously, if you really have the passion for it, that's one thing. But if you aren't sure, I would try finance first.
    edited June 2016
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  • SufferSuffer 171 replies45 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 216 Junior Member
    I have been doing a lot of pre-med extra curricular activities so far. Last summer and this current one, I have been in a research internship/summer program, and I joined a lab second semester sophomore year and also did shadowing throughout the year. I've done a bit of volunteering (science related) but nothing clinical yet. The rest of my ECs are clubs/a sport team which is not really exclusive to medicine

    That said I added a financial economics minor this past year and found the subject really interesting. Some of my friends have done some finance internships and it sounds like something I would want to try, which is why I'm still weighing that area despite little real world experience compared to the bit of experience I have in the medical field.

    I don't think my studies/experiences are exclusive to medicine though. A lot of the research skills I've gained are transferable to finance and my major (neuroscience) has a psychology side that can be useful in the behavioral psychology aspect of finance (also finance in the health field is a possibility, and I'm told firms love STEM majors)

    @WayOutWestMom right now, I don't think I'm burning out. Sometimes the work makes me a little weary but I think most students experience this (based on how they talk about the coursework). That said like you said it's not unheard of for aspiring physicians to burn out and I guess that worries me (more than it should? maybe..)

    @wis75 can you explain too smart for medicine? I've never heard that before haha although that sounds like an interesting perspective

    @miamidap I have the 3.6+ GPA (3.82 and almost 3.9 science)
    I mentioned some ECs above and they're mostly med school related or neutral so I've been leaning med school for a while. I have done volunteering (teaching science lessons to students in nearby schools as part of a volunteering student org) but nothing at my hospital. How do med schools treat "normal" volunteering vs clinical volunteering?

    And is 18-19 the expectation for med school applicants? I've always done 14 (but labs add "hidden" hours..) but maintaining two science classes a semester. I need 120 hours to graduate and I think I get 18 credits from APs (none are going toward the pre med reqs though) so 14/semester works out really well and keeps it manageable.

    @compmom I heard you don't want to get stuck in middle management because there's no sense of progression and because it gets kind of disheartening when people younger than you start jumping over you position wise. I guess I'd say I'm extremely competitive right now and it doesn't sound like something I would be happy with. However someone above said that as you get older you develop a better sense of importance of your personal life so that kind of wears down

    Also, thanks everyone for the perspectives!

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  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP 16183 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 16,184 Senior Member
    "How do med schools treat "normal" volunteering vs clinical volunteering?" - my D. did clinical volunteering during HS, which does not count. Then, while at college, she volunteered for 3 years at the local hotline, which involved a heavy duty training. This volunteering was NOT clinical, but it was the most important in her life as she learned a very valuable skill of talking to people in great distress and on the brink of committing suicide. She was able to save at least one life (according to police). This volunteering was very unusual for a pre-med, the other student volunteers there were psych. majors. She also had some short term (summer) volunteering at in-patient psych facility while at college, I do not know if this is considered clinical or not. Later, her hotline volunteering was the second most common topic of conversations during her medical school interviews. The most common was her interest and minor in Music. Both show that pursuing your own interested while others around you doing something else, will pay off at the end.
    If you are concerned, why would not you volunteer at the hospital? Volunteering positions are usually filled quickly. If you want to volunteer in a summer, you better start looking sometime in February.
    Nobody expects any number of credits from pre-meds. It was just an example to show that academic load in the first 2 years should be heavier than in the last 2 years because of preparation for the MCAT in the junior year and medical school interviews in the senior year. D. also had AP credit but I do not remember how many. She had 18-19 hours in the first 2 years because she had 2 minors. She always had many unrelated interests and decided to pursue couple pf them at college as minors . This was her personal decision which had absolutely nothing to do with the medical school. You simply need to fulfill the requirements of your major and the medical school pre-reqs. If you are not fulfilling requirements of your minor (if any), you can simply drop it, my D. had done it with one of her minors.
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  • compmomcompmom 10579 replies76 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 10,655 Senior Member
    edited June 2016
    Suffer, I am well aware of the pitfalls of middle management (and the rewards depending on the job). I was just surprised that someone your age was planning life to that extent. I think you are overthinking things.

    Until very recently, undergrad business and finance were not well-respected. Traditionally top management came from the kind of (now elitist) education that was "for learning's sake," often humanities- and also from connections! But times are changing.

    The main point I would want to make with someone like you is to stop overthinking and prematurely planning. Go to college and explore some courses and see what interests you. Then go to grad school in that area, or med school, or work if internships, classes and networking have given you direction by then. Let life happen.
    edited June 2016
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  • compmomcompmom 10579 replies76 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 10,655 Senior Member
    ps You do know that generally people work their way through middle management to move up? I mean, middle management is pretty unavoidable for an ambitious person. Generally people don't start at the top.
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  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP 16183 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 16,184 Senior Member
    "Then go to grad school in that area, or med school" - I wish they can just go to med. school to try it out. Not the case, though.....And humanity is lucky that it is not the case. I can guarantee you with some degree of certainty, that we would have much greater shortage of doc's than now, I can see that hardly anybody will choose to stay there if they could only try it out first. The med. students are pushed to the limits in ALL aspects of human life, mental. emotional, physical, social, I cannot think of a single way that they are NOT pushed.
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  • compmomcompmom 10579 replies76 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 10,655 Senior Member
    MIamiDAP not sure why you think I am suggesting anyone try med school out-? Or why you think I think med students aren't pushed-? No need to answer, but just saying, you are misinterpreting my post.
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  • saillakeeriesaillakeerie 2187 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,187 Senior Member
    Be flexible. No matter what route you take, its likely you will need to change paths at some point in your career (and likely multiple times) and probably without a huge amount of time to react.
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  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom 10000 replies199 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 10,199 Senior Member
    @Suffer

    Everyone grouses about the workload in college. That's true. But the workload will only increase in med school and again during residency. (Can't express just how much D1 is just loving those 80 hour work weeks :-O she puts in as a resident! 80 hours which, btw, does not include the reading and study time she has to do during her "off" time.)

    Medicine is as much as a calling or a vocation as is the ministry or the religious life. If you feel the call, you will find medicine fulfilling and worthwhile; if you don't, you'll be miserable.
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  • tutumom2001tutumom2001 1195 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,197 Senior Member
    The advice I would give anyone is : Find your passion. What do you like to do? Because whatever you choose, you are going to spend a great deal of your time doing it. Someone implied that medicine is more altruistic than banking, but really any profession can change another person's life. If you get a high from making sure your checking account is balanced to the penny or following the stock market, then banking/finance may be for you. If you are one to nurse family members when they're ill, then medicine may be your path. If your passion changes, then go back to school and learn something new. A lot of people do it. There are no right and wrong choices.
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  • wis75wis75 13853 replies62 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 13,915 Senior Member
    Physicians get the "too smart" remark. Somewhat tongue in cheek but reflecting the cons of being a physician.

    For the time spent you really have to love it, regardless of the financial gain (likewise with anything business- couldn't get me in any biz school major!). Post #25 about the calling/vocation is the right attitude to take. Many physicians who practiced before all of the third party interventions (and I mean not only insurance but management with cost effective practice guidelines- nonphysicians trying to make a place as profitable as possible...) miss the old days when you had more freedom to choose a practice style... Also- be aware it does not take a genius or academic giftedness to be a physician, there is a lot of material to learn in a short time period but the concepts are not hard to grasp for intelligent people.

    OP- most students can easily choose among several professions. YOU need to decide which activity most grabs you- which would you prefer to be spending too many hours in a day at when things need to get done? You will find most people are multifaceted- but need to choose a main way to earn a living. Notice a theme from the parents here?

    Biggest thing with medicine is having a plan B. Most medical school applicants would make fine physicians but there simply isn't enough room to accommodate them, nor is it easy to up the numbers.



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  • CCDD14CCDD14 1082 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,084 Senior Member
    I am neither a physician nor an investment banker. However at different points of my career I spent a lot of time in NYC hospitals and investment banks. I would say that both environments are not for everyone. I discovered that I do not like being alongside sick and dying people on a daily basis or work in the environment where your work should have always been completed yesterday even if you got the assignment 15 min ago.
    I recommend OP to intern/shadow these professionals in their natural habitat and see for yourself.
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