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On Finding Your Future After Your BS Degree by Prof. Charles Lessman

Students ask me about career choices and how best to attain their dream job. I tell them my experiences, both personal and professional, indicate that motivation and interest are key. Ask yourself this question: what do you truly enjoy doing? For example, is it an outdoors activity (useful for ecotech, environmental work), is it talking and being with people (needed for teaching, biotech reps, medicine), is it doing some type of fine handcraft (useful for surgeon assistants, cell biologists), is it working with animals or plants (labtech, vet techs, agriculture)? Binge watching Netflix probably is not going to get you far in terms of job prospects even though it may be a favorite pastime. Motivation plays a major role: This must last long-term, in other words lots of things motivate us at first, but can quickly get old, mundane and we lose interest. Will your chosen profession/career give you motivation to wake up in the morning and get at it?

Another key to this puzzle is your experiences. At the bachelor degree level, starting jobs often eventually lead to other doors opening, in other words the first job after the BS may not be β€œit”, your dream job. That starting job may be because you happened to take an extra chemistry, biology lab or math course not directly needed for the major. It may be because of a summer job at a lab testing service, or volunteering at a research lab. So not only are your goal-directed courses important, other tangential experiences will likely also determine your success. Every experience may be important to an employer and you may not know what single factor got you the job. It is the aggregate and diversity of experience that win the day. Well, OK, maybe even binge watching would be important to some employers! Best of luck in your search.

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