After thinking long and hard…I decided to take some classes.
This plan took quite a long time to execute. For the past year at work, an older colleague always tells all the 20-something coworkers “you’re young, you guys should be going to school.” She tells me that too and I have taken some of her advice from getting Masters, Ph.D., M.D., J.D. but I deep in my heart, I couldn’t feel it. I just didn’t want to go get and a Masters or Ph.D. in Biochemistry and not have much to show for it when I get that title.
(source: All Women Stalk)
You see, I have a friend who is completing a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry — sound very lucrative right? I remembered a couple months ago, she was not looking forward the comin days her graduation because she was getting her Ph.D. and she had no contacts to land herself a job. I just didn’t want to feel the way she was feeling if I were to pursue a Ph.D.
I didn’t want to get a Masters either in Biochemistry because when I look in the job requirements for a certain position they would say “Masters with no work experience or Bachelors with 5 years experience.” Since I’ve been working for 2.5 years, I don’t see why I would get a masters since it’s about 2-3 years to complete and I’m about halfway with earning 5 years of experience so I really don’t want to pursue a Masters in Biochemistry when I’m learning on the job in the tech industry. I can comfortably talk about an equipment or a process because I have actual job experience not because I helped read the instruction manual.
I even mentioned the only way for one to move up is knowing someone, it’s not just about how much do you know and how much schooling you’ve gone through. I told her the way for me to know someone is to meet more people and have a bigger circle of friends. I gave her examples of my friends telling they’re not too happy with their grad school program and I knew I didn’t want that to be me. She didn’t seem to like my answer.
Maybe I’m coming off as cynical. I even told my older colleague that I don’t mind putting my school on hold. If I had the money, it would be nice. She told me if she was my age, she would’ve continued doing school longer. She also mentioned if I was older and I had kids, it would so hard for me to go back to school because I would have too many other responsibilities.
I told her that I actually just want to travel more because I never got to travel abroad or went anywhere during my undergrad years. I told her I want to travel as much as I can before I turn 30 (I hope much longer than 30) but she told me “but you have to save a lot of money.” I wanted to reply back “on the contrary…” but I really didn’t want to bring on my pitch on how I saved money to go to Southeast Asia and paid off my credit card debt at roughly the same time. I believe you should take a good look at your bank accounts, I think you’ll be able to save money to go travel anywhere you want in the world. I understand where she is coming from but I guess to me travelling when you’re young is more important because it’s the most affordable when you’re young and I feel a person is more interesting when they come from abroad. You can do more stuff while you’re young like riding a motorcycle through Southeast Asia or exploring Angkor Wat. If I had children, I feel I would have pay significantly more not just because I have to pay for more plane tickets more money on safety. Exploring Angkor Wat required a lot of walking and I don’t recommend you bring small children — they’ll complain its too hot and their legs are tired and the day is over when your kids say its over. That’s just one example I told my colleague that its better to go adventuring like this when your young because if I had a kid I’d have to wait for them to get so much older for them explore places like Angkor Wat or wait until they make their money to go on their own adventures.
My colleague didn’t see where my desire for adventuring life came from. I think if I were to go back to school at any age, there are so many options for people in all walks of life to go back to school. In college my T.A. was a single 30 year old (at the time) mom with a 7 year old kid and finishing her Ph.D. in Neuroscience and before she finished graduating she already had some potential employers at the time. The T.A.s and grad students are met were not all alike in age and what part of life they came from and I never thought too much about it when I left. I guess I found them pretty inspiring. When I left college I felt like the world was a place where inspiration comes to die. I didn’t find any inspiration — I still don’t. I feel I am surrounded by people’s excuses like “I would like to [travel, go back to school, find a better job] this but I have [responsibilities, kids, no one will hire me, I have nowhere to go, etc].” In the back of my mind as they list their excuses, I try to think to someone in my life who has overcome their barriers and were able to achieve whatever they want. I usually I mention someone I know who has overcome their obstacles but then more excuses come about. As I said, I feel the people I’ve been meeting lately inspiration someone dies there.
I guess you can call me an idealist but YOU make it happen.
Wow, I went on a tangent. Anyways I’ve been working for the past 3 years after graduation and I finally thought how will I take myself to the next level? As I said a Masters in Biochemistry probably won’t make a big difference. I did not want an MBA like every other person — I mean you earned your MBA and you’re still a research associate I? I know at least 3 people. Guess those MBAs and the amount you pay don’t quit show for it. I always heard in business school, you meet a lot of people in pretty much every industry you can possibly imagine… *shrugs*
So I decided I’ll earn my license in Project Management. I have to take the classes which lead me to get my certificate for completing the class and I could take the board exam to earn my CAPM and eventually earn a PMP. I got the idea because for the past two years I’ve been working more side projects and I’m always curious about how a company makes the decision they make. It’s a purely 100% class. I was thinking about getting the certificate in UCSD but then I realized all it matters if I get the license and I already have the tech industry experiene. Also I don’t get reimbursed for school if I chose UCSD extension :-(. They didn’t have
community college classes offering PM either so I am taking an online course through my work which is pretty much free. The hardest part of the online course is the online course, even though its set at my own pace, I want to go through the course three times a week. The plan was doing a lesson Monday, Wednesday, Friday and I’ve been setting reminders. On Friday I didn’t do the course because I went to happy hour but I did do the course Saturday morning however. Each lesson is about 2 to 3 hours long and I did not realize how much of my evenings it takes up during the week but that’s ok. Also since the course there are no onsite class meetings, I’d probably have to network around and ask people how they were able to move up into project management in the tech industry. So we will see….