Advice for gap-year job seekers.

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amakhosidlo

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Last week I applied to my 'dream' gap year job (Research Assistant at a local tertiary facility; tons of patient interaction/clinical experience, important project, etc..) In my infinite wisdom, I put my MCAT score on my CV as a sort of "Look, I'm going into medicine and I'm sharper than most".

HUGE mistake.

I interviewed today and the PI and I hit it off. He seemed pleased at the fact that I was interested in medicine, and straight up told me "This is a great stepping stone for someone going into medicine". He then asked me when I wanted to apply, so I told him.

Second HUGE mistake...

He goes "Well, we want someone who's going to stick around for 2 years, and if you're only going to be around for one it would be a huge inconvenience".

I then awkwardly attempted to explain how I really have no shot this year and don't expect to get in, while simultaneously trying to sell myself as a candidate based on my previous experiences, classwork (I was pretty well qualified and it seemed like he thought so too, until I let the cat out of the bag...) Not only did I end up belittling myself, I'm pretty sure he thought I was BS'ing him and telling him what he wanted to hear.

I don't really know how else I could've communicated the fact that his position would really help me out NEXT cycle, and that he should count on me being there for the full two years without totally lying by saying I wasn't applying this year.

His tone when we parted had "You'd be great but...better luck next time" written all over it.

:bang:

/Fail

Moral of the story: Don't tell your employer/prospective employer you're applying to med school, and DEFINITELY don't put your MCAT score on your CV. Nobody knows what it means anyway (even physicians, surprisingly...).

Oh, and if anyone else has any more career advice for recent graduates on what NOT to do, please feel free to share...

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yea its a learning experience.

my mcat score does get me job interviews w/ physicians and phds all the time though. in your cover letter you have to be pretty roundabout

LOL at a dream gap year job
 
The one thing I regret about my gap year job is the fact that it is a research tech position. I hate reserach as much as the next clinically-oriented premed but it's an unsung requirement.

Nearing the end of my gap year I wish I had worked at some cool/fun job because I basically learned during my interviews that nobody gives two and a half ****s about what you are currently doing. Unless you think you can hammer out some publications or do some seriously awesome work in your research tech position, I would say go work somewhere else where you can enjoy the last year before you set sail for the long path that is physicianship.

For example: I had a chance to work at a sweet-ass hotel here in LA doing valet-esque type work (desk check-in etc etc) or go into a research tech position at LA biomed. Sadly I took the latter thinking it would look great for interviews, but nobody really cared and in retrospect, my friends who are currently working at this hotel are having a blast (through partying with the people they meet) and making hilarious amounts of money through tips. Not to mention checking in movie stars and driving ferraris to their valet spots.

You know what the best part is? These kind of jobs have such a high turnover rate that they'd be happy that you'd stay for more than 6 months. I ****ing hate my research tech position, it pays like ****, and my boss sucks. Great way to spend my gap year. I think I'll quit sooner than I had expected and maybe travel for a few months. Good luck man.
 
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Not saying whether it is generally a good idea or not... but how was saying your MCAT score a "huge mistake" in this instance? Your interviewer didn't know what it meant? Well even in this case, it certainly wouldn't hurt you, and for those that do know what it means, it could potentially be a good thing (assuming you have a good score of course).
 
Not saying whether it is generally a good idea or not... but how was saying your MCAT score a "huge mistake" in this instance? Your interviewer didn't know what it meant? Well even in this case, it certainly wouldn't hurt you, and for those that do know what it means, it could potentially be a good thing (assuming you have a good score of course).

That was the problem. He understood that I had a good score, and interpreted that to mean that I would most likely get in this cycle and just up and leave after only a year, which was a scenario he was trying to avoid. If I'd left my score off and told him I was 'thinking' about medicine (but expressed that I had no definite plan) he wouldn't have had reason to doubt that I would stay on for the duration...

Oh well, live and learn I guess...
 
That was the problem. He understood that I had a good score, and interpreted that to mean that I would most likely get in this cycle and just up and leave after only a year, which was a scenario he was trying to avoid. If I'd left my score off and told him I was 'thinking' about medicine (but expressed that I had no definite plan) he wouldn't have had reason to doubt that I would stay on for the duration...

Oh well, live and learn I guess...

Oh, alright... didn't think of it that way, makes sense
 
Hey Amak,

Yea, I think I interviewed for that same position today, and made that same mistake! I didn't know where to go after we talked about Med school! :(

Good luck to the both of us!
 
so next year will be my year off and i'm starting to look for a gap-year job. you guys mention that it's hard to get a position if the employer knows you'd only be able to stay for 1 year, but i'm wondering what happens if you get that position and then ask for time off for interviews and at the end when they find out you're going to med school. would they be angry or is this fairly common practice? just trying to figure out what i should be telling potential employers

thanks!
 
Hey Amak,

Yea, I think I interviewed for that same position today, and made that same mistake! I didn't know where to go after we talked about Med school! :(

Good luck to the both of us!

With Dr. I at the VA? Ha! Small world.

Definitely!
 
Haha, that is crazy....I had pretty much exactly the same situation happen to me last week.

I had an interview at a top notch research school here as a research assistant. I knew not to put my MCAT score or anything like that on my CV, but I did make the stupid mistake of telling her that I was interested in medicine. She says

"Oh that's awesome, so what time frame were you thinkin?"

I also made the stupid mistake of "I was thinking of applying this upcoming cycle for Fall of 2010".

She says "Ohh" (makes awkward face) and says "I think longevity might be a problem".....

Fortunately I did not make the mistake of saying I don't think I am going to get in this year (although I did think about it) because I felt that would reflect badly upon me. So I just said

"I am a really fast learner and can contribute from day one" (i know really really bad response). I knew I didn't get the job..... It's nice to know other pre meds are going through this gap year job problem with me.I guess I asked others around here and everyone says do not mention anything about medicine unless asked directly.... but my major question with that is.....when it comes interview time....how do you get out of your job without telling your employer about it??????
 
so next year will be my year off and i'm starting to look for a gap-year job. you guys mention that it's hard to get a position if the employer knows you'd only be able to stay for 1 year, but i'm wondering what happens if you get that position and then ask for time off for interviews and at the end when they find out you're going to med school. would they be angry or is this fairly common practice? just trying to figure out what i should be telling potential employers

thanks!

if you get that position, and they figure out you are abou tto leave. they will look for your replacement. you will feel the vibe. this means that if your job is at a research place, and your name may be on the line as a co-author and you leave, your name will either be replaced or pushed back to appease the new hire.

no one will be happy that you would be leaving for interviews right? try to call say your uncle's getting married or call in sick. i hate being dishonest too, so i got a job with my employer knowing that i was applying to med schools. however, that meant that i had to take a huge paycut in salary since he paid me on a student hire scaled and had no benefits. i would recommend not doing that unless you want to be totally broke.
 
Haha, that is crazy....I had pretty much exactly the same situation happen to me last week.

I had an interview at a top notch research school here as a research assistant. I knew not to put my MCAT score or anything like that on my CV, but I did make the stupid mistake of telling her that I was interested in medicine. She says

"Oh that's awesome, so what time frame were you thinkin?"

I also made the stupid mistake of "I was thinking of applying this upcoming cycle for Fall of 2010".

She says "Ohh" (makes awkward face) and says "I think longevity might be a problem".....

Fortunately I did not make the mistake of saying I don't think I am going to get in this year (although I did think about it) because I felt that would reflect badly upon me. So I just said

"I am a really fast learner and can contribute from day one" (i know really really bad response). I knew I didn't get the job..... It's nice to know other pre meds are going through this gap year job problem with me.I guess I asked others around here and everyone says do not mention anything about medicine unless asked directly.... but my major question with that is.....when it comes interview time....how do you get out of your job without telling your employer about it??????

there's no need to tell them you are applying to med schools until you give them your 2 weeks notice or whatever. employers also only need to do the same when firing someone.

downside is that you will not be able to get a recommendation letter from this. however, you are going to apply in the summer anyway and it would have been late
 
The gap year scenario is one of the worst parts taking a slightly nontraditional path into medical school. You're pretty much barred from getting any sort of reasonable job in the time frame, and research pretty much sucks when you're the low guy on the totem pole. I imagine that it's a little bit more fun when you have some intellectual ownership over what you do in the lab.

That said, I have had some success listing my MCAT score, and then telling interviewers that my main interest was "exploring my research interests before continuing my medical education". I never give them a direct timeline if I can avoid it.
 
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Haha, that is crazy....I had pretty much exactly the same situation happen to me last week.

I had an interview at a top notch research school here as a research assistant. I knew not to put my MCAT score or anything like that on my CV, but I did make the stupid mistake of telling her that I was interested in medicine. She says

"Oh that's awesome, so what time frame were you thinkin?"

I also made the stupid mistake of "I was thinking of applying this upcoming cycle for Fall of 2010".

She says "Ohh" (makes awkward face) and says "I think longevity might be a problem".....

Fortunately I did not make the mistake of saying I don't think I am going to get in this year (although I did think about it) because I felt that would reflect badly upon me. So I just said

"I am a really fast learner and can contribute from day one" (i know really really bad response). I knew I didn't get the job..... It's nice to know other pre meds are going through this gap year job problem with me.I guess I asked others around here and everyone says do not mention anything about medicine unless asked directly.... but my major question with that is.....when it comes interview time....how do you get out of your job without telling your employer about it??????

Yeah this is a common problem. From talking with people in my interview groups it seemed like a lot lied or just didn't say why they were taking time off. I have a childcare job with a special needs child and the mom is ecstatic about having a future doctor watch her 5 yr old so I really had no problem being honest about where I was going.

If I could do it all over though, I would have gotten a job that was easier and less stressful. As other people have noted, schools didn't seem very concerned about what I was doing currently.

Honestly, in this job market, taking a gap year sort of sucks.
 
I think "dream gap year job" is a bit of an exaggeration ;)

What about Aspen home-sitter, or beauty pageant judge, or hotel reviewer etc.

Seriously though, don't worry. I'm sure you'll find something suitable. A lot of people take 1 year jobs. Good luck.
 
I did the same thing, had my MCAT on my CV, everything... it's kind of hard to disguise your intentions when half the crap on your CV practically screams "medical or graduate school". I had no problems though - the two research jobs I got offered were those for which I was quite qualified for. I.e. I'd already done similar stuff in undergrad and so there wasn't a big learning curve at all. Essentially, I would be saving them enough time that it might have been worth the 1 year length. But ya know, maybe I was just lucky..
 
Most labs I interviewed for wanted someone for 2 years. I told them that would be fine, because at the time I believed it. I know it's silly, but I'm not comfortable lying about that sort of thing in an interview because they're going to find out anyway (interviews). And then I would have to deal with breaking contracts, etc.

But I realized that I would feel like I am stalling if I refrained from applying. I managed to find a research position for a pediatric stroke study with a grant only for one year, so those types of jobs do exist.
 
Research assistant jobs are dream lag year jobs. The PIs know that most people appying will be leaving for graduate school - it is a "stepping stone" considering the qualifications and the lack of upward mobility (usually requiring an advanced degree).

The key is to find a position where someone is leaving to go to school (this time of year is the BEST time to grab one of these jobs). Work your connections! As for the commitment, some grant funded jobs only have funding for a certain amount of time and sometimes a year is perfect to complete the study.
 
Most PIs will want a two year commitment. It takes several months to get to the point where you actually contribute to the day-to-day flow of the lab. When I was a tech we had a girl leave after 1yr to go to pharm school and man was the PI pissed. But I don't think she asked him for an LOR, and since she went to pharm school I don't think it mattered if she burned that bridge or not. As for interviews, if you have a job then you accrue vacation time. Make sure you don't waste any of it if you need it for interviews. If you consider not being fully forthcoming with your desires to leave the job for medical school, don't expect to get any favors in the future if that PI has contacts at the school.
 
word. in general to this graduating class, you will be facing a pretty sh*tty economy (if you are looking for a non-lab job). however, the NIH did get a stimulus, and the grants should be aliquotted maybe late summer-ish i'm not sure. these grants do look to increase the amount of new hires.

NIH IRTA is also an option.

what i would suggest though, is that to start volunteering at a lab after you graduate. this gives you something to talk about in your job interviews, as well as med school ones if you do not have a job by then. you will look less of a bum, and transfer some skills. if you demonstrate ability and take charge in the lab (tell the PI you are applying to md/phd) they may get dependent on you and decide to hire you. maybe not.

luckily we only have to go through this process once or so. most other professions, this is just a way of life.
 
Yeah this is a common problem. From talking with people in my interview groups it seemed like a lot lied or just didn't say why they were taking time off. I have a childcare job with a special needs child and the mom is ecstatic about having a future doctor watch her 5 yr old so I really had no problem being honest about where I was going.

If I could do it all over though, I would have gotten a job that was easier and less stressful. As other people have noted, schools didn't seem very concerned about what I was doing currently.

Honestly, in this job market, taking a gap year sort of sucks.

This thread makes me feel really lucky. My PI as well as the postdoc I work for were both extremely supportive about my med school application process. They were fine with me taking time off (knowing that I'd work my butt off to make up for it when I was there) and always wanted to hear about how interviews went, etc. I think my PI likes being involved in the process, supporting candidates he believes in, etc.

So yeah, maybe you dodged a bullet. I could not have credibly lied about the amount of time I took off for interviews - I don't have anywhere near enough uncles to kill off. Seriously, this process is exhausting and hard, and it's way better to not have to keep a whole set of lies straight on the side.

I think I put my MCAT on my CV when I was applying for jobs but I don't know if it hurt or helped much. I'm guessing some jobs just threw it out if they wanted a longer time commitment, which is for the best in the end.

If I were you, OP, and I was applying but did not expect to get in, I might say something vague like "I haven't decided yet if I'm applying for 2010 or 2011."
 
right, it all depends on your PI. there are TONS of supportive ones there. however, finding them means that you have to be proactive and lucky.

the process made me mature a lot though
 
If I were you, OP, and I was applying but did not expect to get in, I might say something vague like "I haven't decided yet if I'm applying for 2010 or 2011."

I thought about this as well, but I felt that employers might not like you if you are unsure about your plans. It may seem as though this person lacks direction....or maybe i'm just reading way too much into this.
 
I need to bump this thread, I am currently in my gap year and looking for a research job, but I know if I tell them I am planning on matriculating in medical school in 8 months they will show me the door...
 
I also learned the hard way about being straight about med school. I had this phone interview for a lab tech job and mentioned I would eventually like to go into medicine. The interviewer's voice went from excited and cheerful to downright unpleasant in a millisecond.

The logic was the same, looking for people who will stick around. I give them credit though. At least I got a clear audio clue that I was not going to hear back which is rare for interviewers that already know you are not making the cut.

Ended up at some lame job that I could have gotten out of a high school. At least it paid.
 
I also learned the hard way about being straight about med school. I had this phone interview for a lab tech job and mentioned I would eventually like to go into medicine. The interviewer's voice went from excited and cheerful to downright unpleasant in a millisecond.

The logic was the same, looking for people who will stick around. I give them credit though. At least I got a clear audio clue that I was not going to hear back which is rare for interviewers that already know you are not making the cut.

Ended up at some lame job that I could have gotten out of a high school. At least it paid.

hmm, so even though you didnt give a time frame, they were unhappy that you would eventually go into medicine?
 
the average resume submissions for lab tech job at my small lab at a school in Philly is around 30 per week. many of those are people already with masters, mbbs, etc

if you tell them you are going to med school, they will not be happy. tell them grad school in 2 or 3 years
 
hmm, so even though you didnt give a time frame, they were unhappy that you would eventually go into medicine?

Yeh. They got excited when I said higher education, when they asked specifically I said medicine eventually (even though in my head I was screaming at myself not to). That is when it went downhill. They wanted people who would continue working and get a masters in micro or something.
 
My job has a high turnover (and it's by no means research), so my supervisor had no problem with me only potentially staying for a year or so, and everyone I work with is really supportive of me going on to medical school.

That said, I also applied to do a med tech internship that would last a year. I would have finished in July, and had I been accepted into med school, started school in August. I got accepted to the internship, though they knew I was planning on applying to medical school, despite the shortage there is in med techs right now. I ultimately turned it down because I didn't want to deal with the stress of the internship, which was unpaid anyway, and then start med school right away.
 
My job has a high turnover (and it's by no means research), so my supervisor had no problem with me only potentially staying for a year or so, and everyone I work with is really supportive of me going on to medical school.

That said, I also applied to do a med tech internship that would last a year. I would have finished in July, and had I been accepted into med school, started school in August. I got accepted to the internship, though they knew I was planning on applying to medical school, despite the shortage there is in med techs right now. I ultimately turned it down because I didn't want to deal with the stress of the internship, which was unpaid anyway, and then start med school right away.

ouch, that's rough--unpaid...
 
Most labs I interviewed for wanted someone for 2 years. I told them that would be fine, because at the time I believed it. I know it's silly, but I'm not comfortable lying about that sort of thing in an interview because they're going to find out anyway (interviews). And then I would have to deal with breaking contracts, etc.

But I realized that I would feel like I am stalling if I refrained from applying. I managed to find a research position for a pediatric stroke study with a grant only for one year, so those types of jobs do exist.

I actually have years of experience working as a surgical technologist. I live near a prestigious med school/ hospital (that offered me a position just as I decided to return to school full-time) to make connections, and I realized that it made no sense. Nobody wants to hire someone for a year when orientation takes 3-6 months, especially in the OR, where it takes a full year for nurses and techs to learn every individual surgeon's preferences to the point where they actually request you to assist. Same thing with research. PI's don't want to train someone who leaves just as they are perfecting their technique and getting great results. You don't want to make enemies by

I've been volunteering at the hospital blood bank, and I got involved with the Americorps community service program. Americorps has tons of different programs offering amazing opportunities. The pay isn't much, but it covers living expenses wherever you take a position, as well as health insurance, and benefits--even daycare. You have a term of service of one year, and your student loans are deferred while you're in the program. The public health job I wanted was initially offered from June to June, but then changed to February, so I can't do it. They offer jobs all over the country, so if you are flexible and would like to live somewhere else for a short time, it's a great opportunity.

I found out there's tons of similar opportunities, depending where you live. Some are state-funded programs, and others are basically paid internships that are designed for new grads to use as a stepping stone. You have to look through your school's career resource center for positions that aren't really advertised outside of colleges. I'm older and I have work experience, so I basically discounted them until recently. I'm interviewing for a clinical research position that basically requires coordinating projects with residents and ultimately compiling the data and paperwork. The upside is that you're guaranteed to have your name published in at least one article in a medical journal, and the residency director pulls strings for you at a few med schools as you submit your secondaries. The position is designed for one year, so there's no hard feelings when you leave. It's a classic win-win situation. There are plenty of opportunities like this, but you have to scout them out.
 
Most labs I interviewed for wanted someone for 2 years. I told them that would be fine, because at the time I believed it. I know it's silly, but I'm not comfortable lying about that sort of thing in an interview because they're going to find out anyway (interviews). And then I would have to deal with breaking contracts, etc.

But I realized that I would feel like I am stalling if I refrained from applying. I managed to find a research position for a pediatric stroke study with a grant only for one year, so those types of jobs do exist.

There is nothing "silly" about not lying.

Advice: Don't apply to 2-year commitment jobs if you can only stay one year. It is unethical to do so. And counterproductive to the whole point of taking a research job in the first place -- to improve your app.

And OF COURSE you will need to be honest with your employer, IN ADVANCE, about the need to take time off for interviews.

And OF COURSE you will need great recommendations from your PI. Not getting a great rec will tank your app.

THINK, PEOPLE!!!!!

geez.
 
Im in the same problem now...8 months or so before med school and need a full time job...sadly theres no luck. I had some luck with interviewing at labs and such. However as soon as i said med school, they were like yah....good luck you can leave now. Now i have to work at like retail or mcdonalds ahah....a lot of good my degree does me now. One thing ive found somewhat useful for those in my position is going through temp agencies then you can avoid lying and any problems later. Though even those are full of people out of work due to the economy. A lot of temp agencies tend to have longer term stuff like 6 months or so and they can pay decent, or at least far better then any retial or other short term job that would be ok with only 6 month employment.
 
Same situation. Just moved looking for work and its even harder with an acceptance already. I'm living in the area of my acceptance so I thought that might help....fail.

Wal-Mart Greeter here I come. The temp agency idea is good though, might hit them up this week. I'm a phlebotomist as well and can't even get a PRN or anything. Dang economy.
 
the average resume submissions for lab tech job at my small lab at a school in Philly is around 30 per week. many of those are people already with masters, mbbs, etc

if you tell them you are going to med school, they will not be happy. tell them grad school in 2 or 3 years

I just interviewed ~20 people (out of about 40 applicants) last month for a research position, I am leaving my job so I had to look for a replacement. I interviewed 2 foreign MDs, 1 foreign PhD, 1 MD/PhD, a couple MS, and a bunch of premeds (my boss wanted someone with lab experience, but since I didn't have any when I started I thought I would try and give others a chance).

We ended up hiring the MD/PhD for his experience, though we weren't opposed to a premed that was enthusiastic and would be willing to put in the time (didn't find any, we were looking for at least a 2year commitment and willingness/flexibility to come in on weekends/evenings like I do).

One thing that drove me nuts with a couple of premeds was that prior to interviewing them, I had talked to them over the phone where I told them about the lab and the research, and what their primary duties were. Then when I interviewed them I would ask questions like how does a PCR work, what transgenic/knockout/lox-cre were, etc and they couldn't answer even though I had specifically mentioned them as being important in our lab. I remember when I got my first research lab I spent a couple days on Pubmed and going over my old text books. If you are going to interview and know what lab it is for and what your duties will be, do some background research!
 
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Same situation. Just moved looking for work and its even harder with an acceptance already. I'm living in the area of my acceptance so I thought that might help....fail.

Wal-Mart Greeter here I come. The temp agency idea is good though, might hit them up this week. I'm a phlebotomist as well and can't even get a PRN or anything. Dang economy.

I think you need to be an AARP member to be a Wal-Mart greeter.

Def try a temp agency. I got a job for the last month of summer before college started up again. When you got a month to work not even cashier jobs will hire you.
 
I just interviewed ~20 people (out of about 40 applicants) last month for a research position, I am leaving my job so I had to look for a replacement. I interviewed 2 foreign MDs, 1 foreign PhD, 1 MD/PhD, a couple MS, and a bunch of premeds (my boss wanted someone with lab experience, but since I didn't have any when I started I thought I would try and give others a chance).

We ended up hiring the MD/PhD for his experience, though we weren't opposed to a premed that was enthusiastic and would be willing to put in the time (didn't find any, we were looking for at least a 2year commitment and willingness/flexibility to come in on weekends/evenings like I do).

I understand how the other applicants could be in this situation. But what is the MD/PhDs story? How are they not doing research, in residency, or practicing?
 
I think you need to be an AARP member to be a Wal-Mart greeter.

Def try a temp agency. I got a job for the last month of summer before college started up again. When you got a month to work not even cashier jobs will hire you.

how do you get in touch with temp agencies? are they solely on the internet?
 
I understand how the other applicants could be in this situation. But what is the MD/PhDs story? How are they not doing research, in residency, or practicing?

Should have mentioned that he's also a foreign MD/PhD. He has visa issues, his was running out and he needed a sponsor.

Plus techs can make more than postdocs;)
 
how do you get in touch with temp agencies? are they solely on the internet?

Yeah, the bulk of the ads on careerbuilder, monster, etc seem to be from temp agencies. They can be a great thing (they can also be the devil) - always look out for yourself and NEGOTIATE YOUR SALARY! It is ALWAYS negotiable.

I definitely made many of the OP's mistake by putting the MCAT score on the resume. For me it was like "Hey look how good my score is! Employers will love me!"...wrong. If I ever applied to non-research job that was something that always came up. Intentions to applying to medical school was NEVER a good thing at my interviews (I learned the hard way, too). It took me about 15 interviews or so to finally learn how to taylor my answers to what they wanted to hear.

I wouldn't apply to two year positions knowing you're only trying for one, but other than that anything is fair game. Companies could care less about you and your own career and are willing to lay you off at the drop of a dime. If anyone asks you about your future goals/careers be as vague as possible "Surely I'd like to continue my education but for now I'd like to get my foot into the field for a while." You don't have to tell them you're going on interviews (just tell them you're taking a sick day or whatever). Do give them two weeks notice before you're leaving, though.
 
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If you do accept I would never ever ask for a LOR if everyone's on the understanding that you're going to stay 1-2 years and you're only really planning to do 6 months.

There's a horror story where a student asked a professor for a LOR. The professor replied she had to get to know the student more and asked her to work in her lab for 1 year. Well the student after a few months asks for the LOR and the professor writes a glowing one. Sure enough after receiving confirmation, the student sends an e-mail saying she's quitting b/c her schedule is too heavy but thanks her immensely for the experience. The professor of course is angry as hell, contacts the undergrad office, recalls the LOR and replaces it with another one. The student is informed that there's been a change in one of her LOR's and now she can't use her committee packet, because only the LOR writers can ask that the letter be pulled...
 
i recently interviewed at a place that wanted a year commitment and they threatened to email people saying I am unreliable if I leave prior to the one year commitment...could this hurt me in the long run?
 
there's no need to tell them you are applying to med schools until you give them your 2 weeks notice or whatever. employers also only need to do the same when firing someone.

downside is that you will not be able to get a recommendation letter from this. however, you are going to apply in the summer anyway and it would have been late

Are you serious? If the PI wants a 2-year commitment and you're planning on peacing out after one, it's just unprofessional not to share that fact and hope the job helps your cause during the application cycle before you leave the lab in a lurch the next year (with "two weeks notice"). It makes perfect sense for the PI to consider other candidates if the prospective RA might not be around long enough to meet the goals of job. And professionalism aside, if I read the file of an applicant currently working full-time in research, I'd find it suspicious if his file lacked an LOR from his current PI.
 
I'm surprised how many premeds here have no problem lying to prospective employers about their committment as long as it further their own goals of "entering a noble profession to help others."
 
Yeah, the bulk of the ads on careerbuilder, monster, etc seem to be from temp agencies. They can be a great thing (they can also be the devil) - always look out for yourself and NEGOTIATE YOUR SALARY! It is ALWAYS negotiable.

I definitely made many of the OP's mistake by putting the MCAT score on the resume. For me it was like "Hey look how good my score is! Employers will love me!"...wrong. If I ever applied to non-research job that was something that always came up. Intentions to applying to medical school was NEVER a good thing at my interviews (I learned the hard way, too). It took me about 15 interviews or so to finally learn how to taylor my answers to what they wanted to hear.

I wouldn't apply to two year positions knowing you're only trying for one, but other than that anything is fair game. Companies could care less about you and your own career and are willing to lay you off at the drop of a dime. If anyone asks you about your future goals/careers be as vague as possible "Surely I'd like to continue my education but for now I'd like to get my foot into the field for a while." You don't have to tell them you're going on interviews (just tell them you're taking a sick day or whatever). Do give them two weeks notice before you're leaving, though.

I agree. Dont lie knowing they want a long term commitment but if they dont ask, then why should you say anything. If they say 2 years, i couldnt lie as i just wouldnt feel right doing it knowing im there only 8 months. But, if how long you are willing to stay isnt discussed and its never stated they need an absolute commitment of X years then no need to say anything. Also as stated above AVOID stating med school like the plague. This is the kiss of death at any job sadly outside of fast food or retail as they dont care since the average employee stays only about 4 months. If you stayed one year they would be excited lol. I normally say eventually I would like higher education but for now im looking to get experience in X field blah blah blah more bs. :p. Then you can quickly move onto the next subject. Really the whole needing a long term commitment ive found only comes up in research/biotech positions. When just applying for normal office stuff that still pays half way decent, or at least a lot more then retail, they tend not to care or it never even comes up.
 
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