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English BA looking for a transition job...

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by Mixed Drink, May 4, 2007.

  1. Mixed Drink

    Mixed Drink

    Mar 27, 2007
    This is my first "official" post on SDN and from what I've seen so far, this is an excellent, supportive, and informative community. I'm looking forward to participating and sharing news of my own.

    My question is this:
    I'm looking for a full time job I can hold while I complete the post-bac program. Preferrably, this will also be something that would look decent when I start to apply to med schools.

    A little about me...
    I'm 24 and looking to start down the non-trad road this summer/fall. I graduated from Nyack College w. a BA in English Lit (GPA 2.97) I was sorely unfocused in ugrad, but my transcript is interesting, at least. There are semesters where I'd have a 1.7 and then semesters where I have a 3.89. Motivation is everything...

    After I graduated in 2004, I went to NYU for a semester of grad school in Literary theory and playwriting. I withdrew when I figured out that an MA wouldn't make me anymore qualified for any concrete occupation.

    For the past 2 years, I worked as an Editorial Assistant in the Computer Science dept of large textbook publishing company. The interest in medicine came out of the blue, as I hadn't really had any previous interest in the sciences. It feels like I'm starting to develop the tertiary characteristics of my personality as I have a strong craving to discover the concrete, scientific aspects of life.

    I was accepted into the Rutgers post-bacc program (New Brunswick/non-certificate) and am looking to either start w. a calc class this summer, or two lab sciences this fall. I'm taking an EMT class at the moment and while I recognize that it's fantastic training to have, I'm also slightly frustrated as I want to go into further depth with the material...

    I just left my job with the publishing company and am now looking for something else. Ideally, the pay would be decent (at least $30k...) as I'm hoping and planning to pay off the post-bacc in cash so I don't accrue any additional debt before med school. (I still have ugrad as well...) I'm more qualified in the "administrative" end of things, but I'm hoping to transition into a more health care related field.

    I was thinking of taking a temp job as a customer service rep or something in that vein, as I've heard that medicine is very much a "service industry". Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you all for contributing your wisdom and advice!

    Thank you all!
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  3. cubbbie

    cubbbie Member 5+ Year Member

    Aug 5, 2004
    The best job for someone like you would be a clinical research job that allows you have patient contact and do medical research. Those are not as hard to come by as it may seem.

    In your case, though, with that GPA, if it is all possible I would try to take as many classes as you can to raise your ugrad GPA, even if it means forgoing a job. No matter what great things you do while waiting to apply, if your GPA is that low you're going to have a really hard time in the application process.

    If you do need the money, another option is to see if you can get a tuition benefit from an academic job. In my case, I worked full-time in a clinical/research job then took 2-3 night classes at a time, 80% of which was paid for by my employer. That was a sweet deal. There are a couple employers in my city that did that, and I knew dozens of career changers like you and me who took advantage of that and later got into good med schools. This was in Chicago. I don't know about NY, but hopefully there's something similar.

    Good luck.
  4. Mixed Drink

    Mixed Drink

    Mar 27, 2007
    Thanks for the encouragement, cubbbie!
    I was thinking of going out for a job like that, but it would be a stretch since I have no prior experience... I was thinking of going down to the university and just applying and asking around in person. Persistence pays off, so I hear...

    The GPA is definitely my biggest obstacle. I'm going to work my butt off in the post-bacc, try to get in at least 500 volunteer hours, and grab some clinical experience to round out my app status. I'm aiming to be the comeback kid.

    I do need the money and the tuition situation is actually why I left my current job. They had tuition reimbursement, but it only covered subjects that were related to the publishing industry (i.e.- copyediting and literature). I was sad to go, but my aim now is to find somewhere that is more in line w. my current goals.

  5. whatintheworld?

    whatintheworld? New Member 2+ Year Member

    Jul 6, 2006
    I worked full time while completing my post bac, after completing my BA in a completely unrelated field. I had a difficult time finding a job in the healthcare field that would work with my class schedule, and many people did not want to even consider my resume once they learned that I would be taking classes and pursuing med school. Because of my other experiences during undergrad, I had a ton of experience in a social work type of setting, so at the suggestion of my advisor I got a job in that type of setting. I was worried that it may be looked down upon, and that I would be questioned why I didn't get a job in healthcare, but I had to pay bills! Also, contrary to what I expected, at my med school interviews, nearly every one of them asked me about my experiences at my job, and seemed to be an asset to my application-- something different that, although it was not directly in healthcare, showed that I could work with people in crisis situations.
  6. droyd78

    droyd78 7+ Year Member

    Nov 30, 2006
    Another English major here. Similar to you, I came from a totally different direction and took an EMT course when I started pursuing med school. Currently I work as a tech on a tele floor in a hospital. I work weekend nights, which maximizes my pay, keeps my schedule free for classes during the week, and usually gives me some good study time while I'm at work.

    Typically the tough part is getting someone to give you a shot when you are coming from a totally different industry. By the time I was a registered EMT and looking for jobs, I wished I had spent even a few hours a week volunteering somewhere while I was in EMT class so I would have a contact or two that might help me get a job.

    Good luck!
  7. firecoins

    firecoins 5+ Year Member

    May 9, 2007
    Nyack resident here. It would not be hard to work per diem as an EMT at all. Many companies are understaffed. It would give you alot of patient contact. I can not see how the EMT job would not look good for medical school.
  8. Byronsgoat

    Byronsgoat 2+ Year Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    Try these folks:

    I worked as a CIM for one year prior to applying to medical school. They hire lots of people trying to get into med school. Pay's decent and it's medically relevant.

    Previous poster is right, however. You need to get your GPA up. You are still fresh from your undergrad so you will need, basically, straight A's on your pre-reqs if you wish to stay in the U.S. It's not impossible - just requires a lot of hard work.
  9. ut2010

    ut2010 Medical Student 2+ Year Member

    Apr 11, 2007
    I worked in clinical research, basic research and a nursing home as a nurse aide. Any of the above are good ways to learn about basic science or clinical medicine or both!

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