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Gap Year- Still Jobless

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by gogata23, Aug 24, 2015.

  1. gogata23

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    Hello everyone, I graduated in May and have been working on my applications this summer. Now that I'm done with all my secondaries, I've shifted my focus to finding a job. I've applied to different research positions, internships, blood banks, but have yet to hear back from anything.

    As I've been sending these emails and online applications, I'm wondering is this the right way to go about my search? Should I start walking into these places and asking about positions in person, or would this not help at all?

    Also, I've been mentioning that I am applying to medical school. I figured some places may like to hear this, knowing that I am desperate for a job and can pay me less. However, it could also scare some positions away, knowing I may only have a one year commitment.

    Any help or advice for my situation would be greatly appreciated, thank you!
     
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  3. spaingirl17

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    I was in the same boat. To be honest, you may just need to get a job in the service industry. I'm starting work in this cool new wine bar, which, although it's not medically related, I get to learn a bunch about wines and craft beers and get the flexibility I need for interview travels, volunteering, etc. Plus the pay isn't bad and I would be okay working here longer if I didn't get accepted this cycle. If you really don't want to serve/bar-tend, I wold recommend waiting until the interview to mention that you are hoping to go to medical school so you can hook them with your wonderful personality before they write you off. Also, try looking for jobs listed as temporary, as they would be more receptive to a one year commitment. Craigslist is actually super helpful for that. Best of luck with the job search!
     
  4. oOKawaiiOo

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  5. GrapesofRath

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    Cold email is your best bet. That's what has worked for me in the past. It'll take alot of emails and the right opportunity but it's your best shot. And yes, for some jobs such as research, only being able to give a one year commitment can cause problems and make it harder for someone to want to take you on even if you have solid prior research experience. Ask your old PI if you are on good terms if they might be able to help you out; what gets these research jobs often times is having a PI or faculty putting in a good word for you, particularly if it is to someone the person hiring knows personally.

    SAT/MCAT tutor positions is something you should look into. For Kaplan I think you only need a 33 to be eligible to tutor and for the SAT from my experience some programs are even a little flexible about their cut offs if they know its been so long since you've taken the SAT, were close to their cut off mark and have done rather well for yourself since taking the SAT in high school.

    I should note while you definitely want to be doing something during your gap year, it doesn't have to be a paid/formal "internship" or "job". Volunteering in a lab 20 hours a week and working on the side is perfectly fine for a gap year and won't affect your chances of admission. Volunteering in a hospital and or hospice 12-15 hours a week while being an SAT/MCAT tutor another 20 is also perfectly fine as another example. Your application won't be defined by what you are doing after you submit it and really won't affect things much unless you literally do absolutely nothing.
     
  6. hypericum

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    I'm also having trouble. I have some friends who found jobs by lying about how long they could commit (like not telling employers they were going to go to med school) but I don't want to do that.

    I think some standard options are research tech, medical scribe, and private tutoring. If you can get a collection of part-time jobs it should be all right.
     
  7. goldy490

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    Medical assistant in a chiropractors office is a nice gig. Also urgent care and primary care offices always need people to pull files, scut work, etc.
     
  8. avgn

    avgn Lv 30, HP 85
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    Kids, this is why you shouldn't blindly major in the life sciences and study your way through college. You "graduate" with no marketable skills and quite unemployable.

    I often wonder what happens to the bio premeds with no life experiences who don't get in. Who would hire them? They would add little to no value with their skill sets in the vast majority of entry-level jobs. :smack:
     
  9. avgn

    avgn Lv 30, HP 85
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    OP, try your college career center if one exists. Be flexible and think of what marketable skills you actually have. Pitch them.
     
  10. Lawper

    Lawper In 3D
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    No one would hire them unless they go to graduate school, teach in K12 schools, work in a crappy lab as a tech, or change careers altogether (like tech and business). Honestly, the second and last options are the way to go
     
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  11. goldy490

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    I know a dude with a Neuro major who now sells popsicles from a little cart
     
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  12. NotASerialKiller

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    If they were planning on applying to med school then it's not the worst thing in the world to study what you enjoy. Sure a lot of people take generic Arts degrees with some major they don't really care about for the sake of going to college, but if you are passionate about the subject then it's not foolish. Not everything is about getting a high-paying job as soon as possible, some people want the education for its own sake.

    Of course the majority of students probably ARE hoping to make bank from their degrees and are disappointed when philosophy doesn't prove fruitful. Still though, I wouldn't assume that everyone taking a degree that doesn't directly lead to a great job is just doing life wrong.
     
  13. avgn

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    Uh, I'm not talking about "making bank." I'm talking about learning skills that would make you a contributory member of society. You can major in bio and do a lot of other stuff to arm yourself with meaningful non-academic skills. Anyone who just studies their way through college in any field comes out the other end a textbook potato. This was just a good place to make an example out of bio.
     
  14. NotASerialKiller

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    Maybe I misunderstood. What the the marketable skills and life experience you were were saying bio majors should get?
     
  15. avgn

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    Degrees themselves don't mean much. Very few people actively use the content knowledge from undergrad to do their jobs. College is about SKILLS. Skills obtained through coursework are good to a certain extent. The rest must be supplemented by other experiences outside the classroom. This goes for any major at the undergrad level.

    I was a philosophy major but I graduated with skills that I picked up from the tons of other activities I was involved in. I also market my philosophy degree by describing how it shaped my thinking and approach to problem solving. Other than that, the 14 classes I took for the major are useless. That's how it is. But when you're a textbook bio major, all you can really say is that you're good at memorizing and then something flimsy about critical thinking in science that few people care about. If you didn't develop skills outside of the classroom, you're basically unemployable.
     
  16. NotASerialKiller

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    I'm not sure that most people would agree with the notion that anything learned in college that is not an 'employable skill' is useless. From what you're describing, unless applying to professional school, why would one not just learn a trade? That's where you learn useful employable skills. A university education should not (but often sadly is) be about that.

    What you're describing is what I was referring to when I was talking about what ends up happening, and what most people care about (jobs, money, etc.). If you're passionate about Art History, why not go to college and learn all about it, as long as you can afford it? I know that many people consider colleges to be job factories, but what I'm saying is that that is not the only way of thinking about them, and ideally that shouldn't be how our system works at all.

    Also I'm still a little bit confused as to what these mysterious skills are that you're talking about. Can you give me an example?
     
  17. steelersfan1243

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    [​IMG]
     
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  18. PugsAndHugs

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    Try craigslist.
     
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  19. avgn

    avgn Lv 30, HP 85
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    I didn't say OP doesn't have marketable skills. I was speaking generically, not specifically to OP. I actually told him to think of what stuff he does have to offer the employers in another post.

    lol don't worry, we liberal arts majors are not looking for any of your research tech positions. You can keep them
     
  20. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    Heck, I used to buy my kids' clothes from a store owner who had a PhD in biochemistry.
     
    #19 LizzyM, Aug 24, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2015
  21. Gibbward

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    It could take 3-4 weeks before you hear back from anyone (this happened to me) so you might just need to be patient. Also, when I was looking for a research assistant position, I looked through a company's/hospital's/school's website and applied through that. It's definitely the easiest way to find job openings, but it's not the best way to apply because some positions are already filled even before they put out an ad for a position.
     
  22. beeboops

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    I second looking directly through company's/hospital's/school's websites for job listings - I interviewed for at least 2 jobs this way. One of the jobs I applied to was for a research assistant and when asked what my future plans were, I mentioned medical school, and the researcher looked fairly upset at that and explained that it takes so long to train someone that they didn't want a research assistant who would be leaving in a year. Needless to say, I didn't get that job. Could've been that I wasn't qualified, but I can't help but feel that since I would be temporary, they didn't want to take me on.

    Moral of the story: Stop telling potential employers you're going to med school. I know you want to do the honest thing and let them know, but if your main concern is supporting yourself and making money, you'll have to omit the whole med school thing to get hired. If asked about your career plans, just say you want to deepen your experience in the biomedical sciences or something like that. It's not complete hogwash, but you're also not saying upfront that you're only going to be there a year.
     
  23. femmegoblue

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    Teach MCAT at TPR. I am doing this for my gap year, and they pay 20/hr!
     
  24. Lawper

    Lawper In 3D
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    Pretty sure you need to excel the MCAT (>90th percentile) or be masterful in any section to teach for prep companies. A well paying job though!
     
  25. evansh

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    I've considered doing this part-time for some extra money and because I like teaching. How do you like the job?
     
  26. Glazedonutlove

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    or kaplan! Both pay well
     
  27. femmegoblue

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    Well, my training is Sept 11-12 but I am doing Verbal, and thus far they have been so generous, willing to pay for literally so much, and you get to be really flexible with what classes you teach.
     
  28. LizzyM

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    Do keep in mind that < 50% of medical school applicants get admitted so to say that you are going to medical school next year is still uncertain, particularly in that no offers have yet been made for 2016. Just say, "I'm planning to go back to school eventually, of course, to continue my education but at this point I don't have a firm plan."
     
  29. sharkbyte

    sharkbyte Take me to the top
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    I'd look into tutoring/teaching positions, especially for SAT/ACT/MCAT. They pay pretty well and your chances of getting hired are easier.
     
  30. solitarius

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    You should hit up people you know.

    My cousin got hired for an office job by ... my cousin. People are hiring people they know.
     
  31. Psai

    Psai Snitches get zero vicryl
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    Your cousin hired themselves?
     
  32. solitarius

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    Yes, genius.

    (I have more than one cousin)
     
  33. idontknowwhatnametopick

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    I had a job interview a month ago and was asked "how long do you plan on keeping this job?"
    Honest as I am, I told the interviewer "I'm applying to medical school, so if I get in I'll be leaving in July 2016."
    And then he LITERALLY told me "You know, next time someone asks you this question, you should just lie. You'd be a great fit but this is too short of a time commitment."

    The end....

    Just don't tell them about med school.
     
  34. wasteofspace323

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    What are "Things I learned my first Cycle"?
     
  35. Petrichor1

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    In order to get a more viable major you have to do 10x more work and a lot more (like outside internships). If you don't do that and are worried about your gpa and take it the safer route, nothing wrong with it but this is what happens sadly. Job applying though OP sucks for both those with marketable degrees and nonmarketable. Employers just take a lot of time even though they have vacancies available. From my experience, I would go for the service industry and just work there happily. You have applied already right? The only place you can share this work is at the interview cycle but only if you want to or they ask. Meanwhile work on getting some other academic job just to be safe. Applying doesn't hurt. It took me 2-3 months to finally hear back from just one person...so yea if I had known I wouldn't have hesitated to take up a Mcdonald's job versus some free research position or something where I have to spend money to get there.
     
  36. Petrichor1

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    lol, no wonder people are so iffy about me. For some reason people think that I am the perfect med school applicant by resume and then they start asking me future plans (not once but twice). For people like me who honestly state a practical time table that can fit everything in the agenda the meeting makes for an awkward convincing game that I am truly not a medical school applicant... Lying just isn't cool OP if you leave before even a year is completed. For research jobs the rule of thumb is are you willing to stay for 2 years atleast.
     
  37. Gibbward

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    Maybe that's the case for industry, but I feel like research jobs in academic settings (at least with my experience) are more flexible since schools understand the process, and because they're very dependent on grant money that could be or not be there year after year, they're more likely to have just 1 year contracts for RAs and techs.
     
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  38. J Senpai

    J Senpai Grab my arm. Other arm. MY other arm.
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    I know of a guy with a PhD in chemistry who ended up cooking meth. :shrug:
     
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  39. J Senpai

    J Senpai Grab my arm. Other arm. MY other arm.
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    But seriously, I'll be out of school for more than a year, starting December. I've been told I need to start looking and applying now. What're y'all's opinions?

    I'm actually looking into working as a deputy in my county's jail.
     
  40. Strudel19

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  41. StudyLater

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    I think this is true in certain cases, but also you have to consider some PIs prefer not to waste their grad students' time training/supervising people who are just going to end up leaving in a little while (academic research under a PI is like a 5-10 year sentence for most; 1 year is really a little while). Training in the lab, btw, is basically a continuous process, and your incessant questions/f*ckups bother the **** out of every person that is actually experienced in the lab who doesn't want to act as a babysitter (mind you I don't say this as an "experienced person"). Also, by coming in as a newbie, you can kind of mess up the work flow a bit which others do not appreciate (if they have you do something but you don't do it right, now they have to go back and do it and you just wasted time/resources etc.). Consequently, you can end up being resented very easily, in addition to the fact that you will gain no respect even from the PI who initially hired you. The PI won't want to invest his/her time in "grooming" you, so to speak, since you will be gone so soon, and therefore opportunities can be sparse in so short a time.

    Kind of a zero sum game, except the fact you come out with a better knowledge of research methods. You still kind of suck though, at least compared to a grad student. Of course, though, this, like I said, is the deal in some cases, probably about the average of how these things go. You could do better, I'm sure, if you really put your mind to it. If you've already got significant experience from day 1, I'm sure you could just jump straight into a project and hopefully have a pub submission within 3-6mos or so, assuming you come up with something good or can develop an idea the PI has been rolling around in his head. Like anything else, it's what you make of it.
     
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  42. gogata23

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    Thank you all very much for the input. For another route, how would it look if I only focused on getting EMT and CNA certified while also volunteering? It would suck to still not get an income, but I would gain a lot of clinical experience. Thoughts?
     
  43. avgn

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    Fine. As I mentioned, most premeds have massive trouble finding a paying job of substance. You're not alone
     
  44. Gibbward

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    @StudyLater Fair point. It definitely depends on prior research experience, because you're less likely to be a liability in the beginning if you've had a significant background on the experiments being done in the lab. Granted, if you never really had any experience in doing bench research, the likelihood of you getting hired might be pretty unlikely anyway, so I guess my point is mostly valid only if the OP actually has research background.

    Nonetheless, I feel like for most RA/RT jobs, you're given tasks/experiments that are straight forward and really difficult to mess up as long as you follow directions properly, know how to use a pipette and know how to weigh stuff. An RA definitely wouldn't be expected to start up his/her own research project right off the bat, so it shouldn't matter that you suck compared to a grad student anyway. And for the most part, grad students/post docs like having RAs that they can train for 2-3 weeks to do the simple tasks that they don't want to do. Plus, I think grad students really shouldn't mind this since at one point, they were the annoying RAs that's just starting in a lab and they should understand the difficulties associated with being a newbie.

    Though again a lot of these depends on the culture of the lab/institution you're in. This is why having a face to face interview is really important because you'd be able to gauge the personalities of those working in the lab. The timing of when you start is affects a senior scientist's tolerance for screw ups too. A 6th year grad student who is trying to wrap up his dissertation would be extremely unhappy with mentoring a new RA compared to a 2nd year. I was definitely lucky that I've been a grad student and an RA for very relaxed and open labs, so maybe that's why I have such a optimistic view of the grad student-RA relationship? But as you said, at the end of the day, it really is what you make out of the experience, and you just have to work hard and focus so the whole lab won't hate you.
     
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  45. Gibbward

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    Do it if you don't need to have a regular income to pay for your living expenses. Also note that depending on where you are, it might be hard to land a job as a full-time job as an EMT. I know a lot of people who have their certification but cannot find a job with it, so they end up being volunteer EMTs instead. I guess it is good clinical experience, but volunteering doesn't really pay the bills. I'm not sure about CNAs though.
     
  46. MyNameWasUsed

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    I just graduated this May as well. You should try teaching at the local community college. I acquired an anatomy lab instuctor position and just got an offer for a math instructor position today. It pays surprisingly well.
     
  47. StudyLater

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    Eheh....yeah, that probably would suck.

    :oops:

    Depends on your situation. PI may give you things others have failed at to retry (and usually fail at yourself), while awesome virgin ideas are reserved for the big kids.

    Unless you were just talking pure scut work, which....yeah, but I mean that's not even really research. That's just moving stuff around, basically. Ideally if you do this kind of a thing you should get something cool/unique out of it to show your judges. Easier said than done, but with experience I think it is doable. And you are very much right that it entirely depends on the environment you find yourself in. PI/grad student personalities can play a huge role in your success.
     
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