Jun 24, 2009
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I work at a restaurant, waiting tables, about 15 hours a week during the school year. It's decent money (~$12-15/hour) and it definitely helps pay for rent and books, but I'm concerned that 1. it's not medically related and 2. it's cutting into my study time. I have friends with desk jobs who get paid less than I do, but they can study while at work and they're not exhausted afterwards. I'm also feeling pressured by students who have more "traditional" pre-med jobs like teaching MCAT classes, tutoring, and being TAs for science classes. Would adcoms see these jobs as "better" than mine?

Opinions? Quit the job, switch for another one, or keep at it?
 

ksmi117

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Not everything you do needs to be medically-related. Med schools want to see well-rounded people. I'd definitely keep the job as long as you can handle your school work with it.
 

Naijaba

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I work at a restaurant, waiting tables, about 15 hours a week during the school year. It's decent money (~$12-15/hour) and it definitely helps pay for rent and books, but I'm concerned that 1. it's not medically related and 2. it's cutting into my study time. I have friends with desk jobs who get paid less than I do, but they can study while at work and they're not exhausted afterwards. I'm also feeling pressured by students who have more "traditional" pre-med jobs like teaching MCAT classes, tutoring, and being TAs for science classes. Would adcoms see these jobs as "better" than mine?

Opinions? Quit the job, switch for another one, or keep at it?
I would absolutely, without a doubt, recommend becoming a tutor or a TA. Don't do it for admissions committees, do it because it will make you a master of the content area (think MCAT). There is no better way to learn general chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, physics, or any subject.
 

devilpup

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if you are concerned about getting the most out of your job, then perhaps looking elsewhere is a good idea. It sounds like you want something better; there are many employment opportunities on campuses for its students. As an undergraduate, tutoring is well paid; I always thought it was boring, so I worked for the police department.

The fact that you are working while carrying a full premed load speaks positively you, specially if you manage to maintain good academic standing. Not many premeds can pull that off.
 

pitt1166

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Are there any good alternatives out there for you?

I mean besides things like tutoring, TAing, etc.

I got a job during my sophomore year because I needed the money, working as a child care counselor at a facility for juvenile delinquents. Lucky for me, the job not only paid the bills, but really exposed me to a ton of crazy situations that were pretty relevant for med school applications.
 
Jun 28, 2009
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I did quite a few things.

Research - it's ok, will depend on what you research and if you're at all interested in the project

Tutoring - favorite job

Restaurant Host - only did this for 2 months, because one day they closed that popsicle stand with no warning...never working at a restaurant again; unbelievable. Didn't even give me a phone call to say, "Hi, you've been laid off. Have a nice day!"

Distribution Center - manual labor, hard work, I can now say I value an honest day's labor as well as the merchandise sold from Menards is complete and utter crap.

My advice to you is find something you think you like doing because if the job stinks, then you'll be miserable during the semesters.
 

shiftingmirage

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A job is a job. I think if you like what you are doing, keep doing it (if it aint broke, don't fix it). Add on volunteering one time a week at a hospital to gain clinical experience.

In theory, the requirements/abilities to be a TA would be higher than those to be a waiter. That being said, there is nothing wrong with being a waiter. I also wouldn't classify being a TA or a tutor as medically related. Add on volunteering in a clinical setting, and you can officially check off volunteering and clinical experience off your to do list. Not to mention, it's nice to have things going on outside of school.
 
Jun 30, 2009
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I think you should keep the job unless it is cutting into study time too much.

I have been using my restaurant job in a number of secondary essays. Yes it's great if you have more traditional pre-med jobs. But come on how interesting is that?

As a doctor you will be meeting lots of different people a day. guess what you do in the restaurant business? meet lots of different people a day.

plus tips aren't bad either ;)
 

Cunninglinguist

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Jul 20, 2009
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I think you need to do whatever pays the bills.

If you want another job go get one. If you like the break from the monotony of your daily pre-med life with people that aren't pre-meds, keep the job.

15 hours a week is nothing, man. It's certainly not enough time to really impact your studying negatively. I would just do what feels right to you.

I think pre-meds pigeon hole themselves into certain niches that limit their earning potential.

On my off year I'm hoping to pull in 80-100k to save money for med school. Don't limit yourself to a $12 an hour job. I once founded a business for ~ 1 months that paid 6k and I did it from home playing video games, that did start to cut into my school work, so I dropped it, but the point is that there are plenty of opportunities out there for you to make money doing things that everyone else isn't doing.

Use your imagination and set your sights high. I've been laughed at prior to most of my ventures, sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. The key is perseverance and treading new ground. People don't usually laugh when I tell them what I'm doing anymore, they try to figure out how to get in on it.

Drop the "What everyone else is doing" mindset and start living your life.

Good luck!
 
OP
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Jun 24, 2009
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Thanks for all the insight, those who replied. While answers were mixed, it gave me a lot more to consider.

@Cunninglinguist -- I'm curious about what kind of job(s) you're involved in! Wanna let me in on that? :p
In all seriousness though, thanks for the advice -- I tend to get nervous when what I'm doing doesn't seem to measure up to the pre-meds around me, but in this case, maybe different = better...with better pay too. I definitely enjoy my job, but I'll be looking into other options as well.
 

NickNaylor

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I've worked random jobs during the month off for winter break. It's not because I wouldn't want to shadow a physician or do something else medical related, but unfortunately the starting pay rate is $0/hr.

I'd say don't worry about it. If you can find another job that pays at least as much AND falls in your field of interest, then go for it. I don't think you need to quit just because it's not medical-related.
 

Cunninglinguist

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Jul 20, 2009
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Thanks for all the insight, those who replied. While answers were mixed, it gave me a lot more to consider.

@Cunninglinguist -- I'm curious about what kind of job(s) you're involved in! Wanna let me in on that? :p
In all seriousness though, thanks for the advice -- I tend to get nervous when what I'm doing doesn't seem to measure up to the pre-meds around me, but in this case, maybe different = better...with better pay too. I definitely enjoy my job, but I'll be looking into other options as well.
I've done a lot of buying and selling over the years. Buy low sell high. You just have to find people who don't know what they have and get whatever it is you're interested in selling for pennies on the dollar. This takes more time, because you have to continually be doing research on pricing, who's selling, how much they are usually going for, what the difference is, time with inventory (if you have inventory at all), and payment methods. Paypal works for both internet and personal transactions and allows you to accept credit cards without having to buy a credit card machine.

But I'm a salesman by trade, so this next year I'm going back into sales so I can get access to benefits, retirement, and corporate backing behind what I'm selling. I would say what it is, but on this forum they would probably view me as the devil incarnate. ha ha.

Best of luck in your endeavors though. I'm sure you'll do great, just don't let other people limit your potential.