Sorry, I just need to vent. What have I learned? (in my area of the upper Midwest) - Employers don't want you to have goals when applying for an entry level job. They want you to work the job for them and be their worker. If you mention any plans about wanting to go to graduate school, you killed your chances at the job. They just want someone to be their slave. When you apply for a research assistant job, they just want some person with no drive to do the grunt work and then you are on your way out the door once the project or fudning is done. Where do you go? Get another research assistant job or maybe get a manager job managing the assistants for the project? - You are judged based on where you went to school (in my area of the country). It doesn't matter what your work experience is around here. If you have that big name school as the place you got your degree, you get hired over people with real world experience that graduated from a no name place. - If you say that you want to go medical school, PA schoool, or even just show passion for a medical profession, you might as well just ask for money on the street as you will get money faster that way then you will from the employer. - Just about every employer hates the "one year gap" thing that new college graduate students do. - We are a specialized economy. The last job you had is the job that you are the most qualifed for. Screw all of this crap. Go directly from high school to college and then to graduate school (PA, MD, DO, etc). If you have to take that extra year off, I wish you the best for finding an employer that is actually carying about your future and WANTS you to do the best you can for yourself. The day I find a hiring manager that understands the "gap year" thing I will ask to mary in a split second (not literally).