Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Business


Today we welcome Ms. Andrea Micci to Career Central. If you guessed we are related you are right - she's my sister! Andrea grew up in Scituate, Massachusetts. She is a recent graduate of Rollins College in Florida and is currently employed by the software company N2N Global, located near where she went to college. Her favorite book is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.


Growing up, friends and family will give you advice and suggestions about your career. My parents always told my sister and I that the greatest joy in life was not going to be expensive cars, clothes, and material goods. The greatest joy would be independence and the ability to care for ourselves. As a twenty-two year old and a recent college graduate, I can say I understand that lesson now and wholeheartedly agree.

I graduated with an International Business and Spanish major from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. I believe that it is smart to choose a practical major in college that teaches you skills that will be beneficial no matter what career path you choose. I found business classes fascinating – I loved the math and learning about the international business practices particularly. I had studied Spanish in high school and decided that speaking Spanish was a skill that would differentiate me from other business majors. I had the opportunity to spend a semester abroad in Spain living with a woman that didn’t speak English. I learned the language fluently while abroad and this skill has helped me to this day.

Preparing for the job market is not just about academics. I learned valuable skills about working with people as a member of the Varsity Rowing Team, a tour guide for the school, a Resident Assistant who aided the faculty in the dorms, and the President of the Academic Honor Council – a student run organization that upheld honor and integrity at the college. I hoped that one day my hard work would be worth all of the hours spent, and it proved to be when I was preparing to graduate.

A required class for the business degree was International Finance. Older students warned me that it was extremely difficult. I spent hours crunching numbers, studying financial models, and formatting spreadsheets. At the end of the semester, all of the spreadsheets that I had created were neatly printed and stacked in a huge binder. They looked truly professional and I was very proud of the work I had produced. As I was interviewing for jobs, employers would ask me financial questions and inquire about the material I had completed for the class. They were impressed by how much I had learned and prepared and I was personally satisfied by the outcome.

In the last semester before graduation, I was looking for a job that would help me utilize the skills I had learned throughout my education. I now work at a software company called N2N Global that develops and sells Enterprise Resource Planning systems in the agricultural business. The software assists fruit and citrus growers throughout the United States and Europe in growing, cleaning, and distributing their products all over the world. My job is to work with current and prospective clients to better understand their questions and needs regarding the software. I have been with the company for six months and I have am constantly challenged and learn new skills that will benefit me throughout my career.

I have had the opportunity to travel to client sites in Florida and California to help them utilize the software to improve their businesses. I also attended a trade show in California where companies from all over the world traveled to put their product on display and market their goods. My Spanish skills were extremely helpful because there were many vendors from Central America who wanted to learn more about my company’s product. I was able to converse with them and tell them more about the work we do within my firm and how we could help improve their business.

I now understand that my parents were absolutely correct. I am fortunate to be a recent college graduate with a job I enjoy and the ability to be self-sufficient and independent. I always worked throughout high school and college, whether as a waitress or in a position at the schools, and all of my experiences and hard work have taught me valuable lessons. Although it may seem difficult at times, becoming as involved as possible on your campus and taking advantage of every opportunity will be well worth the effort expended.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Medicine


Today Career Central welcomes its first guest - Ms. Julie Petersen. Julie is a friend of mine from college. She grew up in Fayetteville, West Virginia and graduated from Washington and Lee in 2009 with a degree in Political Science, concentration in Poverty Studies. She is currently a fourth year medical student at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. Her favorite books are Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne, Sofie's World by Jostein Gaarder, and she has recently been devouring Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games series. Julie says:

My route to medical school was a circuitous one.  My primary passion has always been international development, but after years of working in subsistence farming villages I realized that I wanted a career that provided me with a tangible skill to offer in these impoverished settings.  Having been raised in a medical family, medical school was a logical choice.

The process of becoming a doctor is long and difficult, but well worth it if you love what you’re doing.  It begins in college with your pre-med requirements: eight credits each of general chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, and physics.  I would also highly recommend taking courses in biochemistry and genetics.  They’re not required for med school admission, but it will make your life much easier once you’re in med school.  Then you have to take the MCAT, the standardized exam required by all American medical schools. 

Medical school itself lasts four years: two years in the classroom and two years of rotations (working with and learning from practicing physicians).  During your fourth year, you “match” into a residency program, which determines what kind of doctor you’ll be – family practitioner, surgeon, pediatrician, etc.  Depending on your specialty, residency could last anywhere from three to five years.  Then, if you want to sub-specialize you can do a fellowship after that.

It sounds intense, and it is, but I feel that it’s well worth it.  First off, I have to acknowledge that at the end of it all, you’re financially well compensated for your sacrifices of time, money, sleep, and sanity during the medical training process.  For example, starting salary for an Obstetrician/Gynecologist (my first choice specialty) ranges from around $200,000-$250,000 annually.  More important to me than the money, medicine provided the opportunity to experience things beyond my typical surroundings.  I’ve worked in Nicaragua, Uganda, and the Dominican Republic in medical and public health settings. 

Plus, I get to do incredible things like cutting people open and sewing them back up!  I’ve seen and held a human spinal cord, brain, and heart – how many people can say that?!  But what most draws me to medicine is the opportunity to serve others.  I have found no more rewarding experience than caring for people.  Every day, I wake up and get to make a difference in other individuals’ lives.

Feel free to ask any questions and I’ll try my best to answer them.

Welcome!

The Chavez Prep Career Central is a forum for connecting our academy to individuals across various job sectors. It is never too early to start thinking about what kind of career you might want. Once you earn your degree you will be going to work every day - so you might as well like what you're doing! In the wise words of Joshua Ramos '14 (and Confucius): "The way I see it is if you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life."