Don’t know where to go…

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As I steadily approach graduation, I find myself stressed out and anxious. The biggest issue is that I do not know where I am headed. I have changed my mind about where I want to be so many times that I can not say for sure what I want to do. My choices are between full time work, full time grad school at UML, and full time grad school somewhere else.


My first instinct is to take my degree and use it. I would like to get a steady income so I could afford things that always seemed out of reach in college. Like a new car that I could make payments on, or a nice TV for my apartment. I realize that these are material things that I don’t really need, but I think it would be nice to not feel poor for once. I am concerned that I would quickly become dependent on my higher salary, and I would not be able to go back to school full time.


So naturally the second choice is to stay in school. But I am unsure if I want to stay in Umass Lowell plastics. I am curious how much more I could learn. I feel like I would be more challenged in a new school with different professors and a new atmosphere. I know that it would be easier for me to get my masters in plastics engineering at UML, but that is not entirely a good thing. I think employers may see this as a disadvantage. Also, I feel I would be passing up a chance to experience something new. I am also unsure whether I would be able to get teaching assistant or research assistant funding to study for my masters at a different university.


I am pretty sure whichever path I choose to follow, I will have some joy from my choice, but also some regret of not choosing a different way. I know that I am quickly approaching a great accomplishment that I should be very proud of. I also know that I am blessed to be able to finish school debt free. However, it is very difficult to appreciate these things when I am stressed about my future.


I am going to look at a few schools in October, and also a couple of career fairs. Hopefully something inspires me to take my next step. I am going to talk to some of my advisors at school to get their opinion. Please leave any comments that you think may help my choice.


Thanks for reading.

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Christian T. said:

Hey Guthrie,

I was on the same boat during the Spring 2009 semester. For most of my college career, I've kept my mind on grad school for physical therapy. But the quicker it came to graduation, my plans started to change. I was supposed to go get my certification for nutritional sciences for semester, but that plan changed also. Right now, for jobs, I'm still looking for a full time job. The economy is still on the downside and jobs are tight out there. Honestly, I would stay in school so you can hold off your loans for another few years and keep your mind active. Plus with an extra degree, you will definitely find a job in no time after you are done. I'm not saying that a bachelor's degree is nothing, but a higher degree like a master's, doc, or phD would definitely help you land a great job in the future. Knowledge is power, ya know? I can tell you this: I regret not going back to school this semester buddy... even if I graduated already.

I hope all goes well for you man! Good luck this semester and take some time of from studying to de-stress!

- Christian
Former Hawktalk Blogger

Guthrie Gordon said:


Thanks for the advice man! Didn't you graduate summa cum laude? If you can't find a job then there is no hope for the rest of us.

I have been talking to a few of my professors about becoming a research assistant. This would be great because it would fund my grad school, plus I would get a weekly paycheck from the school.

Thanks again for reading. Good luck out there in the real world!


Cheney Lyon said:

Hi guys, there are jobs still out there and the key to finding employment in you employment category is to use all types of employment tools such as word of mouth or the internet with social networking or jobs search engines that can speed up the process of finding work online. Another good tactic for locating the vacancy that's right for you is to find the company that you would most like to work for and simply pester them. Most employers will hire a keen and eager individual over the most qualified person any day of the week. There's work out there alright, you just have to try a little harder at the moment to find it, and things do appear to by on the mend, with many of the worlds banks bailed out by world governments at the end of 2008 and early this year now able to repay these debts in full.

Guthrie Gordon said:


Thank you for your comment. I really appreciate your advice.

I was under a great deal of stress when I wrote this back in September. With a little bit of luck and determination I was able to find full time job placement. I will be starting at a medical devices company called NxStage Medical in January. I will only be starting as a co-op/intern, but hopefully I can use it as a stepping stone to a full time engineering position. Check out my blog entitled "Work Lined up for Spring..." to hear more about it.

I think you are right about pestering companies, I applied at NxStage last year, and they did not hire me. Having the guts to go back for another interview certainly paid off.

Thanks again! I appreciate your interest.


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This page contains a single entry by Gordon, Guthrie W published on September 29, 2009 7:56 AM.

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