Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Confessions of a Real Post Grad: Allison McGee

I will be interviewing different post grads to document their journey, give advice, learn from their triumphs and mistakes and so other post grads know they aren't alone. I will be talking to those lucky few who got their dream job right after their degree or those who went in a completely different direction than they had planned.

1. Explain to readers where and when you graduated, your degree and your current job/schooling.
I graduated in May 2010 from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC with a BS in Biology. It took me a year to find a full-time job. During my "gap" year, I worked part-time as a pre-school assistant teacher and as a Pharmacy Technician. I was employed in April 2011 by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). I am a Regulatory Documents Specialist for the Infectious Diseases Clinical trials unit. Basically, I do a lot of the paper work behind all the studies that keeps them ethical and gets them approved to continue every year.

2. You just described your current situation, is this where you thought you'd be as a post grad?
While I was in school, my plan was to go to pharmacy school. After working in a pharmacy for five years as a technician, I began to hate it. I finally realized (spring semester senior year, great timing huh?) that I didn't want to be stuck in a career that I hated. I still have no idea what I want to do! While I was a student, I thought I would have everything put together by now, but that is not the case!

3. What is the best thing about being a post grad?
The best part about being a post grad is coming home and not having to worry about doing anything! I know this isn't true for everyone, but for me it's the best thing! I love coming home after work and I can choose what I have to do and nothing is mandatory. I don't have to worry about that paper due next week or that test tomorrow morning. Its a great feeling! 

4. What is the worst?
The worst part for me is the loss of community. Once you're out in the "real world" it can be really hard to meet people/make friends. To do so, you have to put out a lot of effort! For most of the first year and a half after college, I was just waiting for a community to fall in my lap. I just didn't want to put myself out there. I am just now finally starting to do so and it is hard!

5. What advice do you have for recent post grads?

Don't worry about having every thing figured out right away. I wish I had taken better advantage of my time and taken the time to figure out what I want to do. Put yourself out there to meet people, no matter how uncomfortable it makes you (I'm still working on this!). Enjoy yourself! :) You only get to be a young/mid-20 something for so long!

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