I recently was asked to speak to some high school students about why chemistry is important. As a young professional myself, it was only eight or nine years ago that I was where they are now. At that time, I knew that I loved chemistry - I just didn't know what I wanted to do with it. So I used that uncertainty as the basis for my presentation. Now I am a Technical Support Engineer for Indium Corporation. How did I get from a budding love for chemistry to an engineer? Well that is what I explained to the students.
A little background about myself, after high school, I went on to get my bachelor's degree in chemistry, and then my master's degree in chemical engineering. During school, I was always looking for ideas for what I wanted to do when i graduated. I started out tutoring chemistry and mathematics. That's when I discovered that it is really hard to teach. You really need to practice and have a passion for it. Then I went on to become a laboratory assistant and shortly thereafter a laboratory technician. I liked these jobs more, but they didn’t seem to click exactly with my personality. After graduating, with my master's degree, I applied and was hired as a Technical Support Engineer for Indium Corporation. This was the common denominator for my love for chemistry. It was engineering!!!
Back to my title of this blog… Chemistry, why is it not just a one way track? You can do so much with chemistry! You can go into different jobs like:
- Forensic Science
- Scientific writer
- And more!!!
Chemistry is the basis for so many different ideas and fields. For me I think like a chemist and an engineer so being a Technical Support Engineer for a materials company was my niche.
Sitting back now, thinking like when I was in high school I recommended the following to those students:
Get out there and shadow different types of jobs! Find out what you like, and learn about something new. You may surprise yourself with what you like. Apply for internships. Getting experience is great and even if you have an internship that doesn't fit your personality, you will learned something. Use your resources. High school counselors, college advisors, and college career development offices are there to help you and better yet, they want to help you. Lastly, apply, apply, apply! Don’t doubt yourself; apply for as many things as you can to get an much experience as you can.
Good luck to all you graduating high school and college seniors. I hope you are as lucky as I was in finding something you really love.My