A Day in the Life
The CNR Peer Advisor Experience
Level 3
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Irene Liao
Genetics and Plant Biology major
Samantha Bell
Microbial Biology major
Jena Riggert
Forestry and Natural Resources major
Dale Dualan
Conservation Resource Studies major
Stephen Kwan
Molecular Environmental Biology major
Kay Jiaqi Yang
Nutritional Sciences - Dietetics major
Tiet Nguyen
Microbial Biology major
Selina Chou
Nutritional Science - Dietetics major
Jenn Jehnsen
Environmental Sciences major
Wendy Chen
Environmental Sciences major
Jessica LeBeau
Environmental Sciences major

March 17, 2008

After Graduation...

I'm in my third year now in Environmental Sciences. And what do I want to do with my B.S. once I graduate? Become a librarian. Yes, I know it sounds completely random and unrelated, but that's my master plan. Right now I'm preparing for all those crazy grad school applications that I'll be sending in next fall. (Yes, librarians actually have to have a Master's degree in Library Science!)

So how did I come to this decision? I started to realize my sophomore year that I didn't want to pursue a career in Environmental Science. Not to say that I don't enjoy my major. I do. But I began to see that I just wasn't cut out for a science-related or even policy-related career. It's just not me. My strengths and interest don't really correspond to what I'm studying, and this was obvious whenever I got my grades back. I did the worse in my major's core courses and my best grades were in humanities classes. I knew that I enjoyed working with people, especially children, and I hoped that I would be able to incorporate that into my career. But I also knew that I wasn't cut out to be a teacher from a lot of previous teaching experience.
I began thinking about what kind of skills I have and what kind of jobs would complement my natural interests. I've thought about becoming a librarian dozens of times growing up but for some strange reason, I never took it seriously. But it popped back into my mind as I was contemplating all this. So I began to do some research and I also talked to a lot of family and friends. It's crazy because everyone I shared with gave me a lot of affirmation and encouragement about pursuing it!
I especially wanted to focus on children's and youth services as a librarian because of my passion for kids, and I decided that minoring in education would be a helpful and practical step. And that basically brings me to where I am right now. I'm almost done with my education minor and I love it. And now I'm in the process of preparing to apply for grad school.
If there's anything you can get out of my strange journey I hope it's the comfort and reassurance that you don't always have to know what you want to do in the near future. And it's okay to change majors or even pursue a major that may not necessarily be related to your future career. You should enjoy what you're studying. But also seek after what you really love (whether it's major-related or not) and what brings out your best :)

November 29, 2006

Where I'm Bound...

Being a junior in college is supposed to mean that you have everything figured out. And whenever I go home, I'm always prepared to get assaulted with questions like "what are you going to do after you graduate?" or "what do you want to do with THAT degree?" Usually I fumble some non-committal answer -- law school is a great excuse :) -- but truth be told (and don't tell my parents)... I HAVE NO IDEA! But you know what? I'm not that upset about it. When I first came to Berkeley I thought I was going to be a Political Science major, maybe even study art. Two years later, I've fallen in love with environmental science and know that I never want to do anything else... maybe. But I've had a great time figuring out what I'm interested in and I'm not in any hurry to pick just one career for the rest of my life. My dream job would be to travel abroad to some Central American country to do research or work with developing governments, but I would be perfectly happy to stay in the beautiful Bay Area and do environmental work for a non-profit or for-profit environmental company. I'm really interested in interning with companies like Save the Bay, the Pacific Institute, Foundation for Sustainable Development, or just about any green-minded company out there. I'm also really getting into sustainable agriculture and green building at the moment, so would love to get some work experience in that field. All in all, I'm excited to see where the future takes me. Although most of the time, that excuse doesn't really work that well on my parents... ;)

When I was just a Little Girl...

When I was young, I did not know what I really want to be when I grow up. I saw people dance, I went to learn Ballet. When I saw people draw, I went to learn painting. When I saw people play the piano, I went to learn the piano. I couldn’t settle down with one thing that I really enjoy doing. But I am glad that I have found my life long interest that I want to have it as my career.

Years later, I was in high school studying science. I loved human physiology. I was always thinking about the relationship between food and human body and what affects weight and body images. I knew I want to work in a hospital. I wanted to share my interest with others and hope to learn more about Nutrition.
Then I worked my way to be Dietetics major at Cal. I cannot imagine time flies really quickly from my first thought of Nutrition to my graduation in coming May. I will move on to a Dietetic Internship to continue to equip myself as a Registered Dietitian.

I am so happy to find what I love to study and there have been so many wonderful memories in pursuing my goal. After getting my Bachelor degree in Dietetics, I will be applying for a year long Dietetic Internship and sit for the Registered Dietitian Exam. I look forward to help myself and others for any nutritional help or counseling as a RD. It will be very meaningful to do what you like! I wish you find the field interests you for a life time. Feel free to talk with me about your interest or more about how I chose my career!

Future Plans

In this week's installment of blogs, we'll be talking about our career aspirations and goals. It'll be cool to see what all your PALs are interested in, so check this out!

In the future, I plan to pursue a career in biological research. I've spent quite a bit of time in labs these past years and have really learned to enjoy the thought processes that go into developing and carrying out research projects. I find all aspects of biology to be interesting, so any opportunity to apply what I have learned in biology courses is really exciting.

My goal is to enter an MD/PhD program. Not sure exactly what PhD I will pursue, but I'm interested in both molecular biology and biochemistry. Combined programs such as this one offer more flexibility and would allow me to work in both a clinical and laboratory settting. My hope is to combine what I learn from both degrees and conduct medical research.

If you have any questions regarding medical school or graduate school, feel free to send a query via e-mail (pal@berkeley.edu) or drop by my office hours on Wednesday and Friday mornings, 9-10AM. We'd love to get some feedback and also hear about what your career plans are!

November 28, 2006

Into the Future

In my mind, anytime is a good time to think about the future, whether it’s just to see a concert, preparing for a test, or even something long term, especially your career goals. What are you going to do after college and for the rest of your life? What if your plans don’t go the way you want them to?

To be frank, I don’t know exactly what I want to do as a career. My imagination runs wild every time I think about what I want to do, and it started ever since I was a little kid: a concert flutist, a dancer, a teacher, a lawyer, a perfumer-maker/creator, a wine-maker, a landscaping architect, a marine biologist, an architect…

Continue reading "Into the Future" »

What I Want To Be When I Grow Up

Ever since I was little I wanted to be in the medical field. I really didn't know much about it then, but I know quite a bit now that I'm sure I want to be in the medical field, specifcally in the pharmaceutical industry. I would ultimately like to become specialized as an oncology pharmacist. As a means of achieving my goals I have been a licensced pharmacy technician for almost two years. I work at two different hospitals because I really like being able to experience different types of medical practice. One of the hospitals I work at practices general medicine and the other is specialized for pediatrics. They both offer the ability to learn different aspects of a career as a pharmacist. Applying to pharmacy school is a lot of work, but it will be worth it in the end.

November 20, 2006

My Career Goals as an RD

It is my dream to become a Registered Dietitian (RD). I was brought up in a very health conscious household and as a result I developed a strong interest in nutrition at a young age. Ever since I began my study in dietetics at UC Berkeley, my love for nutrition has grown even more. I truly believe that knowledge is power and if everyone else in the world knew a portion of what I have learned about nutrition, I think that we would all be better off. People don’t realize how much nutrition and physical fitness impact just about every aspect of our lives and I want to help spread the word. By doing so, I think I will be positively impacting others in the same way that nutrition has mine.

I am currently applying to Masters in Nutrition and Dietetic Internship combined programs. Once I complete this degree I will take the RD exam and I can begin my quest as an RD. I would like to first work at a hospital, preferable a children’s hospital, because I enjoy working with children and have loved my work at Children’s Hospital in Oakland thus far. I think that children are our future and that they are in great need of help when it comes to nutrition, especially now more than ever. I would like to help coordinate or run a nutrition outreach program (similar to the ones I help out with now) because I want to not only help children who are sick, but also I want to prevent them from getting sick through nutrition. I believe that prevention is the key to solving our health problems.

Eventually I would like to open my own practice and also become a certified physical trainer. I would like to learn more about physical fitness since nutrition is only half of the equation. I would base my practice around family nutrition intervention. Since my health conscious family impacted me so much, I feel that this approach would be very effective. I would include nutrition education, treatment, and also fitness in my approach to helping improve the lives of my clients.

At this moment, this is my future career plan. However, it is important to remain flexible since I still have a couple of years of graduate school ahead of me which may lead me in a slightly different direction. Nonetheless, regardless of exactly what I will be doing as an RD, I know that my goal to positively impact the lives of others through nutrition will never change.