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Planning my next move


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Greetings all,


First off, let me explain my situation.  I am an American student who is currently completing a Master's in Biomedical Engineering, but studying abroad (in large part due to financial reasons).  I did my undergrad in the states.  While my undergraduate wasn't exactly spectacular (GPA just above 3.1), I will graduate my Master's in good standing with a 3.5.


I am now trying to decide what I want to do with the rest of my life.  I am a bit older than other Master's graduates (having royally screwed up my first time at university and having to transfer after my third year).  I've been to the Career Office here, but as they usually prepare those people for entering the job market in my current country, they can't provide help to non-local students who are going back to their own countries.


So far, the options I am considering are either doing a global MBA (here or back in the US), continuing onto a PhD, or simply joining the workforce.


Can someone who has gone through a similar situation give me some advice about how they made their final decisions?  What things did you consider when you made your decision?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Decaf! I'm new to this website to please forgive me if I end up writing out of context.  :)


First of all, I'm so sorry to hear what you're going through. Must be hard to compete with the rest of the graduates especially since you say you are much older and not local. Honestly I have not been in that position before but I did go through something similar finding a job. The advice I learnt from that, I hope will help you. As we all know, the job market isn't that great now, it hasn't picked up much since the last recession. If experienced working people find it hard to find jobs, what more a fresh grad. I was unlucky enough to graduate when the market fell and I was struggling to get any job I could possibly find. I had a First Class Honors degree and even that didn't get me through the doors.


One high flying banker who interviewed me gave me this really great piece of advice. "Don't continue studying just cos you can't find a job". I was stunned. Just like you I was considering getting back to school just to wait till the market picks up. He told me not to. He told me that if I REALLY wanted to make full use of my time, I should take up courses that will teach me more business skills or soft skills as they call it, while looking for a job.


He taught me that the best thing to do was to work and gain that experience cos the more i study, the less time I would have to get the on the job experience which is what recruiters really want these days. They don't want a high flying MBA or PHD grad with little to no experience, they would rather have just a young degree holder who has a wealth of experience and a "killer bulldog" attitude.


I took that advice and I'm happy to say I have worked my way to where I am. I have had the opportunity to work overseas in the middle east and gain a wealth of experience.


In your case, personally I would fight and do what ever it takes to get into the workforce cos that's the only skill you need to survive in the cut-throat working world. Prolonging that may cause some issues in the long run. If you do decide to join the workforce, I heard of this website that helps new graduates like yourself to find jobs anywhere in the world. (www.gradgreenhouse.com) So while your Career Office won't help you cos you're not local, this one will. And it has a slew of other tools such a Video CV, Personality Tests, etc, to make you MORE than just your CV says you are. So even though you didn't do spectacular in your undergrad, who cares? The service lets you showcase who you really are and not what your GPA scores says you are. And recruiters want that. 


I hope this helps and I wish you all the very best.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Dave80, a PhD is not always a good idea. I see people who did a PhD only because they couldn't find a job after MSc. And then they are unhappy and frustrated. I would recommend a job or MBA instead of a PhD if your are only doing it from a lack of any other option. It is also good to start your career early, you may regret later that you are 4 years behind.  There are many options for you, especially with your background; you can try sales, industry, technology transfer or healthcare consultancy. See aftermyphd.com - it describes how a typical day looks like, what is the work life balance, salary, benefits and so on. Worth checking :) Let me know if you need further advice.

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