For many of you, you may be nearing the end of your undergrad studies here at U of T. As such, you may find yourself contemplating “what next?”. Or you may be in the early years of your undergrad, and may have already started thinking about “what am I aiming for?”, “what will I be doing after all this is over?”
I can assure you that these are completely rational sentiments to experience as a student. I found myself thinking about the “next steps” when I was in my undergrad as well. For me I found this particularly difficult because I had a lot of interests. Holding a major in biology and another major in criminology & socio-legal studies demonstrates the breadth of interests I had. I basically felt like I was in the fork in the middle of the road. What direction would I pursue? Something more artsy, or something in the sciences? I was at a loss. So I decided, well, I might as well keep my options open. I ended up writing the PCAT, MCAT and the LSAT – definitely a massive undertaking! I ended up doing the best on the PCAT and figured it must have been fate! But since I did well on the PCAT, I started looking into the career to see if it actually was a good fit for me. I soon discovered that the pharmacy profession seemed to be embody the characteristics of my personality – personable, knowledgeable, empathetic. In addition, I was also involved with the Peer Health Education team in association with UTM’s Health & Counselling Centre. We were responsible for disseminating information pertaining to various health topics to the student body. I realized that this was similar to what a pharmacist would do. They are knowledgeable about medications and are responsible for communicating this information to patients and other healthcare professionals.
From my experience, I think it’s very important that you take the time and effort to research what is out there. Think about what interests you and what career aligns with your personality. Job shadowing or talking to someone in the field is a great way to gain a better understanding of a career. However, of utmost importance is to not panic if you feel you don’t have a plan after graduation. The best things in life take time to cultivate. With some dedicated effort and soul-searching, you will find what speaks to you.