Current Position: I work for a small start-up company in the field of medical technology & Innovation. My position is “Test Coordinator”; I schedule studies, clinical trials, and tests required prior to launching a product, as well as handle all the paperwork that happens behind the scenes (ethics approvals, test protocol, SOPs, etc).
This job can lead into the fields Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) or towards technology development and ingenuity – depending which path I follow.
What was one notable aspect about Carleton Neuroscience that shaped your next steps? Any advice for incoming students?
Going to University can be a bit of a double edged sword. You get prepared for a wide variety of options, but specialize in none.
For me, those options gave me the sense of having infinite opportunity and zero direction; sometimes I felt quite lost. I wondered where my degree was taking me, if anywhere, and what the point of it was. Would I get a job? Would I be successful? Was all this accumulated debt worth it?
The hardest part wasn’t graduating. It was picking a direction after I graduated. My degree exposed me to so many elements- neuroscience, biology, math, physics, psychology, lab work, public speaking- that I knew I could do anything. But the reality was there were very few jobs that wanted me to do everything- most employers wanted me to do one thing really, really well. I could do a lot of things pretty well, but often that just wasn’t good enough.
I found myself facing a crossroad that I’m sure many grads have faced before- do I become a specialist or do I try to find a job that lets me do it all? And if I choose to specialize, what part of my degree should I choose to focus on?
The problem was, when I thought about it- I realized I loved it all. Every course I took opened my eyes a little wider, made me think a little harder, and made me understand the world in a slightly different way. Picking a specialty meant I’d have to stop exploring every avenue. It meant I’d have to let go of that curiosity and insatiable thirst for knowledge that brought me to university in the first place.
Here is where I let you in on a little secret. That crossroad that I faced, that you might face yourself one day- It’s not real. You don’t have to choose- you can go in any direction you like.
I knew then that I had graduated with more than a degree. I had graduated with a perspective. I saw the bigger picture, and I knew it could not be unseen. What’s more, I knew I had to do something with it.
I work now for a start-up company that pushes the envelope of medical technology, helping to find new ways to improve and change the medical industry. I can honestly say I use every part of my degree, because solving problems requires analyzing the problem from a hundred different angles. I feel like the future is not a fixed date in time, but a mouldable object continuously being sculpted by the minds and actions of billions of people all over the world. And now I finally feel like I’m one of those people.
So what did university really give me? I think It gave me a house full of windows to look through, and a key- so when the day came that I decided I wanted to look through all the windows at once, I’d be able to open the door and walk outside to a world in full view.
My advice to those about to graduate? Know that the only limit to your potential is the one you create in your own mind. Don’t let what has happened before shape what happens from now on, and when you get to that crossroad, walk right through it and keep going up. The sky is the limit, and trust me, the view from up here is amazing.
Health Sciences Building
1125 Colonel By Drive