From the category archives:

After College

So… I’ve spent the first six months in 2014 trying to decide whether I wanted to do a thesis or not. In the graduate program for speech-pathology, this is optional, so we have a choice. I asked around; students who did do one felt incredibly gratified and fulfilled. Those who did not do one were happy they didn’t. So apparently it’s a win/win situation.

I’ve always believed that research is an integral part of any profession, especially in speech-language pathology. So much of our practice depends on current research. It’s a part of our Code of Ethics to consider future advocacy and evidence-based practice.

I sat down and came up with the following list:

YES THESIS:

  • Your resume is amplified by three thousand percent. Okay, well, maybe it just makes you look much more marketable.
  • It’s really fulfilling. God’s always on your side.
  • They open up areas you’d never dream about.
  • More networking opportunities because you work with professionals from different fields and different schools locally or globally.
  • Chances of getting a job increase.
  • You learn tons about gathering and conducting research.
  • People are more likely to take you seriously during and after working on said thesis.
  • You’re a foundation for future research.
  • You get to learn about something you’re really interested in!
  • Other issues are addressed through your research.
  • Major pride points when you’re done!
  • You get to present at conferences and everyone will offer you jobs (maybe.)
  • You may even get PUBLISHED.
  • You give others the opportunities to share in your successes (and non-successes).
  • Think of that Doctorate. Dr Liu? Yes.
  • You get great support from your advisors and your department.
  • It may be much harder to start if you decide to do one after you graduate.
  • More access to resources because you’re in school. Think of how many free articles you get thanks to the Library.

NO THESIS:

  • They’re definitely not as easy as they seem.
  • How will you ever decide what to do?
  • The Institutional Review Board is another process in itself.
  • Dat defense at the end
  • A doctorate really isn’t in store for you. Isabella Liu, M.S. CCC-SLP vs. Isabella Liu, PhD. M.S. CCC-SLP??
  • Funding is really hard to get. Both for the class, and for recruiting participants if you’re doing some controlled trials.
  • You’ll have to collaborate with other institutions if you need more resources.
  • Longitudinal studies are exactly what they seem… long.
  • You may have to start over from scratch.
  • You’re still in school and working jobs when you’re doing your research.
  • You have to sift through as much as you can of all existing research to compile your literature review, and not every 15 to 20 page article is going to be easy to read.
  • Outdated sources are still credible to a certain extent so you can’t automatically throw those to the side.
  • Your time will be eaten up by writing, writing, writing, reading, reading, reading…
  • You may not get a supervisor that’s always on the same page.
  • You reeeeaaalllllyyy don’t want to do one.

So… what do you think? It looks like the pros outweigh the cons. Some schools and departments make it a matriculation requirement, and I can see why. But when you have a choice, you’re faced with a tough decision that will eat up a lot of your time, but you have nothing to lose. I am reminded of the a quote from Albus Dumbledore of Harry Potter lore: “Soon, we must choose between what is right, and what is easy.”

Guess that pretty much decides it, eh?

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I knew going into the week after spring break that it was going to be the “Face the To-Do List I was Supposed to Tackle During Spring Break Week” week. Does that make sense? However I write it though, the week was, in a word, rough. And I loved it for that. Because weeks that make me feel super busy also make me feel super accomplished when I come out of them alive and in one piece. So yes, Physics Test Number Three, which I took the Wednesday night after break, was maddening and challenging (in other words…I genuinely enjoyed it, but my grade won’t) and I probably failed it. But like I texted my dad right after I took it, “I’ve just come to expect really hard exams now. They don’t really even phase me anymore.” (And neither does scoring less than a…50%…on said hard exams.). To which he responded, “I think you’re ready for Rolla :-) !” (Yes, he did type the smiley face because he claims he can’t get Emojis.)

Wait. Wuuuuut?

Oh yeah, did I mention that the moment I walked through the door to my house for my break, I kid you not, dad told me exactly how he felt about me pursuing chemistry? That I shouldn’t do it? That it’s not the best decision? That I need to do something else? (I’m so glad we decided to have this talk, wuuut, seven weeks before I graduate?)

I was angry with him. I cried about it. Dad and his stupid engineering mind-set* (*See definition at the end of post.)! Why did he have to be so disgustingly practical about everything? Why did he spend every moment of his spare time on his iPad, researching careers and salaries in chemistry to build his argument as to why I shouldn’t get a PhD or even a second undergraduate degree in it? Oh yeah, I was pretty mad all break. And then that Friday I went to UMSL and met with the chair of the chemistry department about completing my second degree there. And then I understood where dad was coming from this whole time. And, as of that Friday, I’ve had a nervous pit in my stomach, wondering how I’m going to make this decision in the amount of time I have to make it.

To get a good job in chemistry, I would do my second undergraduate degree (two years) before launching myself into a PhD program (five years). That’s seven more years of school total. Kids, to put things in perspective, that’s like high school and college combined practically. I love, love, love school and learning and studying (otherwise I wouldn’t do it so obsessively), but that’s a lot, even for me! And as dad so bluntly put it the moment I threw my backpack down when I got home that day,

“Then what?”

His idea: Take two and a half years or so to get my second undergrad degree in engineering at Rolla.

My take on his idea: Environmental Engineering with an emphasis in Environmental Chemistry. It seems like a natural fit for me…Right?

Hm. Maybe so. Next week dad and I are going to spend some quality time together as we make the trek down to Rolla to check out their program. Like he texted me yesterday, “I think you’re going to like what you hear.”

Hmmmmm…excited and nervous to see where this new road takes me…!

-Carly

En·gi·neer·ing mind-set: Noun: A very real personality trait that one knows best/everything about everything, simply because he or she holds a degree of some sort in the field of engineering, or is currently pursuing a degree in the field.

Example:

• Lately I’ve been especially obnoxious and smarty-pants-ish. I think I’ve inherited dad’s engineering mind-set. (FACT.)

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Until SPRING BREAK. Not just any spring break. My LAST spring break of college. Say what?! I feel like I graduated from PSHS not too long ago. Though, college has its downs I am really wishing that my last year of college goes slower. The real world is a scary place. I am worried about being ready. I have had a good life so far, thanks to my family and friends. I just hope I am ready for the next part of my life. Which won’t be in Illinois anymore. Scary. Im heading to the West Coast where there will be more opportunities with the industry I want to get into. Chicago will always have a place in my heart, there is just nothing that the state of Illinois can offer me anymore. To me it was a perfect place for a child to grow up in.

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I’ve been told that time gets faster the older you get, and now I’m starting to believe it. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of future planning within my organizations, and it feels weird to already be thinking about my senior year of college. It may seem far away, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s really not. Just look at how fast spring break came this semester (it’s next week!).

Fontbonne Activities Board (FAB) just announced the new executive board for next school year. I already knew I was going to be in charge of live performance, but there were still other positions to be filled. This past Friday night was spent doing some team bonding and planning for next year. For hours, we discussed the events that we want to bring to campus. Coming up, we will pitch our ideas to Fontbonne’s Student Government Association, hoping we get all the funds we need to do so. In addition, Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) just held their elections, and I’m going to be the vice president next year. ODK has already begun planning as well. It’s a lot to think about for both organizations when we’ve still got current events and activities to prepare and run. Regardless, it’s all still very exciting. There is so much to look forward to for next year. That being said, I don’t want to rush all the amazing things the rest of this spring semester has to offer.

Another futuristic thing I’ve been doing is searching and applying for summer internships. For my fashion merchandising major, it is a requirement that I complete one. It’s been a lot of work and research for that as well. I just had an interview that went really well, so my fingers are crossed for that. Internships commonly have a high potential for turning into a job, so this is a really big deal. Deciding on an internship really requires me to look ahead at my future plans from a career standpoint. I’m coming to realize that me being an adult in the real world with a full time job is not that far away. Again, it’s exciting to think about all these things, but at the same time, could junior year (and just time in general) please slow down?!

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Dress for Success.

by Marki March 3, 2014

What does it truly mean to dress for success? Now that I am talking an interpersonal communication class I get to explore what this truly means. When it comes to meeting people in regular social interactions to serious job interviews, your clothes are always communicating something. Are you trying to show you are a young [...]

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My Major Chose Me.

by Corie February 27, 2014

I always knew that I wanted to do something with the media. Then I also wanted to mix it in with something I am good at, writing. I will be graduating next fall with my B.A in Advertising with a concentration in professional writing. I didn’t start out that way though. Freshmen year, I was [...]

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Choosing my Major

by Deanna February 26, 2014

I always remember sitting in my classes the first day of class, and observing the type of decorating and arrangement of the classroom my teachers had done, but especially thinking of all the different things I would have done if it were my classroom. The most vivid time I recall doing this is my first [...]

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Well, I Guess This is Growing Up

by Marielle February 25, 2014

This week, instead of looking back on my storied college career, I’ll be looking forward to the future. As you might know, I have been a dietetics major since first setting foot on the Fontbonne campus, and I’ve never once wanted to deviate from that path.  Although most people have a general concept of what [...]

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A Love Letter to Chemistry.

by Carly February 14, 2014

On Monday I had the pleasure of turning my hands blue (Okay, this is totally an exaggeration, but still.). Also on Monday, I had the real pleasure of calculating my engineering physics grade after receiving my very first graded physics exam. Then Wednesday I spent 3 hours with the engineering physics tutor, before going to [...]

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A Love Letter to Track & Field.

by Carly February 5, 2014

Last weekend I found myself watching excitedly as super speedy, super fit, super awesome runners ran circles around me at my very first indoor track meet, which I attended as a spectator thanks to a never-ending foot injury that’s kept me from running since October. Anyhow, I personally enjoy just going and watching meets because [...]

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