Premed other career

I’m looking for input from anyone who continued with their first (or 2nd, etc.) career while finishing up prereqs part-time, applying, etc. Did you tell your bosses or co-workers what you were doing? when?

I’m still 2.5 years out, so I feel it’s premature to announce that I’m taking premed classes and start appearing like less of an eager-beaver at work, but I could make my life much easier if I did. Instead of climbing the career ladder, I just want to come in, do my work, and go home at a reasonable hour. I’m lucky this semester because I have an on-line course with only 4 mandatory lab sessions on Saturdays, but from summer on out, I’ll be in class most weeknights. I only travel for things like attending conferences. . .not exactly of earth-shattering importance, but when the inevitable schedule conflict comes up, I am not sure how to deal with it if the company doesn’t know I’m in school.

My company is actually still doing quite well and is even hiring people, so I don’t feel like my job is at risk if they think I’m not dedicated. I know of several people with special arrangements - a few people live 2 or more hours away and only comes in 2-3 days/wk. We also have flex time, where I could be working 7-3:30. I rarely interact with people. My boss is an emailer who prefers to hide in his office all the time. I feel like the opportunities to shift my focus a little from work to school could be there, but it seems risky to approach this when I still have such a long path to med school. . .if I even get in!

Any advice is appreciated.


Hi Ali:

I’ve mentioned to a few folks at work - I work in IT at a hospital. My workload was very light, almost non-existent for a while, but I remained cautious about doing homework at work. My job is stable as well, but appearances and presumption can speak louder than words sometimes. I decided to take my lunch time and perhaps time after work to work on school stuff if I could. Otherwise, I wait until I get home, change into comfy clothes and open a lecture, do problems, whatever. There isn’t enough time in the day and if I had to do it all over again, I would try to find a way NOT to work (in order to take all of the prereqs in a years’ time). Also, I think if I had kept my job as a respiratory therapist, I would have been able to have more days off to commit to all day studying sessions…

All of that said, use you best judgment and approach doing school work at work with a bit of caution. They hired us to do a job, after all (that’s what I keep telling myself…).

Good luck to you!

you need to gauge your boss. When I first decided, I told my boss at the time and he was very supportive. When I transferred departments though, my new boss did not seem too thrilled with some of the things I was doing so I decided to keep it off the books until I applied. Then I told her what I was doing and kept it quiet until I received an acceptance.

I think the thoughts of gauging your boss is the appropriate thing to do. My bosses both (I work for 2 attorneys in a large corporate firm) know that I am going to school and they both know that I am pre-med but the entire firm does not know. My bosses are ok with me using the firm computer to do homework and research, but we don’t advertise that I am not pursuing a field in the legal department because when I started here that is what I was pursuing. I think the firm would be more supportive if I were heading that route with me taking time off for class and doing homework at work. But my personal bosses are ok with it, and they are the ones with the authority over my job so that is all that truly matters. My job is secure and they knew when they hired me that whether I was pursuing a degree in law or a whatever degree that I wouldn’t be their assistant forever so they are ok with supporting my school. I am lucky in that way. I told them when they hired me that I was in school and I would have a varied schedule and that I would appreciate it if they would work with me, etc. So I guess it just depends on your work place and your individual boss.

Well, being I can’t seem to land a job other than McDonalds, there’s little chance to study while taking orders and cooking fries.

I do take my breaks to study and woe to the kid who interupts my 30 minutes of solitude to tell me about their date when I have a bio book bigger than Harry Potter propping up my sandwich.

I’m here to pay the babysitter so I can sit in lectures. I don’t have time to waste of frivolties. lol

Thanks to all for the input. I’d say my situation is that it’s best to keep it to myself. My boss and I aren’t close & I haven’t worked for him long. It would be uncomfortable.

Susan - you make me feel like I should be more appreciative of my situation! Kudos to you for doing whatever it takes. . .

Don’t feel bad for me. I made some mistakes with my credit card last year. If it weren’t for those I’d be scott free and my student loans would cover the living expenses I need help with…but hey, the baby sitter needs paid and even though I put in a good 8+ hours, when I open the store, I end up with a good chunk of my day left to me. Also being this busy forces me to prioritize. I haven’t quite known what to do with myself this week on spring break.

Ya know…next week is Spring Break and I will have an hour to myself in the mornings and 2 evenings a week free as my son has gone to Florida to spend Spring Break with my mom and I think I’m going to not really know what to do with the free time since I won’t be in class. I figure I can take the time to catch up on all the Bio concepts I’m a little sketchy on and practice Algebra. I’m going to be a super genius when Spring Break is over!

Also, relax a bit, too

And don’t wreck your car. It totally takes away from your relaxation time.

And don’t go out and drink too much on St. Patty’s Day because the hangover takes away from the “relaxing” feeling as well…

Right now I’m keeping this to myself. I have a friend or two that I am sharing my goal with, but until I get that acceptance letter (and that is a couple of years out), mum’s the word.

I’ve stopped sharing my goal at work because although my 2 bosses are super supportive of me going to school and several co-workers think it’s great, some co-workers are pissed that I get to leave early or come in late and they seem to know that I’m still getting paid for 40 hours, I attribute that to a jealous office manager blabbing her big mouth about how it’s “not fair”…but it’s also not fair to share what is on my paycheck!!!