LEARNING FROM THE PAST
My first degree is in Business Administration. I had a job washing trucks with a reputable trucking company. They knew I was in college for Business Administration with a focus on Management and were glad to hear that I was furthering my education. However, when time came for me to make that degree count, I thought I was going to get into a management role within the company. Well, I couldn’t even get into an assistant training program simply because, there were NO openings in management. Afterwards I spent years trying to run my own company, since I was now qualified to do so, right? That didn’t work very well either.
SECOND TIME AROUND
Degree #2 is Biomedical Engineering, in short, the people that fix medical devices when they break. This time I set myself up better than expected. I met a guy that works as a field engineer for another highly reputable company. Basically the job consists of having expert level training in the equipment that he works on. Kind of like being an auto mechanic that is the top mechanic at the dealership, not just the guy who changes your oil. In the biomedical fiend there are biomeds in the hospital who make an ok paycheck but basically do preventative maintenance and small repairs. Field engineers make much better paychecks and have in depth knowledge and training of the equipment they are called in to work on. I thought this job sounded wonderful so I talked to “my guy” to find out what I needed to do to get the job. He told me to get a biomedical engineering degree. Fastforward a few years, I am now a field engineer because I made a connection with one before I even started the biomedical engineering program. I stayed in touch with this guy throughout my time in school and he helped to get me hired at the company he works for, now the company we both work for. And I am doing very well!
CONCLUSION – LESSON TO TAKE FROM ME
Some people say, it’s not what you know but who you know. Whereas many others would say that what you know is more important then who you know. I’m here to tell you that BOTH ASPECTS MATTER! If you don’t know someone who can guide you in the right direction and hopefully is willing/capable of putting you in the right position then what you know could be everything there is to know about a certain subject or career field…but you won’t get anywhere without showing that you are a great asset to your prospective employer(s). And the best way to have an employer see that potential in you is to have one of their very own top notch employees vouch for you. Without this guys reference I’d probably be working at a bench in a hospital for easily half the pay I make right now, and the benefits wouldn’t be nearly as good. Lastly, I’m so much happier with my job then I thought possible just a few years ago.