Values and Career Aspirations-Is There a Connection?

I think that one of the most exciting things about becoming an adult and experiencing the world on your own is the ability to develop a platform for yourself–by that, I mean making decisions about what to believe, what to value, and how to act on those beliefs and values every day. In one of my classes, we recently completed an activity that assessed our strengths by answering a variety of questions. My top 5 strengths were perseverance, spirituality, gratitude, love and humor. I was surprised at how accurate this virtual strengths assessment was, and I think that these top 5 strengths are very attributable to who I am. After analyzing our strengths reports, we were handed a set of cards with different values on them. Examples include love, diversity, service, compassion, family, friendship, etc. We had to divide the cards into 2 piles: values we found to be important and values we found to be not important. We then divided our ‘important’ category into our top 10, top 5, and then we ranked our top 5. My values in order were spirituality, love, service, compassion, and family. I find all of these values to be extremely important, and I believe that they closely align with my career aspirations.

Something I recently discussed with other girls at a bible study was the concept of defining our purpose. On any given day, if someone asked me to define my purpose, I would probably answer that I believe my purpose is to serve others through medicine. At this bible study, I realized how flawed my answer is. It is so easy to miss out on the bigger picture as a college student. Our priorities surround maintaining a 4.0, nailing savvy internships, participating in a variety of extracurriculars, and we’re all supposed to maintain a heightened social life while trying to balance all of these things. I know that my viewpoint will contrast with many based on differing spiritual beliefs (that I wholeheartedly respect and accept), but I think our purpose is severely skewed by societal norms and expectations. Our purpose lies in something greater than us, and I believe we are meant to serve others not for our personal gain, but for a God who created us.

So I have had to spend some time reflecting and asking the question: is there a connection between my values and career aspiration? If not, how can I reassess my aspirations to fit values that serve a greater purpose? If I’m being honest with myself, when I was growing up, I think I wanted to be a doctor because in my younger mind, being a doctor meant financial security (aka large home and expensive vacations) and it was my idea of leadership and success. As I have matured and have been able to define my values and priorities, I see that my predisposition of being a doctor is secure in the values of love, compassion, and service. I am excited that my values and career aspirations align, and I believe that they will continue to align as long as I remind myself that my purpose is much Greater than it seems.

Year in Review

[ “Year in Review”  is where you should reflect on the past year and show how you have evolved as a person and as a student.  You may want to focus on your growth in a particular area (as a leader, scholar, researcher, etc.) or you may want to talk about your overall experience over the past year.  For more information, go to: http://honors-scholars.osu.edu/e-portfolio. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]

G.O.A.L.S.

[ “G.O.A.L.S.” is a place where students write about how their planned, current, and future activities may fit into the Honors & Scholars G.O.A.L.S.: Global Awareness, Original Inquiry, Academic Enrichment, Leadership Development, and Service Engagement. For more information, go to: http://honors-scholars.osu.edu/e-portfolio. Delete these instructions and add your own post.

Global Awareness: Students cultivate and develop their appreciation for diversity and each individual’s unique differences. For example, consider course work, study abroad, involvement in cultural organizations or activities, etc .
Original Inquiry: Honors & Scholars students understand the research process by engaging in experiences ranging from in-class scholarly endeavors to creative inquiry projects to independent experiences with top researchers across campus and in the global community. For example, consider research, creative productions or performances, advanced course work, etc.
Academic Enrichment: Honors & Scholars students pursue academic excellence through rigorous curricular experiences beyond the university norm both in and out of the classroom.
Leadership Development: Honors & Scholars students develop leadership skills that can be demonstrated in the classroom, in the community, in their co-curricular activities, and in their future roles in society.
Service Engagement: Honors & Scholars students commit to service to the community.]

Career

[“Career” is where you can collect information about your experiences and skills that will apply to your future career.  Like your resume, this is information that will evolve over time and should be continually updated.   For more information, go to: http://honors-scholars.osu.edu/e-portfolio. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]

The Mundane

I was recently asked if I have any skills or qualities that I view as assets but are not traditionally valued. It took me a few minutes to come up with an answer. Is there anything I do that is out of tradition? The majority of my identity falls under the backdrop in the United States–white, Christian, middle class, expected to go to college and have a career. On a widely diverse campus, it is hard to not feel bland and disinteresting because of my traditional values and customs. After pondering this question, I came up with something that I think might not be traditionally valued–the mundane.

I grew up in a rural town that is slow paced and peaceful with a family that valued game nights and Sunday mornings more than weekdays and busy weekends. When I came to college, the hustle and bustle of everyday life as a student in a large city shocked me. Between late nights studying and late nights spent with friends on the weekends, I grew exhausted and I longed for time by myself spent knitting, reading, or even just enjoying silence. I felt drained during second semester and I was truly ready to leave school and return home to my family. It’s ironic how excited I was to leave my small town and come to a big city full of opportunities (and endless restaurant options), yet after being at Ohio State for a while, I became nostalgic and had a greater appreciation for the atmosphere that I grew up in that celebrated the mundane.

Coming into a new school year, I decided to prioritize time spent valuing the mundane and reflecting by myself. I try to carve out 1-2 hours each week to do something leisurely and peaceful whether it be going for a walk outdoors, reading a book outside of the reference and textbook realm, or going to a coffee shop with friends. I think that finding a balance between working hard and valuing the mundane is extremely important in our younger years. As Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to look around once in a while, you might miss it.” I think that living by this mantra is key to feeling in touch with your place in the world. Most days, we are forced to live life in the fast place because our culture values efficiency and time-saving strategies. But I believe it is very important to consciously exit the freeway on our off days, mentally slow down, and spend time looking at a life from a simplistic perspective.

About Me

Welcome to my ePortfolio!! My name is Allison Webb and I am a second year undergraduate Pre-Med student at The Ohio State University. I am pursing a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry and I plan on applying to medical school during my senior year of college. I am utilizing this ePortfolio to catalogue my experiences at Ohio State so that, come time to write essays for medical school applications, I will have a better sense of where I have been and who I have become during my time as a college student. On campus, I am involved with several organizations including College Mentors for Kids, Buckeyethon, Alpha Epsilon Delta, a pre-health honor society, the Honors Collegium, and the Women in Surgery Empowerment Club. I volunteer with kids twice a week in two different organizations–College Mentors for Kids and the Buckeye Tutor Team. Some of my favorite activities include visiting coffee shops, trying new restaurants and foods, volunteering and spending time with friends and family. I hope that this website provides you with a better sense of who I am as a person as I reflect on my most memorable and significant experiences at Ohio State.