I had an assignment in a career counseling class to write about my career path. Here goes…
When I was a child I was sure I wanted to be a paleontologist. I loved dinosaurs and everything about them. I collected books and rubber dinosaur figures, and even remember doing some sort of poster presentation on dinosaurs for my family. I do not know how I lost interest… maybe when I first saw paleontologists on TV digging in the desert. I also wanted to play in the NBA, but that dream was lost after a friend told me only one out of 400,000 or so basketball playing kids makes it that far. My career desires then logically moved on to “eventually taking over my father’s company.”
This lasted until middle school, when I realized that I did not have much interest in what he does, which includes spraying Teflon-like coatings on steel tanks (not the military variety), traveling two to three times a week, and keeping the peace between shop employees. His work (as well as my mother’s, who works with him) has had a lot of influence on my own path, however. It has taught me the necessary hard work and daily grind of providing for one’s family. The most important thing I learned from my parents career-wise is all the good that can be done if you’re willing to share.
In high school I took an AP psych class. I learned there that I loved certain topics (such as social and personality psychology), and was completely bored out of my mind by others (cognitive and neuropsychology). In terms of the topics that I was interested in, I was pretty sure I wanted to study psychology in college.
Before college I spent two years as a volunteer missionary for the church in Japan. During that time I learned about the success many former missionaries had as international lawyers. This is what first sparked my interest in law. As a missionary I also gained confidence in speaking to people I did not know, more desire to help those in need, and learned how to work hard even when I did not feel like it.
Soon after returning home from Japan, while driving up a canyon to a snowboarding class, I listened to a tape of John Gottman talking about marriage that my older sister had given my parents. I was completely fascinated by it. While I loved the topic of marriage, I did not think of it in terms of a career at the time. Later on I also took some international law classes while doing a study abroad program. I got married soon after that, and began to think seriously about how to balance supporting a family with having a career that I enjoyed as well as one that contributed to society and to individuals.
With all this in mind, near the end of my undergraduate career I applied to law school. I also applied to a Master’s program in Japanese (which I got accepted to, but they did not offer the money that was mentioned in the application, so I turned them down.) I also applied to a counseling program. My sister had graduated from the same program here a few years earlier. On top of that, my aunt (who teaches in the program) made it sound really great. And that’s where I am now. : )