What annoys me, however, is when people ask “So what are you going to do with a Sociology degree?” Within the phrasing and intonation of this question are often a number of subtle assumptions and judgments.
Your life’s passion might be something that requires a college education, but it might not. You should pursue it regardless; as long as it makes you happy and pays the bills, it’s worth your time. If my hypocritical lecture didn’t work and you still want to do something with food that also validates all your hard work here at Stanford, I’ve got an idea: become a flavor chemist, also known as a flavorist. It’s the perfect job for those of you who are both foodies and chemists, and it’s this week’s topic.
Unfortunately, the way the message was presented was somewhat flawed — to raise awareness about the ecological impacts of various foods, the museum put out plates of shrimp cocktails and sashimi. Of course, this just made me hungry, and after leaving the museum — and I’m really ashamed to admit this — I went to a restaurant and ordered myself a shrimp cocktail. Oops. Fortunately, there is a silver lining to this story. My guilt has compelled me to dedicate this week’s column to the poor, delicious shrimp and all the other endangered animals by recommending that you pursue a career as a wildlife rehabilitator.
I had never heard of music therapy until a few days ago, when a friend suggested it to me (for a column topic, not my personal use). As my friend and the Internet taught me, a music therapist functions somewhat like a regular therapist, but uses music in combination with traditional therapeutic techniques to help people with a variety of mental and physical health issues. Music therapists are more than just glorified versions of Pandora Radio — while playing music for patients is a small part of the job, most of the healing powers of music therapy come from assisting patients in creating music of their own.
For those of you currently on the (hot) prowl for jobs, I’m sure you’ve heard of a little slice of on-campus heaven called the Career Development Center (CDC). If you haven’t, the CDC is a magical place where all your worries disappear and your post-Stanford future is no longer a scary black hole of worry and uncertainty. I had an appointment in this fairytale land last week, and I left a changed woman. As someone who has literally no idea what I want to do when I grow up, this past month had been an incredibly stressful time, and those crazy consulting people didn’t make things any easier. But I’ve now realized, thanks to the wonderful people at the CDC, that it’s okay to not have some great life plan right now. There will never be a better time in our lives to do things like travel and live abroad, and with the economy as it is, there might not be a worse time to enter the job market. What that means is that maybe we shouldn’t be searching tirelessly for future careers, but instead for short-term solutions. And as appealing as that one-year, unpaid internship may sound, we all agree a job that pays would be even better. And a job that pays and let’s you travel abroad? Well, that’s a dream come true, and it’s also this week’s topic: the accent-reduction specialist.
I fully believe that a hobby can become a career, and one of the most popular hobbies on campus is drinking beer. So for those of you who enjoy your occasional (or not so occasional) brewski, listen up: you could spend your life getting paid to drink beer and tell people if it’s good or not. Now this might come as quite a shock to the frat boys on campus, but beer can actually taste good. And when paired with the right food, it can taste really good. As a beer cicerone — essentially a wine sommelier, but for beer — it will be your job to identify these good beers (hint: Natty Light is not one of them) and share these opinions with the rest of the beer-loving world.
Before you stop reading, hear me out. Granted, it’s no boner. But a Barbie dress designer is actually a pretty great job. I’m not going to patronize you by detailing the long history of the Barbie doll and its importance in American culture and society; instead, I’m going to level with you completely — you will make six figures.
This summer, I had jury duty for the first time. I spent three days waiting in the back of a courtroom — I missed my massage appointment to uphold my civic duty, so I was not pleased — and when the judge finally called me forward to state “the information,” the first question the defense attorney asked me was, “So, you’re a senior? And what do you plan to do when you graduate?”