I don't want to be evil.
December 28, 2007 7:21 AM Subscribe
I'm a junior in college currently pursuing a chemical engineering degree...but what can I do that won't have me working for evil companies or make me part of Big Pharma or the military-industrial complex?
posted by liesbyomission to work & money (21 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Currently, I'm having a pretty large crisis about what to do with my life. I had a pretty awful semester, which certainly isn't helping any. And now I have to think about summer internships, which I failed to get last year, despite having a high GPA and lots of leadership, if not work, experience.
The problem is... I don't really know what I want to do. I know what I don't want to do. I have no interest in biology and I suck at organic chemistry, so that throws pharmaceutical companies out the window. I'm not really interested in materials research, or academic-type research at all, really.
That doesn't really leave a whole lot left, it seems. And then there's my current extreme dissatisfaction with the state of the world, with how the upper echelon trades the lives of the lower class for money in their pockets, how social mobility is on the decline, how completely messed up the US is, etc. I don't want to be a part of something that helps perpetuate that.
Also, for years I have had a secret desire to become a teacher. Probably a math teacher because after being burned by orgo, I don't know that I really want to be doing chemistry forever, and I think teaching calculus would be fun. I am a natural teacher, and I am very good at explaining concepts to others. However, there's the money issue, and the money to be found in chemical engineering jobs is very alluring.
Switching majors at this point is not an option. I would not be able to graduate on time if I did. The curriculum in my major is extremely strict, and as a result I can't really take the classes I want to take, which is not so much fun. Combine this with a high-stress and high-pressure environment, and I am pretty miserable, but I will just have to suffer through it.
I have tried explaining my moral qualms to my dad, but his response was pretty much, "Get over it."
The career office at school is extremely unhelpful, so that is not an option either.
I just don't know if I can be a slave to corporate America for the rest of my life and be okay with that.
So, what do I do? What sorts of jobs can I look for that fit my pretty narrow criteria? Beyond that...what do I do with my life?