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Looking for those who work in a field related to prosthetics/orthotics, biomedical engineering, or neuroscience to answer some interview questions for a school project?

Hi! I am a junior in high school who is looking for those in STEM related careers to answer some interview questions. I am preparing for college and trying to discover what job I would like to pursue after college. Thank you!

Interview Questions:
1. What is your job title? What is the name of your workplace?
2. How did you choose this career?
3. What are your daily responsibilities?
4. What kind of skills do you need to perform your job? What was your major in college? Did your major help you gain these skills?
5. How much education or training is required/recommended for this occupation? What kind of degree would you recommend for someone going into this profession?
6. How many hours do you work per week? Are you expected to do overtime?
7. What kind of personality is best suited for this career?
8. What are the advantages and disadvantages of your job?
9. Do you feel your salary compensates you appropriately for the amount of work you do?
10. What can you tell me about advancement opportunities? Do you need to update your skills/ education to ensure advancement?
11. What do you see as the future outlook for this job? Are there going to be jobs available in this field for 5 years?
12. What kind of work/volunteer experience would help me discover if I am interested in pursuing this profession?

Thank you comment icon I am a pharmacist (STEM career, but not specifically one of the ones that you mentioned) - would me answering the questions be of help? :) Kendall Littlefield
Thank you comment icon Yes, that would be much appreciated! Thank you Kendall Littlefield! Leni
Thank you comment icon i’m a healthcare epidemiologist. happy to answer more in depth next weekend, if you’re interested. elle m
Thank you comment icon Yes, that would be lovely. Thank you! Leni
Thank you comment icon will do! i’ll write some things out next weekend :) elle m

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
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Subject: Career question for you

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Sahida’s Answer

Job Title and Workplace:

Job titles in these fields can vary widely, but examples could include Prosthetist, Orthotist, Biomedical Engineer, Neuroscientist, etc. Workplaces could include hospitals, research institutions, universities, private practices, or companies specializing in medical devices.
Career Choice:

Professionals in these fields often have a passion for helping others, a fascination with technology and biology, or a desire to make advancements in healthcare.
Daily Responsibilities:

This will depend on the specific role but may involve designing and fitting prosthetic or orthotic devices, conducting research experiments, analyzing data, collaborating with multidisciplinary teams, or developing new technologies.
Required Skills and Education:

Skills may include strong problem-solving abilities, attention to detail, communication skills, and technical proficiency in relevant software or equipment. Majors in biomedical engineering, neuroscience, biology, or related fields can provide a solid foundation.
Education/Training:

A bachelor's degree is typically required, but advanced degrees such as a master's or Ph.D. may be necessary for certain roles, particularly in research or academia.
Work Hours:

Work hours can vary depending on the setting. Some may work standard 40-hour weeks, while others in research or clinical settings may have irregular hours or be on-call.
Personality Traits:

Traits such as empathy, patience, curiosity, and adaptability can be beneficial in these fields.
Advantages/Disadvantages:

Advantages may include the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on people's lives, the potential for innovation, and intellectual stimulation. Disadvantages could include high stress levels, long hours, and potentially emotional challenges when working with patients.
Salary:

Salaries can vary widely depending on factors such as location, experience, and education level. Researching salary ranges specific to your area and field of interest can provide more insight.
Advancement Opportunities:

Advancement opportunities may include moving into management positions, pursuing specialized certifications, or taking on leadership roles in research or development projects.
Future Outlook:

The outlook for these fields is generally positive due to advancements in technology and an aging population with increasing healthcare needs. However, it's essential to stay updated on industry trends and developments.
Work/Volunteer Experience:

Volunteering or internships in hospitals, clinics, or research labs can provide valuable exposure to the field and help you determine if it's the right fit for you.
For more specific and firsthand insights, consider reaching out to professionals in these fields through networking platforms, professional organizations, or contacting local universities or hospitals for potential informational interviews. Good luck with your project!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for taking the time to help. Leni
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Kendall’s Answer

1. What is your job title? What is the name of your workplace?
I am a pharmacy intern (training to be a pharmacist in a month) at CVS Health.

2. How did you choose this career?
I kicked around multiple ideas during high school and early years of college, but I started working part time at CVS Health and also obtained a research internship during my freshman year of college. Both led me in the direction of pharmacy, as I learned there were various different fields that I could work in as a pharmacist! I also loved the impact I had in patients in my small town even as a pharmacy technician when I would fix problems with their insurance or help them find something in the store that nobody else could.

3. What are your daily responsibilities?
I will be reviewing prescriptions for accuracy, communicating with prescribers on patients' prescriptions, administering immunizations, and providing education about the various different prescription and non-prescription medications to our patients. I will also be overseeing the pharmacy operations, managing our day-to-day tasks and reviewing our scorecards to see what we can improve on and what we are doing well in. My role will be the leader and facilitator for our team to make sure everything is running smoothly.

4. What kind of skills do you need to perform your job? What was your major in college? Did your major help you gain these skills?
I need various types of skills to perform well in this retail pharmacy setting: drive/motivation to see things through, a positive attitude, organizational skills, communication skills, and most importantly the ability to multitask and work under pressure. My major in undergrad was chemistry/math (but you don't have to complete undergrad to go to pharmacy school, so I did not), and then I completed a 4 year doctor of pharmacy program. These years gave me the background learning and base drug knowledge that I needed but really working in retail pharmacy for almost 5 years and having that hands-on experience outside of school is what really has made me able to thrive in this environment.

5. How much education or training is required/recommended for this occupation? What kind of degree would you recommend for someone going into this profession?
Usually 2-4 years undergrad and 4 years doctor of pharmacy. Fellowship/residency (1-2) years post-graduating is an option for intense hospital/outpatient clinic/industry training and can help make the road to other pharmacy fields a bit easier. Notice I said easier and absolutely not impossible :) Retail pharmacy and general hospital pharmacy don't require any of those additional years, as most of what you see, you have either been taught in school or you will learn on the fly. The thing I would recommend no matter what area you plan to work in - is WORK in that area before you graduate. Don't be a student who does nothing but school for 4 years, as that will not serve you well. Even if you don't need the money, you DO need the experience.

6. How many hours do you work per week? Are you expected to do overtime?
Depending on the company usually 32-40 hours per week. Retail and hospital pharmacy have varied schedules (day/night/weekend/holiday) and availability for overtime usually, whereas outpatient clinics and pharmaceutical industry are more likely to have an 8-4 ish schedule.

7. What kind of personality is best suited for this career?
I would say there is no specific personality trait except being organized and having a passion to help patients/improve healthcare. That is the one thing we all share, but other than that, the jobs are so much different. Retail, you need to be able to multitask, work under pressure, and be friendly to people even though they are most likely not feeling their best that day and have the business side to converse with your leadership. Hospital pharmacy, you have less interactions with patients but have to have extreme attention to detail of everything you are working with and professional communication with all the doctors and nurses you are with. Pharmaceutical industry is more business and strategic minded.

8. What are the advantages and disadvantages of your job?
Advantages: get to take care of patients, very highly paid, no additional training, get to train technicians and interns who are so happy to learn
Disadvantages: have to deal with tough situations (the public), sometimes worried about staffing, everything is team-based (but it is not like school projects, much better)
There's not lots of variablity in day-to-day tasks but there always is with people coming up to the counter.

9. Do you feel your salary compensates you appropriately for the amount of work you do?
Yes

10. What can you tell me about advancement opportunities? Do you need to update your skills/ education to ensure advancement?
I will constantly need to keep up on new drugs and supplements and DRUG COMMERCIALS coming out as all of the patients will come and ask. Retail advancement is more into the business realm and less clinical, so you would need to brush up on that. Hospital advancement could be into more clinical positions or more business like director positions.

11. What do you see as the future outlook for this job? Are there going to be jobs available in this field for 5 years?
There has been a shortage of healthcare professionals since 2020 and I do not expect that to end any time soon. We have gained so many things since 2020 as a profession (permanent immunizing laws, ability to prescribe birth control and urgent care tests in some states, COVID-testing). There is discussion right now about pharmacist based clinical services and that advancement, and I am excited to see what all pharmacists will be able to do in the coming years.

12. What kind of work/volunteer experience would help me discover if I am interested in pursuing this profession?
I would recommend getting a tech-in-training license if you are 18 and working in a retail or hospital pharmacy. If you're not 18 yet, then you could work in the front store of a CVS or Walgreens and ask to help the pharmacy out, as both companies cross train their employees if they want. If you want to experience other areas of pharmacy, then you can shadow at most facilities (long-term care, government, industry)!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions! Leni
Thank you comment icon no problem!! 😃 Kendall Littlefield
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Sarah’s Answer

Interview Questions:
1. What is your job title? What is the name of your workplace?
I am a kindergarten Teacher in North Carolina.
2. How did you choose this career?
I found a passion in teaching young and followed it by a love of working with students achieve their goals.
3. What are your daily responsibilities?
My daily responsibilities include creating engaging lesson plans that encourage my students to get hands on in their learning. I track data and use it to drive my instruction. I plan events that welcome families into our school building to create a feeling of community. As a teacher my job is to instruct our youth but there are also a long list of duties that teachers do that go unmentioned.
4. What kind of skills do you need to perform your job? What was your major in college? Did your major help you gain these skills?
Skills that I believe are important to perform my job are flexibility, data tracking and communication. Those are key in teachers. My major was elementary education. Yes those skills were fine tuned through my undergrad program.
5. How much education or training is required/recommended for this occupation? What kind of degree would you recommend for someone going into this profession?
A degree is required for this profession. This is something that does changed based on the needs of the school.
6. How many hours do you work per week? Are you expected to do overtime?
I work 40 hours a week. I do work outside of my contracted hours.
7. What kind of personality is best suited for this career?
Personality that best suits education is hard to pin point but someone who is easy going and friendly is extremely important.
8. What are the advantages and disadvantages of your job?
advantage of my job is the ability to interact with wide age ranges and seeing our future generation make progress and seeing children grow is very rewarding. Disadvantage would be that most people believe that teachers have summers off but really many teachers work over the summer. Many teachers need to work more than just one job to live and cover bills. Teachers go through a lot of mental strain.
9. Do you feel your salary compensates you appropriately for the amount of work you do?
no but as a teacher it is not about the income its truly about the outcome.
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Much appreciated! Leni
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James Constantine’s Answer

Dear Leni,

Here are the responses to your interview questions:

1. I am currently employed as a Programmer in my own company, Western Diet.
2. I initially qualified as a Dietitian before choosing this career path.
3. My daily tasks include writing code and uploading videos on YouTube Studio, where I demonstrate a diet wizard tool.
4. I started programming in 1972, which is a crucial skill for my job.
5. My educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Biological Chemistry, Graduate Diplomas in Orthomolecular Nutrition, Nutrition & Dietetics, and Public Health. These qualifications have indeed helped me acquire the necessary skills for my job.
6. For this profession, I would recommend a Bachelor's degree, three years of study in Biological Science, two years in Dietetics/Nutrition, and self-taught computer programming for 52 years.
7. I work for more than 100 hours per week, and yes, overtime is expected.
8. This career best suits someone who is an extremely hard worker.
9. The advantage of my job is that I have the ability to create software, but the disadvantage is the long working hours.
10. Unfortunately, I do not feel that my salary adequately compensates for the amount of work I put in.
11. There are no immediate advancement opportunities in my current role.
12. The future of programming jobs might be in jeopardy as some predict AI could make programmers obsolete.
13. To discover if this profession suits you, I would suggest gaining work or volunteer experience by contacting dietitian-nutritionist computer programmers.

May God bless you!

James Constantine Frangos.
Thank you comment icon I am really grateful you took the time to answer this question. Leni
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Robert’s Answer

Here are my responses and some general advice. My scientific/biomed career has included basic research, software implementation, product development, repair services and manufacturing. I’m a retired executive now, so I’ll just address my former manufacturing job for your answers.
1. Product Line Manager. Raytheon.
2. Able to pursue my love of science and medicine.
3. Oversee a product from the design stage to its manufacturing.
4. In-depth technical know-how and the ability to get along with many different types of people. My degree was electrical engineering with a major in biomedical engineering. My major certainly helped, and you should look for a college with this type of curriculum. Regarding people skills, I balanced my academic time with social time. I also took some classes in psychology.
5. You can be a skilled Technician with a technical school or 2-year college background. You’ll need a 4-year college for more advanced work (I actually attended a 5-year “co-op” college, where you work part-time and attend classes part-time—with few vacations. This let me “try out” different jobs for short periods of time.) For a pure research career, a PhD is almost a necessity.
6. Typically I’d spend about 45 hours per week, though not expected to do overtime. Even as a newbie engineering assistant, I’d spend more than 40 hours, because I really enjoyed my job and also wanted to get ahead.
7. People of all personality types can succeed. We had a very introverted guy, who loved solitude. He wrote software code in his own small office. He was brilliant and was paid very well. If you desire a management position someday, I’d equally pursue my technical and people skills.
8. The advantages of my job are: doing something I love, getting paid a salary that fits my lifestyle, and contributing to society. The disadvantages: learning to deal with “weird” and hostile folks and not having sufficient resources to do my job well.
9. I made sure before I got hired that I’d be paid sufficiently.
10. Larger organizations usually offer more advancement opportunities. When I worked in pure medical research, if your grant funding ran out, you most likely were out on the street. And yes, it pays to keep taking continuing education classes from time to time. STEM fields especially progress rapidly.
11. Heck yes! STEM jobs have a bright and expanding future. Artificial Intelligence and I.T. will ensure that these fields will grow, but it may replace some existing jobs with other technology-related ones. However, it’s very important that we use these tools wisely. Like scalpels, they can harm and save lives.
12. For experience in STEM: ask your school guidance counselors; check with local hospitals or medical companies’ Human Resources departments; take up a STEM hobby (electronic, I.T., medical book reading, etc.). Maybe chat in-person with nearby people in these professions. Ask your folks or teachers to help set this up.
Remember, if a chosen job does not work out, you can find another one where your skills will transfer. Leni, I can tell from your thoughtful, detailed approach to your career that you will succeed and have a great future. Enjoy the adventure!
Thank you comment icon This awesome! Thank you so much for answering! Leni
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