College and Career Diaries: Medical School

Hello everyone,

Welcome to the third edition of College and Career Diaries. Today’s post is with someone that I hold very dear to my heart. She is not only a role model to me but we just so happen to share the same DNA. That’s right, I interviewed my best friend and Day 1 my sister Lola Adeyemo.

I don’t even think I have to give much of an introduction to highlight her excellence. If you read the caption you will know that this hard working young woman is a medical school student. Yep, my sister is going to be a doctor.

However, for those who don’t know her I will give you a quick bio. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2014. Afterwards, she attended the Ross University School of Medicine in Dominica. She is going into her third year of medical school and thriving. I am so proud of her. I could go into pages just gushing about her so let’s just dive right into the interview.

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What aspect of medicine do you want to pursue?

I’m really not sure what aspect specifically, right now…because  I haven’t started my rotations yet. But once I complete all my rotations and I’ve kind of gotten a feel of every aspect, then I’ll be able to make a more definitive choice. Because then I would have been exposed to everything. But I’ve always been interested in pediatrics. It’s where my heart is but I don’t want to limit myself to something when I haven’t explored it yet.

How can an undergrad prepare for medical school academically and emotionally?

Academically, it’s definitely tough. I know a lot of the preliminary classes are weed out classes. So, they really want to see if you have the capability and the discipline. If you know how to study. Gen Chem, Bio, it’s definitely not something that you should take lightly. But I think that making sure you figure out what is best for you…Everyone is different. Everyone has a different study style. Some people like to pre-read before they go to class. Some people like group study, independent study. You have to figure out what works best for you early on, and stick with it once you find out what the best thing for you to do. Emotionally, make sure that you are balanced. A lot of times people put studying till late hours of the night and not getting any sleep, they put that on a pedestal. They think that they need to do that in order to be a good student. But no. Actually, our body craves routine so it’s important that you take care of your self first. So that you are healthy and so that you are able to do the best you can, without any stress because stress doesn’t help anybody.

So what are some MCAT study tips?

MCAT, that’s a really big test. A lot of people like to take courses. I took a course.  I think the disadvantage was that I was taking it while I was taking harder classes so it was harder for me to balance the two. But I think that if you dedicate the time to a course and you really make sure to complete all the assignments, and do everything you need to do and just focus on that, then you’ll be good. But some people don’t like courses. So, just making sure that you have a schedule and just stick to it, so that you know to take baby steps everyday to get to your goal. Because it’s a marathon, it’s not a sprint. Just give it your best shot. It’s really hard to come up with a cookie-cutter technique or approach to studying because like I said, everybody is different. Coming up with what works best for you is my philosophy.

What are some med-school study tips that have worked for you?

For me specifically,  I had to go through a bunch of different approaches before I found what I like. I started off my journey and I would just try to study every waking minute of the day and I would just try to READ, READ, READ, and memorize and over exhaust myself. The thing that has helped me the most is to make sure that I set an attainable goal of what I need to do every day. So for example ” This is the chapter that I need to cover this day and master it”. Once I’ve read and answered questions and am able to teach someone then I know that I’ve mastered the material. Instead of just getting a bunch of information in my head and just trying to cram it all in. Then, at the end of the day you don’t know if you’ve really learned anything. So I just try to make small goals each day. Make sure that they’re reasonable. Make sure that at the end of the day, when I said that I want to go through this topic, that I actually know it, so I’m building a foundation. So that at the end of the journey, I can say that I’ve  actually learned something. Also, I’d like to add making sure to keep a balance. Knowing how to take breaks. Knowing how to have an actual outlet. You don’t want to burnout. Life isn’t all about school. Making sure to stay true to who you are as a person and doing the things you love is just as important as the studying.

How do you balance a social and personal life with med-school?

This one’s a fun one. (laughs) I would have to say, I’m so thankful for my friends, first of all. I don’t have that many friends. But the friends that I do have, know who I am. They understand me. A lot of my friends, are in my same field so it works out perfectly. When we tell each other that we’re going to study, we know that we have a limited amount of time when we’re not studying and we have fun. But for my friends that are not in med school, they know me well enough to know that the little time that I do have with Lola when she’s not studying…We’re going to make it count. They’re an excellent support system. I am so grateful to have people in my life that love and support me.  Friends that I can just have a nice 20 minute conversation with. They understand that when I do have the time to spend with them it’s priceless. I don’t take friends for granted and I build my relationships and they’re solid. I have a time to study and I have a time to spend with friends. I don’t choose one over the other.

What is something that you expected from medical school that was different once you got there?

Honestly, I had heard a lot of horror stories about how it’s just this horrible, dreadful abyss and it was going to be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. You just hear so many rumors about how hard it is. Yes, it is very challenging. I’m not going to say that it’s a cake walk at all.  Just knowing that I can do it. I struggled a lot before I got to where I am. I still struggle. It’s not an easy journey. But I think that being in it and having done the first two years and about to start rotations soon has taught me that “Wow, it is possible.” When you work hard. When you have faith. You really do the best you can and believe in yourself, it is possible. I think knowing that it is possible and I am making it. It’s so awesome to see that currently in my life as a reality.

What advice would you give to someone about to enter into medical school?

I would definitely say “congratulations” first of all. I am sure that if they are about to start they have asked themselves a billion times “Is this what they want?” “Am I sure that I want to do this?” “Is this the journey that I want to take?” Once they’ve answered those  questions affirmatively, that’s awesome.  I would say to make sure that you have a balance. You figure out what you need to do in terms of studying, what works best. Have a routine. Medicine is a very rigorous career field and you can get lost in it if you don’t figure out how to make a balanced routine, at the very beginning. It’s actually going to do you more good in the long run. Make sure you have a balanced routine, and a balanced schedule,  and then make sure you love it. Never lose site of why you’re doing what you’re doing. Those long study hours, when you’re putting all that time in,  always keep in the back of your mind “Well, at the end of the day, I’m going to save lives.” Then it just lights a fire under your butt and you say “Ok, this is totally worth it.” You’ll just fall in love with every step you’re taking. Even when it seems real hard and you want to give up just think “I’m going to save lives.” “I’m going to change the world, one patient at a time.” “I’m going to make a difference.” It’ll make it more worthwhile. I’m sure that if you have chosen it you’re going to love it.

How do you stay motivated in your field?

That’s exactly how I stay motivated. I make sure that even when I’m stressed and I’m feeling burnt out, I take myself out of the specific situation that I’m in. Right now I’m studying for Step 1. It’s not easy. When I’m stressed, I go outside for a little bit and I think “This is what I really want to do.” I think that if you’ve always wanted to do it and it’s something that really means a lot to you it’s not going to take a lot of convincing. But if it’s not something that you want to do then beware. Be cautious. Maybe think about it for a little bit. If it’s really something that you want it’s not going to take, a lot for you to come back to why you fell in love with it in the first place. If you’re someone that believes in God, like me, your faith is going to sustain you. That’s definitely been the #1thing throughout my whole journey.

If you couldn’t be a doctor, what would you be?

I don’t think I can answer that question. That’s definitely, all I want to be. I think that’s why I’m so motivated and that’s why even on my toughest days when I’m literally crying because I’m so stressed out, it doesn’t stop me from just picking up the pieces and getting back on the horse, and going for it. This is what I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve never considered being something else. I can’t really picture myself being anything else. This is the career path that I want to take.

So, there you have it. If you have any more questions for Lola, let me know in the comments.

Stay Blessed,

Abisola

College and Career Diaries:Broadcast Journalism

Hello everyone,

I’m back at it with the second edition of College and Career Diaries. Today’s post will be an interview with someone I admire greatly. Let me introduce you all to Ms. Barmel Lyons.

Barmel is a 21 year old senior at the University of Central Florida. She is studying broadcast journalism in hopes to pursuit a multi-faceted career as a reporter/anchor or wherever that path leads her. At UCF ,she is the President of the National Association of Black Journalist.

As an aspiring journalist myself, Barmel is #Goals. Let me stop babbling so you can see how amazing Barmel is for yourself.

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Can you explain to me what journalism is essentially?:

I would say that journalism is the ability to story-tell. The ability to bring something to life. With journalism, you are supposed to get authoritative sources. You’re supposed to get a human element and sort of bring in whole a message together in which you’re being objective and you’re becoming the vessel to deliver that message.

What aspect of journalism do you want to pursue and why?:

Well currently, I attend the University of Central Florida and I’m a broadcast journalism major under the Radio/Television track. I’m trying to become a reporter/anchor. Sort of like a mogul in a sense. Reporter/Anchor, host, all of that. I want to be able to be immersed within it. I want to be able to really get a hand on each diverse one. Which is essentially why I really like the Nicholson School of Communication program, because it really gives you a good foundation in order for you to build, have experience, and grow.

Have you had any internships? Where? And how did you go about getting them?:

Well, Intern Pursuit is a very valuable asset to have, which is coming up. I was able to get my first internship with WESH 2, which is a great news network here in Orlando. It’s crazy because when I was telling other people that when I first got that internship, I was in Professor Bagley’s class and I didn’t really have as much stuff as I wanted. But I knew exactly where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. So with that in mind, I said I’m going to put my best foot forward. I’m going to make these people remember me. Through doing that, I was able to get an interview with WESH 2 and now I’m currently interning with Fox 35 as well as CBS radio with 105.1 Mix. It’s a great experience. Internships are very valuable because they help you…you’re not going to learn anything unless you go out there and get experience and really be hands on with your craft.

Is graduate school necessary?:

It depends. It depends on where you see yourself and what you want. A lot of people go to graduate school, just to have that degree. It’s valuable within education, so if you want to become a professor, you can always do that. Personally, you don’t necessarily need to go. If you would like to make more money or if you just want more experience or like to be able to give more within education, then its a good route to take. But, it’s really about being hands on and getting in there and getting your stripes in the career field.

What has been your most challenging class so far?:

Personally, I feel like they all have their ups and downs. I wouldn’t say that there is one that has been overwhelmingly the most challenging. I mean, you’ll hear that from different people. I personally put my all in each class. I enjoy it. I’m really passionate about this. So I don’t find them necessarily too difficult. I feel like it’s always going to be difficult just for the fact that you’re the person that is having to go out and reach these people that sometimes don’t even want to talk to you. Having to think of these story ideas, editing…So it’s very tedious. But if you’re willing to put in the work then its ok.

What are some study tips or tips in general to be a better journalist?:

I would say, don’t only have a story idea, but have a story pitch. That is essentially, so important, because you need to have the “Who?” “What?” “Where?” “Why”?..Who are we speaking to? What is their message? The news peg. The human interest. You have to have a good foundation, so that when you do create your story, it will appeal to masses. You have to really figure out who your audience that you’re targeting is and really establish and bring that out.

Who are some of your favorite journalists or those who inspire you?:

I’m inspired by so many people. I really like the Today’s Show, Al Roker, even though he’s weather and not necessarily what I want to do…He’s awesome. I just love seeing black, beautiful people within my major…just seeing them as a voice for our people by being there. It’s very underrepresented for blackfemales, or black males being there. So seeing them on TV is a great experience.

How can you stand out as a journalist?:

I would say the way you standout as a journalist is just by putting your all into everything. Making sure you really are listening within your classes. It’s really important that if you have information that you’re receiving from your teachers it’s not just for fun. They’re giving it to you for a reason. So you have to make sure that you take notes. Apply those things. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Make mistakes, but try to correct those mistakes as soon as possible.

How does journalism impact society?:

Journalism is basically the voice for the community. Journalism was based on making sure that the government wasn’t corrupt and that each side whether it was community or government was being spoken for in a manner that is very objective. I feel that we are a vessels for that message. With the crazy events that happen, for instance the Pulse event or New York recently, how is that information going to be spread or how will we handle those situations if the word isn’t being spread or distributed properly? That’s what we as media people are vessels for. I feel like it’s very important to make sure you take heed of that message and you try to be as accurate as possible in your delivery. That’s what I feel like Nicholson School of Communication, Broadcast Journalism tries to instill in you those journalism ethics. Making sure that information is correct, and citing your sources.

If you couldn’t be a journalist, what would you be?:

It would always be in the realm of that. So reporter/anchor, if I couldn’t be those two then…Right now, the type  of person that I am, I don’t like to be stuck to one category. I mean those are things that I would like to do, but I would like to host. I’d love to do all of that stuff so I don’t necessarily see myself in a box. I see myself growing in every aspect, not only in journalism but in media in general. I feel like my growth in that field would be very diverse. I feel like one thing that is wrong with people now adays is that they lower the bar or subject themselves to one goal. You can have multiple goals and achieve them all.

There you have it. If you have any additional questions for Barmel let me know in the comments below.

Stay Fabulous,

Abisola

College and Career Diaries: Mechanical Engineering

Hello everyone,

I am excited to announce that I am starting a new series here on the blog called “College and Career Diaries.” I am going to interview people from all different majors and career paths to give my viewers the opportunity to learn from them.  My goal for this series is to help some of you gain insight on certain jobs you may want to pursue or to just learn the perspective of another person’s career.

The first person that I interviewed for this series is my friend Travis Slocum. Travis is a 21 year old, third year mechanical engineering major. Grab a cup of tea, and check it out:

 

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Can you explain to me what a mechanical engineer does?:

A mechanical engineer is someone who works with mechanics. Anything that’s in motion. So, as far as doing a deep analysis on how different structures work, doing more or less material analysis…mainly anything in motion is pretty much their scope.

What aspect of mechanical engineering do you want to pursue and why?:

The aspect of mechanical engineering I’d like to pursue is a concentration in nanotechnology. The reason why is becauseI feel that in today’s society we’re moving towards things that are getting smaller, running faster, micro processors things of that nature. Specifically, what I want to work on is structural design of different nanotechnology devices. That pretty much requires programming and robotics background.

Have you had any internships and if yes how did you go about getting them?

I have had three total internships. All of them I have received at the National Society of Black Engineers conference. I received a fourth internship from a career fair at the university that I was attending, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. I feel like those are the best ways and the best facets that you can use in order to obtain an internship from my experience.

Is graduate school necessary to be a mechanical engineer?:

I would say yes and no. As far as current day, masters degrees are now more or less the bare minimum that most engineers will need since so many people are graduating with bachelors degrees. We see now that a lot of students who do graduate regardless of their major are having trouble finding careers and jobs after they graduate. Masters degrees for engineering specifically make you standout a lot more.

Are you going to go to graduate school? Are you preparing for that?:

Yes,  I am preparing for graduate school right now. Matter of fact, I’m talking to a couple of professors for recommendation letters. However, the way that I want to pursue the rest of my professional career is whether I can get an offer by the time I graduate then I will try to go that route and pursue an MBA. Or if that doesn’t happen, I already have a masters in mechanical engineering for graduate school in the works.

What’s been your hardest class so far?:

The hardest class I’ve had so far is “Modeling Methods”.  Modeling Methods is primarily a class that has a lot of programming in it and understanding a lot of the functions and theories that were gone over in Calculus 1 through 3 and differential equations that weren’t really touched on…Very in depth when taking the class so you kind of have a learning curve there.

Do you have any study tips for engineering majors?:

Yes. It’s almost fundamental…that we learned back in grade school. Read the chapters before you get into class. By the time you get out of the class, make sure you devote at least two hours to each class that you have. Make sure you understand each of your subjects. Take good notes. See the TAs. Ask the professors for QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS. We pay for tuition, you might as well get the most out of our buck.

So we’ve heard so many stories about how difficult it is to be an engineering major, so how do you balance your academic life with your social life?:

The way that I try to balance out my academic and personal life is honestly with a schedule. Sometimes you kind of feel constrained or you feel like its kind of not necessary, why do I have to live by a schedule…However, when your able to actually schedule out your week and understand what you need to do, then you can find spaces where you have free time and then you can actually go out and do things you enjoy.

So how do you stay motivated in your field?:

I stay motivated in my field by joining different organizations that have different group projects, things that I’m interested in. So you can kind of touch on both academic and social at the same time, and still grow together within your field. Honestly just knowing that one of these days its going to pay off. It’s more or less self-motivation because you understand that you’re paying on this money for education and you shouldn’t take it lightly, you should take it seriously.

If you couldn’t be an engineer what would you be?:

If I couldn’t be an engineer, I’d probably work more with music. Music is my passion, so that is something that I’d have as far as a hobby. It’s more of a social aspect of my life that keeps me balanced with engineering. I would try to pursue something as far as music engineering or production.

Well guys, there you have it. I hope you all feel more informed. If you have any more questions for Travis let me know in the comments below.

Stay Fabulous,

Abisola

Nigerian Independence Day Poem

For those of you who don’t know I am a proud Nigerian. October 1st marks Nigeria’s 56th anniversary of Independence from Brittain. Thus, I would like to share a poem describing how I feel being Nigerian.

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It’s in my stride. It’s in my pride. It’s the way I ride, with no need to hide.

My melanin runs deep. Nigeria meaning blackness. They saw us as a color, yet we rose to greatness.

Western civilization made us hate our roots. But when those drums beat loud, we can’t help but follow suit.

Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, or Calaba. It’s one nation that we love that makes us shakara.

I don’t mean to throw shade but we need to be paid. Can’t you see how much our joloff game slayed?

Nigerians don’t know how to tone it down. When wedding bells ring, us queens wear the crown.

The only thing higher than our geles are our aspirations. We work so hard you can see the perspiration…

Running down our high cheekbones, of our beautiful skin tones. From puff puff brown to ebony amala.

So much diversity. It’s such a travesty. That corruption is our first assumption when something goes wrong.

I nearly hurled when the hashtag “Bring Back Our Girls” was some of the first things they heard about us for a while in the media.

Yet I smile when Jidenna, Uzo, and David are running the game like they’re livid.

Livid for representation, mix up the concentration. Let us be known for who we are.

African Superstars. So Nollywood get it right. I know I’ll start a fight.

If I watch about voodoo, or juju without seeing our innovation. Or inspiration.

Fifty six years is a great feat. We’ve come too far to be beat.

It’s only a matter of time, till all the world will see us shine.

Flaws and all, I can’t help but fall in hysteria, over my sweet, sweet,

Nigeria.