Saturday, November 3, 2012

I am currently writing an article about the mathematic anxiety, which has plagued our school system. I should finish it pretty soon. I am certain that you will enjoy it. In the meantime, I find this article in "Medical News Today", which should serve as a prelude to my upcoming article. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Eliminate poverty and affirmative action would be a thing of the past.

One cannot talk about affirmative action without considering the effect of poverty on the type of education that one receives. Affirmative action simply alleviates the symptoms while doing nothing to eradicate the root of the problem. What is happening today is the unwanted side effect of affirmative action. Therefore, we now need a much stronger medicine -“the Supreme Court”- to tackle the problem once more.  I can guarantee you, whatever the Supreme Court’s decision, nothing much will be done. Nevertheless, eliminate poverty and affirmative action would be a thing of the past.

I have decided to write this post just to respond to a claim that I have read in multiple news media.  I find this one from ABC News: "She (Abigail Noel Fisher) said she was denied admission, even though her academic credentials exceeded those of some of the admitted minority candidates."

I do not think that admitting minority students would have affected her admission to UT. The fact that Abigail Noel Fisher didn't meet the requirements to be among the admitted top 10 percent, it just becomes more competitive for Fisher because the admission committee would have to consider other factors to admit her. I am certain that the top 10% is not only composed of White students. There would be some minority students who fall under this category.

On the basis of race, Fisher would have to compete against the other 90% of non-top-10-percent applicants. I do think it is a mistake to say that her credentials exceeded those of some of the admitted “minority” candidates. It is important to mention that Fisher credentials, for certain, exceeded those of some of the admitted “White” students.

Let us now consider an admission committee reviewing Fisher’s application and that of another White student. Let us now assume the other student grew up in chronically underprivileged community. The admission committee could have used that parameter to admit that White student over Fisher. The university could also decide to grant admission to a minority student over Fisher because that student came from a community where the school system is well known for its mediocrity.

Whether a student is White, Black or Hispanic, financial hardship does affect the quality of education that he or she receives. As a result, a student who grew up in poverty might not perform well in standardized exams just because his school did not have access to certain pertinent academic resources. Folks, poverty is a real weapon of mass destruction. Studies have found that poor students perform 13 percent lower in mental tests than those living in affluent communities. We also must not ignore the fact that poor students do not have access to affordable and adequate health care and do not eat a well-balance diet.

I am patiently waiting for the Supreme Court ruling. I do believe that the University of Texas has the right to opt for a diverse student body. I am siding with UT because I do believe that it wasn’t their intention to reject Fisher’s application. The university is simply trying to promote racial diversity. Fisher should also understand that not all the non-top-10% applicants are minorities. The media should also avoid referring to this statement because it is a claim of fallacy. Regardless of the Supreme Court decision, we can all agree that diversity is healthy and does belong in our schools.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sorry, Not Enough Skills

I have come to the conclusion that one cannot live well without knowing the basics of the financial market. That's why I have made it a priority to begin each morning with reading the New York Times Business section or spend a few minutes watching CNBC.

This is what I frequently hear: "there is plenty of jobs, but not enough skillful workers". Whether you like it or not, it is true that there are plenty of jobs out there. At the same time, there are plenty of college students who graduated with massive debts who have been long struggling to find a job. Can't you see that there is something wrong in here?

Now I am asking who should we blame for this?
Neither Romney nor Obama is responsible.
I blame the schools because program directors do have the rights to monitor and amend their school curriculum as they see fit. To me, it seems that those program directors don't read or simply choose to ignore the reality of the current job market here in the United States.

I am hoping that someone soon recognizes that an overhaul is needed in the current undergraduate curriculum. Perhaps, we can learn from the success of the work that Siemens has been doing in Germany. For years, Siemens has been investing in training German students ( When students do graduate from these training-intensive programs, they are equipped with the skills that they need to succeed in their career.

I can guarantee you that most school would be ashamed of themselves if they survey students about their job experience or status one to three years post graduation. It is hard to imagine or even see a student struggling to find a job while companies are outsourcing jobs overseas because of our unattractive workforce. Before we went to college, we were advised that a four-year degree was a visa to a good life once one graduates. Given the challenges that our students face today, can this statement still hold?

The time has now come for the university system to put student first. Instead of fighting over increasing tuition fees, you (school officials) should instead devote similar energy at designing curriculum that would prepare our students for a successful career.

Our students can no longer afford to be part of the $1 trillion student debt statistics. Going forward, school officials will need to focus on integrating intensive internship programs in their curriculum. When this is done and if properly done, companies would no longer need to outsource science and engineering jobs to foreign markets. Those jobs would instead stay here in the United States thus putting more Americans to work.

Looking forward to your comments.


W. Sainval

Monday, October 1, 2012

Holiday Hiring Season and College Students

The 2012 Holiday season is finally here. For you college students, this merry season brings along a lot of job opportunities. Many department stores will need to hire new employees to service the large volume of customers who are expected to shop this holiday season. Many retail stores have already prepped for that excited season. Therefore, the earlier you can submit your application, the better your chance of being invited for an interview and ultimately offered a position.

According to Reuters, this holiday season, Wal-Mart is expected to hire 50,000 seasonal employees. Las year, Target hired 92,000 employee for the holiday season. Thirty percent of those employees were given permanent position thus making this year estimate to be at around 80,000 to 90,000 employees (Atlanta Business Chronicle). Kohl’s and many other giant department stores are also hiring. There are many ways that you can inquire about new employment opportunities in you locality. You can do so by visiting the actual store website, calling the human resources department or simply take a trip to that store. You will need to be careful on whom you ask about current store vacancies. Some store associates simply aren't current on recent or new openings; others simply would not encourage you to apply because of the competitive nature of today's job market.

From my experience, when you walk into a store don’t make the mistake of talking with only one store associate. Before leaving that store, try to at least talk with 3 to 4 employees.  You need to be certain that one of those employees is a supervisor or someone who works in the human resources department. I remember 6 years ago, I approached a supervisor at a major home improvement store and asked him if the store was hiring. He quickly responded me with a “Nope….we are not hiring at this time…as a matter of fact, my department  has recently taken measures to cut on some employee hours”. I replied “thank you sir” then I walked to the customer service desk and stood in line until my turn was up. When the associate asked if she could help me, I said: “well….obviously, I don’t have any return but I live just 5 miles from the store and I would love to work here”. She responded, “You came right on time because our store is accepting application for receiving (warehouse), cashier and appliance sales associates. One week later, I was offered the position of appliance sales associate but I rejected the offer in favor of a much better position that I had on campus.

Since many students do go back to their home cities, it is important that you plan your holiday schedule ahead of time so that you don’t risk loosing your new job. Plan as if your career with that company will go beyond the holiday season. As a matter of fact, many stores will retain a small percentage of their seasonal employees. There is a high chance that you might be one of the few that they choose to keep. I refer to that as the "seeing the glass half full instead of half empty" attitude. If you don’t have a permanent job, don't be afraid to approach your supervisor or human resources personnel and express to them your desire to become a permanent employee with their company. You need to show them that you are interested in their company. Most importantly, you will need to show your immediate supervisor that you are someone who is reliable, respectful and customer oriented. If you are hired as a sales associate, try to be the best sales associate that you can be. Don’t be afraid to seek advices from senior and top performer associates.

I hope this holiday season brings some extra bucks in your pocket.

W. Sainval

Friday, September 28, 2012

Considerations When Choosing a College

The college journey is quite excited. The best way for you to prepare for that journey is to be informed about the schools and programs that you are interested in. Some students make the mistake of choosing to enroll in a school just because one of their friends has chosen that school; others simply want to get away from their parents’ supervision. If you are a student who fit one of these two categories, you really need to sit down and rethink your enrollment decision. 

Although excited, the journey through college is not easy. You need to recognize that you are making the most important decision of your life. When it comes to your college education, there is no room for mistakes. Your decision to enroll should be based on the quality of education that a school can provide to you. Your acceptance checklist should include information about program accreditation, classroom size, course registration, internship placement, financial aid package, living expenses and alumni connections. You should be satisfied with every item in that list. For instance, a great financial aid package will provide you and your parents with peace of mind because you will not have to worry about some major expenses (tuition, books and fees). If your major requires you to do an internship, you will need to know about how the school will assist you during that process. You will also need to know about the accreditation status of your program; this is important because you do not want to invest all these times and money to later find out that you cannot sit for the licensing exam required for your profession.
Don’t be one of those students who try to keep their parents out of the college admission process. I can guarantee you that you cannot make this journey without strong family support. As you begin this journey, it is important that you keep you parents informed. Due to work and other obligations, your parents might not be available to accompany you to every school related appointments. The best way to overcome this situation is to plan ahead. By keeping your parents informed throughout the admission process, they can make the proper accommodations to make sure that you always have someone (siblings or other close relatives) by your side.

Thanks to social media, you can be anywhere in the world and still stay connected with your old high school friends. Once you begin your classes, you will need to establish some guidelines. It is crucial that you remain faithful to those guidelines. For instance, your books should become your closest friends and your class activities should now become your most demanding friends. You will need to create time to study. If a friend does not want to respect those guidelines, it is a signal that it is time to let that friend go.

Hope you enjoy this post! We welcome your feedbacks!

Wedlin Sainval

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Cost of Internship

Internships provide us with the opportunity to acquire the skills that we need to succeed in our professional career.  Without proper preparation, you might find it difficult to allocate the needed funds to pay for certain expenses.  If your college degree requires you to complete an internship, you advisor or career counselor will most likely set you up with an internship program. Usually, the distance that you will need to travel is beyond the control of the person responsible to find you that internship. As a result, you might need to travel far from your residence or home school.  By now, you should realize that the cost could add up very quickly. If you are lucky, you might find an internship program that pays you a stipend or reimburses you for traveling and living expenses as related to your internship.

Regardless that you are placed in a paid or unpaid program, your main focus should be on the outcome of your internship. Just remember that every penny that you spend in your education is an investment with high yields.

I hope you enjoy this post!

Wedlin Sainval, M.S.M.S.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Internship Vs. Volunteering


Most people tend to confuse these two words. Internship is something that you do to acquire skills that will benefit your professional career. For instance, certain college majors require students to do an internship. The primary goal of that internship or practicum is to present the real world to those students. Internships can either be paid or non-paid. Before accepting any internship position, it is important to inquire about its quality. One of the best ways to collect useful information is to talk to both current and former students who are familiar with that program. As a college student, you will need to be careful on whom you ask for information. You should try to find at least five students who can give you unbiased feedbacks about the program that you are interested in.

Often times, I observe students trying to get an easy way out of their internship. These students usually report late to their preceptors and are usually the first ones to leave that office. As an intern, you need to show your supervisor that you are interested in being there. Make yourself available!


Merriam-Webster defines volunteer as an individual who voluntarily undertakes or expresses willingness to undertake a service. Financial reward is never a primary goal of volunteering. One can however be refunded for expenses such as traveling, housing and meals. A volunteer normally puts the welfare of others before his or her own. Although volunteering is about making a difference in the life of another individual, a volunteer inevitably receives some valuable life experiences.

Whether you are an intern or a volunteer, you should make it your priority to gain as much experiences as possible. As a college student, when you are applying for a job or to graduate school, the interviewer will be interested in what you have learned; not what your supervisor did. A recruiting manager will mostly be interested in how your skills will benefit her company. For graduate school, the program director will need to know how your skills will benefit that program.

 If you are interested in becoming a medical doctor, it might be in your best advantage to volunteer in a health related field such as a hospital, nursing home or a low-income health clinic. If you aspire to become a lawyer, I do think that a shelter or a non-profit human rights organization is a great place to start.

If you are responsible for securing your own internship, you will most likely come across some agencies or websites that promise to find and place you in the program of your dream. Choosing this route can however be very costly. I tell students to avoid the middleman because you can directly contact the coordinator of any programs that you wish to apply to.

Hope you enjoy this post!

Wedlin Sainval, M.S.M.S.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Internships Won't Come to You

I thought that I would be done thinking about the undergraduate experience. Having a younger sister who has just recently started college here in Atlanta, I have made it a priority to help her avoiding the pitfalls of the university system. 

Just the other day we were talking about internship for her political science degree. The first point that I made in our conversation was that "internships won't come to you!" "You need to go get them!" And "you need to start now".  

Folks, don't wait for your school to find you an internship. You need to be proactive. By proactive I mean pick up the phone and start calling offices, laboratories, for and non-profit organizations, churches and etc. Please do not make the mistake of waiting until you are in your third year of college to begin calling around for internship positions. If you are not lucky with the phone, don't give up!  Google the web for the types of internships that pertain to your career path then grab your keys, start your engine and begin driving to some locations.

Don't be rude! Please respect the hierarchy of the office setting. What do I mean by that? You should not just walk into an office and ask to speak with the nurse practitioner, manager, doctor or the company CEO. Begin by building a rapport with the receptionist and/or anyone else working in the front office.  Please remember that if the front office doesn’t like you, the back office won’t show you any mercy. You should remember that at the end of the day, the secretary might be the one typing and even co-signing your letter of recommendation.

From my experience, most office managers are very friendly; they are happy to help you achieve your full human potential.  You will need to make yourself comfortable during the initial meeting.  Due to certain liability restrictions, an office manager might not be able to accept you as an intern right away. You should nicely thank her and leave your contact information so that she may contact you shall an internship position becomes available. You also need to ask that office manager to pass on your contact information to any of her colleagues who might be interested in bringing an intern onboard.

Please remember that when it comes to you achieving your full human potential, the sky is the limit. You need to get out there and seize those opportunities.

Wedlin Sainval, M.S.M.S.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Why Working On Your People Skills?

Regardless of the career path that you choose, you will need to possess some people skills.  As a matter of fact, being "people oriented" is an essential skill that can help one maintaining a strong, healthy and lasting relationship with her peers, parents, classmates, professors, co-workers and etc.  From a business perspective, being a people person is a highly regarded expectation especially if one is employed in the hospitality industry. For instance, a hotel clerk is expected to extend a warm greeting to every guest who walks toward the front desk.

In the retail industry, the same kind of people skills is warranted.  Although selling products and services are the primary expectations of a retail associate, a great deal of customer service is need to keep customers coming back to the store. Being customer-oriented is a skill that allows associates to build strong rapport with their customers. By focusing on the customers' needs, sales associates can offer solutions that help those customers with their challenges.  In the retail industry, poor customer service can quickly cause the demise of a company. Managers are and should be concerned about enhancing great customer service in their stores because if customers are not happy, they simply will stop coming back and with thus seek for other alternatives. 

For those of you who are in college, it is important that you start developing your people skills as early as possible.  When you are applying for a job, please don’t think of it as just a mean to pay the bills.  You need to think beyond that; you will need to focus on the skills that this job can offer to you.  Five to ten years down the road, you will be amazed at the many opportunities that will be out there for you. Companies will be interested in you because you have learned and developed skills that will make a difference in the their operations as well as the customers that they serve.

Wedlin Sainval, M.S.M.S.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Allied Health Professions

Allied Health Professions

For those of you who majored in biological or chemical sciences and for some reasons did not want to pursue a degree in medicine or dentistry, I do think that you will enjoy this post.  Allied health professions offer some great alternatives. You should therefore not limit yourself. 

What are allied health professions?

Allied health professions are health care professions. Without them, health care delivery would be quite dysfunctional. Allied health professionals are the ones who analyze the specimens that doctors send to the laboratory. They are also involved in direct patient care (respiratory therapist/perfusionist)

Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) is the focus of this post.

Clinical Laboratory also known as Medical Technology (MT) or Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) is a promising allied health profession.   Many students don’t think much or simply don’t know about these allied health professions.

Who is a Clinical Laboratory Scientist?

A clinical laboratory scientist is a health care professional who performs microscopic, immunologic, chemical, hematological analysis on body fluids and other types of specimens. 

Where do they work?

They are employed in hospitals (the majority), doctor’s offices and biotechnology laboratories.


According to the United States bureau of labor and statistics, CLS/MT/MLS who work in hospitals earn an average annual salary of $ 59,000. The top 10% can earn more than $68,000 annually.  

Degree Duration

Students are graduated with a bachelor’s degree (4 years).  Students spend the first 3 years mostly in the classroom.  The 4th year is spent in a hospital laboratory setting where students acquire the skills that will make them marketable to employers.  Once students complete their four-year degree, they become eligible to sit for licensure.  What is great about MT/CLS/MLS Bachelor’s degree is that students do take almost the same pre-requisites that are required for medical school admission.  As you can see, the opportunities are quite immeasurable for those students who later might decide to pursue a graduate study in medicine or dentistry.

For those of you who already have a degree in the biological or chemical sciences, please do not sweat.  If you wish to become a licensed CLS/MT/MLS, the American Society of Clinical Pathology  (ASCP) has put together a track that will prepare you to become eligible to sit for the licensing exam. What is most fascinating is that this certificate program lasts just one year.  You will spend most of that year in the laboratory.  For more information, you can visit the ASCP at the following link: ASCP. 

Things You Should Consider When Choosing a Program:

Make sure the program is approved by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).  For more info, please visit the NAACLS at the following link: NAACLS.
For those of you with a master’s degree in a health related field, you need to pay careful attention to the requirements established by the ASCP for licensure.

I hope you enjoy this post.
Please share it with your friends.

Wedlin Sainval, M.S.M.S.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Err on the Side of Caution

No single major will guarantee you admission into medical school. Regardless of your major, a strong foundation in the sciences is a must.

Most of you aspiring doctors believe that majoring in biological sciences give you an advantage over non-biological sciences students.  For those of you who are currently pursuing a biology or biomedical science degree, you may feel scared at this moment. Please, don’t be! I am not saying that you should give up on biology or biomedical science concentration.  The goal of this post is however to provide you with information that you can use to ultimately take control of your career. Even if you were in your last year as a biology or biomedical sciences major, you will find this post very beneficial.   

I believe that when choosing a degree, students should think about the “quality of life” they wish to have right after obtaining their four-year of college.  Even if you plan on going to medical school, I do think that pursuing a degree, which offer a path to licensure is an outstanding decision because in case you cannot go to graduate school right away, your license will land you in a good paying job right after those four years.  Please understand that I mention “licensure” because I am referring to good paying job right after your 4 years. If you want to follow that path and still want to go to medical school, you must complete all of your medical school pre-requisites, have good grades, score competitively in the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and have some exposure to patient care.

Why thou shall not major in biology or biomedical sciences?

A simple answer would be because I want you to “err on the side of caution”.
Enough to say, in case you choose to postpone your graduate studies, you will not find your self struggling to find a job as a biologist or biomedical scientists.

For those of you who are thinking about majoring in biology, please pay close attention to this post.  You can also talk to other students who have majored in biology so that you can learn about their undergraduate experience. There are many reasons for which you should rethink your decision to major in the biological sciences. First, if you are pre-med, the odds are against you (click the AAMC link below). Second, if you do not get into medical school right away, you will find yourself in a tough situation once the 6 months grace period for your undergraduate loans expires. It will also be very difficult for you to work at a research or hospital laboratory just because you do not have the hands-on training.

Back in the days, a degree in biology seemed to have been common and appropriate for those wanted to pursue a degree in medicine.  Today, that’s no longer the case.  According to the AAMC, the majority of biological sciences students who apply to medical schools do not get in. Medical school admission officers are not looking for a bunch of biology students to fill up their limited spots. They are however looking for applicants who are well-rounded with strong academic background and unique personalities. I do think that is why in 2011, of the 22,863 biological sciences students who applied to medical school only 9,794 actually matriculated.  They are a few considerations to make with regards to that data since a negligible number students who actually were accepted to medical school had to, for some reasons, postpone their matriculation. As a result, I do think that the number of accepted students was slightly higher but still remained insignificant. Picture yourself as an admission officer! Now, imagine how boring it would be for you to review thousands of medical school applications where 98% of the applicants have a Bachelor’s of Science (B.S.) degree in the biological sciences! I hope you are thinking about that. 

Being different is all that matters nowadays.  You must have certain qualities that will distinguish you from the rest of the applicants.  According to the most recent statistics, a large number of non-science students are getting admission to medical school. In 2011, the AAMC revealed that the ratio of non-science students who matriculated (not the number of accepted students) to U.S. medical school was higher than that of biological sciences students.  For instance, a student who majored in the humanities, mathematics or statistics was roughly 8% more likely to get admitted to medical school than a biological science student. Of course, there are many other qualities that medical schools are looking for in a prospective applicant.  For instance, nothing can replace your academic performance and extracurricular activities. If you are a non-science major, you must show that you can perform well in both your non-science and science courses.

For those of you who do choose to major in biology, in a future post, I will share with you how you can broaden your academic background so that you can become attractive to biotech companies or research laboratories.  

I hope you have enjoyed this post.

Wedlin Sainval, M.S.M.S.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Be In Control While Paying Attention To Your Advisor.

Be In Control While Paying Attention To Your Advisor

Going to college is perhaps the most important and smartest decision that you will ever make in a your life. Therefore, you have to be in control.  Please do not make the mistake of letting an academic advisor choose you a major or concentration.  You need to be proactive.  What you need to do before meeting with an advisor is to research a career that you are interested in.  It is better to spend ample of time learning about your field of interest than finding during your junior year that you have made the wrong choice. They are plenty of resources out there for you.  You just have to make great use of them.

What you should do before seeing an academic advisor:

-Research the field that you are interested in.
-Talk to professionals who practice in that field.
-Prepare your questions ahead of time.

Questions to ask your academic advisor during the initial meeting:

-Number of students choosing that major.
-What career path are those students pursuing?
-How many spots are, nationally, available for students who decide to pursue a masters or a doctorate degree?
-How many students do actually apply to graduate school?
-How many students do get in to graduate schools?
-How easy is it for you to register for courses?
-Have students in the college you represent ever struggled to register for courses?
-Are there any internship opportunities for your major?
-Does the college match or pair students with internship programs?
-Will you be responsible to set up your own internship?
-How far will you have to travel to go to those internships?
-How many internship spots are available for students in your major?
-How many students do take advantage of those internship opportunities?
-The quality of life of students who, for certain foreseen or unforeseen reasons, don’t go to graduate schools right away?
-The job outlook right after you earn you bachelor’s degree?

As you choose a major, you have to keep in mind that you will have 6 months of grace period before starting to make payments toward your loans.  Unless you pursue another undergraduate or graduate degree, you will need to start repaying your loans after those 6 months.  In case a foreseen or unforeseen event occurs in your life, which will prevent you from pursing another degree, the loan company would not care much. You also cannot go back to the school to ask for a rebate check. You will basically be in your own. 

So, take time to research your field of interest.  Keep in mind that, as you choose a major, you have to think about the quality of life you want to have after you obtain that 4-year degree.  While certain concentrations of a bachelor’s degree will lead to a good paying job right after 4 years, others won’t.  There is no need to rush yourself and do everything that an academic advisor asks you to do.  You should consider academic advisors as salesmen and saleswomen who must seal the deal.  The same way that you would research a product before buying it, the same way you should devote ample of times to research your major. For, you would not want to see yourself struggling to make ends meet after investing four precious years of your life. 

We welcome and appreciate your comments.

Wedlin Sainval, M.S.M.S.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Birthday America

Happy Birthday to the LAND OF OPPORTUNITIES! The land where dreams are much closer to realities than they are to dreams.

You, young people (yellow, white, black, indigo, green and etc) out there, stop acting stupid! Man up to resist drugs and violence! Embrace one of the many great careers out there so that you can take care of your family and give back to society. You don't belong in prison!

Seize those opportunities as if the United States was about to run out of opportunities. As you know, the United States will never run out of opportunities because those who are already living their dreams are the ones creating those opportunities. Those opportunities are right behind those class doors. You have the key to open those doors since you took your first breath.  Even those who weren't born in this country have their own set of keys.  Now, it is time to grab that key and open those damn doors. Some of us would have a combination lock without instruction. For some, it is a simple key.  Just know that there are times you have to come up with your own solution. Sometimes it might involve a trial and error phase. There are times you just have to ask for help, as one would call locksmith/AAA or a police officer when they are locked out of a home or a car. 

Happy to reside on that LAND!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Corrupted University System

Do We Need All These Newly Invented Academic Majors?

Instead of inventing a bunch of new NONSENSE majors, the university system should have invested in opening more labs on campus for students to get hands-on training or connect students with internship positions in the health science or bio-technology industry.

So, you are telling me that there is that much difference between a BIOLOGY and BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES or a Biochemistry major and a simple chemistry major????

The university system really knows how to fool us students. And guess what? We are victims of a solid marketing campaign.

You cannot tell me that a student with a B.S. degree in biology or biomedical sciences graduate cannot extract ribonucleic acids on his first day, let say, at a research facility or a job. I do think that those basic skills are fundamental. Just 2 semester of biology where students only meet for once or twice a week for a couple of hours are SIMPLY NOT ENOUGH. Well, no one seems to care because that trend continues.

No wonder why bio-technology companies are outsourcing jobs to European and Asian market. According to some articles that I have read, companies often outsource for two main reasons: cost reduction and the need to have access to a technical and expert workforce.  In this post, I am addressing to the "lack of technical and expert" workforce. I am not interested in the politics of cost reduction part. That’s left to congress!

Why can't students register for courses that they need for their degree?
Why do students have to beg their friends to reserving them a sit for a course just so that they can graduate on time?
Does it really have to be this way?
I find myself asking why, why and why no one wants to change this trend. The United States is the land of opportunities. Those opportunities are now being shipped abroad just because our educational system has yet to get its act together.

If you cannot guarantee a student these basic services, just be honest to them. Have the gut to tell them that "WE JUST NEED YOUR TUITION AND FEE" money.

Wedlin Sainval, M.S.M.S.

Biology Degree, Premed and False Promise!!!

I do think that majoring in biology provides a great return on investment for the university system. I do think our advisors misled us quite a bit. Let say that you are premed. You can still major in medical technology, nursing or something else, take all of your prerequisites and still become a great medical school candidate. Now, let say that due to some circumstances, you have to take a couple of years off, your friend who majored in nursing or medical technology would be making good money working at a hospital or a lab, respectively, while you, who majored in just biology, finding yourself struggling to even land an entry level position.

Here is how it is now.

Student: advisor, I need to go to medical school.

Academic Advisor: Well, the most popular degree now is biology or biomedical sciences.

Student: OK. Should I major in biology then?

Advisor: You should.

Student: Ok. I will. What classes will I need to take.

Advisor: I will prepare you a degree map.


Student: advisor, I want to pursue a career in medicine.

Honest Advisor: You know something, most students do major in biology. The problem is that sometimes, some students do not go right away to medical school. They decide to take a couple of years off. Now, if this student want to work as a biologist, it would be very difficult because they do not have enough hands-on experience. We have others alternatives for you. We have degree X (medical technology or nursing, for instance), which you can also choose while still fulfilling your premed per-requisites. These programs lead to licensure, which looks very good when you want to take some times off but work in a health science job. And, the starting salary is great too.

But, the reality is you would probably the last person that this "honest/quality advisor" would advise because the department chair would fire him or her because she could not meet her department recruitment quotas.

Enough of this biology nonsense MARKETING TOOL. Don't become part of STATISTICS. Folks, be smart about your career. Take responsibility of your own destiny. Nowadays, universities are inventing all kinds of degrees. No degree is promising you acceptance to graduate school. If you are going to spend money in a degree, please ask yourself, what if you decide to change your career path? What if you want to work right after graduating in job that relates to your four-year degree? How is the job market for your 4-year degree? If you struggle to answer those questions, you need to consider a degree that leads to a license or certification because employers are not looking for diploma, they need licensed and experienced professionals.

Don't become a victim of the MARKETING strategy that the university system is using. You will find yourself struggling to repay massive student loans while working a low paying job that can barely be used to pay your car insurance.

My advice is that when you go to see your advisor for the first time, don't just walk there without having a pile of questions to ask. Be smart about your questions. Take control of your destiny. PLEASE AND PLEASE do not let your advisor choose your career. You should have already been researching your degree way long before you show up at your advisor's door. One more think, please DO NOT listen to all the crap they have to say about the most popular degree. You need to focus on what is best for you. Do you want to work at McDonalds after 4 years of biology/biomedical sciences or do you want to work in a hospital or a lab or a research facility with a good paying salary?????

This is my advice to all of you out there entering the corrupted university system that is out there.

Wedlin Sainval, M.S.M.S