Returning to School

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Note how this applicant successfully explains his career change and highlights his professional achievements.

Fourteen grumpy doctors stare across an enormous oak conference table at me. It is seven o'clock in the morning, and most of the group are still wearing wrinkled green scrubs indicating they worked through the night. None of the doctors looks ready to digest the extremely technical information contained in the eight studies stacked neatly in front of them. My job is to present each study, review all relevant economic data, and answer any questions in such a way that the audience will conclude the new drug I am selling is better than the one they have been prescribing. One of the physicians gruffly informs me, through a mouthful of Danish, that he is leaving in ten minutes so I had better start my pitch.

During my two years as a representative for ABC Pharmaceuticals, I have found myself in this unenviable position hundreds of times. To overcome the often negative attitudes of my audience, I learned to clearly state my position and support it with persuasive evidence, usually gathered from extensive research in the scientific literature. I also learned to ask probing questions and analyze the answers on the spot. Although I was one of the only inexperienced representatives ABC ever hired, I was named their Rookie of the Year, the highest possible award for a first-year employee.

I originally took this position because I thought it would be intellectually stimulating and take advantage of my scientific and business background. For the first year, I was right--it did. However, in an industry where new products are developed infrequently, I soon exhausted the issues to debate with my physicians. My job became less challenging as I had to repeatedly remind the doctors of what I had already discussed with them. Now that I have become one of the industry's top representatives, I am looking for a new, more-lasting intellectual challenge.

My goal currently is a career in medical law. I feel that my successful work experience and rigorous scientific training will allow me to debate with the best attorneys. Since medical technology and the law in this area are developing rapidly, I am also confident that this field will be constantly challenging. Although I will miss my grumpy physicians, I look forward to the time when, groggy from a late night at the law library, I will stare at my professor across a crowded lecture hall.

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