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  1. Default Importance of the College GPA

    Hello I am wondering how important your GPA is for finding a job. In particular Math and Chemistry BS. Now I know no one will take someone with a 2.0 flat. But if your in like compare a 3.0 to a 3.4. Does that make that much of a difference?

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    Default Re: Importance of the College GPA

    The difference comes from extracurricular activities. Any clubs you join, volunteering, leadership positions, part-time jobs, research jobs, internships, and so on. Rule of thumb, keep yourself at 3.0+ (hell, don't even panic about high 2s assuming you're getting a ton of the extracurriculars in) and get deeply involved in a club or job or both related to your major.

    But all of that losses to someone who networks exceptionally well.

  3. Default

    Clubs and volunteering are sort of irrelevant to job marketers if they are not skill related or networking oriented. OP it's hard to give you advice since math and chemistry are drastically different fields with different career opportunities. I don't see why you would have such a divergent interest, unless you are still trying to figure out what you want to do. By mathematics are you talking about more applied or theoretical mathematics. Also chemistry, are you interested in healthcare, laboratory, or are you interested in pursuing a PhD job in the future which will involve management of chemists as a Lab PI. Then there is a field like chemical engineering which involves chemistry and applied engineering which has some mathematical principles involved in it.

  4. Default Re: Importance of the College GPA

    Your GPA takes up literally a few millimeters on your resume, and you're not going to be spending a lot of time talking about it. It's your experience that matters.

    Do something to set yourself apart from everyone else.

  5. Default Re: Importance of the College GPA

    GPA and experience aren't mutually exclusive. Internships ask for your GPA and opportunities are based a large part in how well you are able to balance school work and still do well enough to impress professors. A large part of this is also how good your people skills are in sum of balancing school work and doing a healthy amount of outside of school related activities other than purely job hunting. Also, don't do something unrelated just to set yourself apart like go to Zimbabwe to take Organic Chemistry or play as a flutist in some downtown junk band, anything you need to consider twice to think whether or not it would be resume relevant is more than likely irrelevant to HR and the people looking at your resume.

    Back to OP, a 3.0 and a 3.4 is a large gap. Much like a 3.4 compared to a 3.8. However a 3.0 to a 3.4 is more or less similar in that those GPAs are negligible. Employers aren't going to swoon or be impressed with anything between that range. Neither are professors or some picky job internship committees, but how that GPA matters again varies based on what job you are looking at and what company you are looking to apply towards. If you apply to J&J, B. Myers, or some other big companies (in the US) then they sometimes do ask for your transcript. However a lot of other opportunities don't and are willing to give you job related skills as long as you show that you are reliable and professional.

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    Default Re: Importance of the College GPA

    I'd say it somewhat depends on the degree.
    As for my major- graphic design-, I'd say a degree is a degree.
    Those that possess a degree will almost always hold an advantage to those that don't.

    However, The portfolio and presentation of such is more important.

    You can have a degree, but if your portfolio is pomegranate, then you're not getting the job.

  7. Default Re: Importance of the College GPA

    Your counterexamples are literally crap.

    Studying abroad to take Organic Chemistry can actually be important to employers because it shows them that you relocated for a whole semester, away from your friends and family. Playing as a flutist really has no relevance and sounds like you just pulled it out of your ass.

    Your GPA helps, I won't deny that, but it's not something you should worry incessantly over. I know people with 3.4's getting jobs over those with 4.0's merely because they did something productive and different with their summers.

  8. Default Re: Importance of the College GPA

    I don't know how else I should interpret, "Do something to set yourself apart from everyone else." Other than to literally do something different from anyone else, when most people are getting job related experience over the summer in the form of internships ect. I disagree with the purpose of studying abroad and I feel that it removes you from opportunities, panels, and job seekers who come to the school on a frequent basis, not abroad. The GPA you receive is a pH test, if you worry too much about it and it is still lackluster then clearly you are struggling and not someone who employers will look at positively. It is obvious that someone shouldn't be a book worm, especially when it comes to chemistry since it is a highly oriented applied science. But I don't think that any chemist takes it for granted that not getting solid internships and research with a professor isn't going to hurt them in terms of end job prospects. So I don't know what you're implying by "different" and setting yourself apart in a "productive" manner.

    Chemists aren't like biologists who are an over saturated fledgling race filled with pre-meds who won't get into medical school. We had 46 Chemistry graduates in our school back when I attended in 2011 and our school had 40,000 students. I assure you that almost all of those 46 students were bright, had moderately high GPAs, and had research/internship experience. Most of the people who wouldn't apply themselves to the program were without a doubt weeded out. The question is if we're talking about payout for the effort, most private sector jobs have starting pay of $15 to $20 which translates roughly to a $35,000 to $50,000 salary at max. Compared to a field like investment banking at Goldman Sachs, you start off as an analyst at around $60,000 or $70,000 as a junior analyst and have the ability to stratify upwards in the first couple of years if you have enough flex to survive, to a moderate six figure salary after three years. For chemists their ceiling is already capped at around $50,000 with only a BS and most companies won't consider a higher pay raise without pursuing more education. On the other hand, if you bring back good returns or even know how to work the right people when it comes to derivative trades or credit default swaps, then you can climb a lot higher without needing to take time off to go back to school. This is perhaps more pertinent to someone with a mathematics major who has a background in investment. And if they are in a hedge fund the return is even higher for doing quantitative risk analysis.

  9. Default Re: Importance of the College GPA

    Of course getting internships isn't going to hurt you, but if you're doing what everyone else is doing then you're going to have to learn how to sell yourself besides saying, "I'm a hardworker," etc. whenever someone asks why they should hire you (especially since everyone feels that way about themselves).

    I really don't feel like getting into the minute details of this discussion. My point in telling them to do something different with their summers is that if they're worried about their GPA affecting their chance for getting a job then they need to set themselves apart from everyone else who is doing the exact same thing (taking summer courses, working in a hospital, research, etc). It's really not that hard of a concept to grasp.

  10. Default Re: Importance of the College GPA

    This is off-topic since the OP is interested in what he can do with purely a BS in math and chemistry. But it is impressive to become a doctor, much less become a good doctor. What makes a "good" doctor is relevant to the field that they choose as a profession. Yes, being smart or having experience isn't enough to be good at a skills related profession. Being a skillful person makes you good at a skills related profession, however what those skills entails involves things outside of purely skills. Take for instance surgery, you should definitely have some sort of asceptic technique down as well as dexterity to work around organs during the operation. However, you also need stamina to stand for possibly six to eight hours straight during performing the surgery. You also need to have tough skin that is not sensitive to continual alcohol dousing and you have to be flexible and willing to work double shifts leading to possibly sixteen or twenty four hours of operating straight. Residents sometimes work for 36 hours straight in a hospital due to meeting hospital demands. It is an unwritten rule that if you can work, you should work in lieu of whatever legalities there are to working overtime. There is no doubt that just working in a hospital makes you a "good" doctor. Don't be insulting. Being a good doctor requires you to be a superhuman for certain specialties and that's not defined by experience or grades, some people just have it in them to perform and others weren't met to be certain-doctors or doctors in the first place. At the same time, I encourage anyone who wants to work as a doctor to work in a hospital. A hospital can be a very claustrophobic environment because you are dealing in a sterile environment with little room for personal creativity or dimensions of growth outside from stalwart responsibility and professionalism. You make a mistake and a patient suffers, you are getting fired because the hospital would rather see you out the door then to incur any liability for malpractice. If you are unionized, then that may be a different story entirely ie nurses. However in a serious case of malpractice, I find it hard to believe that the hospital won't be riding on any practitioner's ass.

  11. Default Re: Importance of the College GPA

    Thanks for all the replies. Its basically what I thought it would be. GPA doesn't really matter much as long as its above a 3.0 and extra-curricular are everything. Though I am hating doing them. With the chemistry probably organic I'm not to sure. I'm ok with lab work but I dont like wearing gloves to do it. And I dont want to teach or do hospital stuff either. Maybe pharmacy but I'd rather that not be my first option.

    As for math, I want applied. Its seems more applicable (pun intended) Which gives me an easier time to wrap my head around.

  12. Default Re: Importance of the College GPA

    You are literally overanalyzing everything and I do not understand why.

  13. Default Re: Importance of the College GPA

    R&D departments in the US for Pharma companies have been downsizing since it peaked in the mid 1990s. If you want to work an organic chem synthesis position in Pharma, I really am not familiar with doing bench work outside of R&D related departments. I was going to recommend that you look into pursuing a Pharm D, but I don't know what the job prospects are like for those professionals atm.

    Okay I'm sorry. I'll take a generalist approach.

    Yes, grades aren't everything. Experiences aren't everything. It is good to live your life the way you want it and to be a human being. Companies surely take that into consideration that you took on a unique experience and have a solid resume. If you present yourself as a confident, entrepreneurial individual who is motivated I am sure you would find some job at some point in your life. You can aim to be anything you want to become, just make sure you make a lot of friends who have suction and are nice people who will risk their backs to vouch for your good name. I'm sure that things will work out if you remain sociable and appealing.

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    Default Re: Importance of the College GPA

    It saddens me when people say they hate doing extracurriculars, volunteer work, etc., and only do them for the sake of building a resume. If I could make a suggestion, I'd say be creative and think outside-the-box for potential opportunities that are still related to your fields of interest, but that you actually feel passionately about. For example, I have a friend studying Chemistry who studied abroad in Germany and worked for Bayer while there; and with math, you could do pretty much anything dealing with numbers, like working an accounting internship for Warner Bros. or another film studio, or as a trend forecaster for a PR firm.

    The best part about related but clearly distinct opportunities like these is that they fulfill what Panacea was mentioning above: doing something similar to, but different and unique enough from other candidates to set yourself apart from the rest of the pack. For example, if your dream is to pursue a PhD in mathematics to become a professor, applying to grad programs with an accounting internship like the one above would show that you're (a) ambitious and successfully competitive in securing a position likely applied to by hundreds, (b) bring a fresh perspective to academia through cultivation in Hollywood, (c) developed social and communication skills, invaluable in any candidate for any job in the 21st century, by working in a fast-paced industry, while (d) continuing to develop your mathematics abilities by applying them in a real world setting.

    And that (a-d) list was literally mind vomitted off the top of my head in about 5 minutes using a brainstormed example.

    So long story short for everyone, find out what you really love and want to do in this world, and find a way to connect it to other aspects of your life. Chances are, they all will, as you're passionate about each of them after all. Hell, if I can flesh out aspects of my education in Medical Microbiology & Immunology that make me a better candidate for the fashion industry, any of y'all can do it.

  15. Default Re: Importance of the College GPA

    Thank you for mocking me. Now I know to discount everything you said beforehand and anything you will say in the future because your attitude is literally crap.

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    Default Re: Importance of the College GPA

    Forget all this argument between Panacea and Narwhal and ask whoever you're interested in a job in WHAT DO YOU GUYS WANT IN A POTENTIAL CANDIDATE? Have them critique your resume. Career Fairs are the greatest for this.

  17. Default Re: Importance of the College GPA

    But the thing that sets me apart from everyone else is my academic abilities. I study exceptionally better than most.

  18. Default Re: Importance of the College GPA

    OP tbh if you did what I did and dig through Kelly Scientific science section or dig through any of the major pharmaceutical companies and their employment websites, you will get an idea of what the current caustic environment of the job market is and how you can compete in it. Looking for chemistry related work to me automatically translates into doing bench top work where the bigger company you work for the more singular your role in the company i.e. a classmate of mine at Merck was working Western Blots 24/7 before he became a shareholder for his own small scale biotech company and now dangles multiple hats in the work place. If you work in academia, you will also get to work a wide variety of tests and play a wider range of positions due to you being exposed to the collective department, even though you will primarily be doing research under the professor that hired you. This is generally good for aggregate skill development. I think that small companies and start-ups are a good idea also since they usually don't get as many applicants for bench top work as other companies due to being unknown. You're going to know what you need from researching and contacting actual positions to field where you need to take your education in terms of grades, skills, or connections. The sooner the better.

    Also Dan brings up a good point that you didn't exclude yourself to those professions, but rather you aimed your question in general about "jobs." I'm solely focusing in on my experience with chemistry interviews and jobs which was frankly this long road of anguish and being told I was young and should consider going back to school for a Masters. Two of my classmates who were both incredibly bright with nearly perfect 4.0 GPAs and a slew of experience are now working in Cornell doing Cancer Research and another was doing blood analysis on patients with prostate cancer. We all majored in biotech. If you're going to go into a more liberal related job, then yes having cross-diverse experience might be a good thing. For one, it is less likely that you will be competing with thirty five year old chemists with ten years of bench experience. You really need to dive in yourself and take back what you get from the whole entire thing. Most of the advice you will get from here though is from people still in the bubble of academia who are paying schools to tell them that their labor is valued. You should really try to figure out some companies you would consider working for and then shoot them a resume, asking them how they value your experience and what you need to do to meet their expectations.

  19. Default Re: Importance of the College GPA

    I would say a fair range would be as high as a GPA as possible without neglecting extra curriculars. The key to everything is basically balance- You want as much of X while also taking as much of Y, but do it such that both X and Y are the best they can be and neither X nor Y is significantly better than each other.

    I'm unfortunately lacking in both those departments, but I at the least have an internship/job that I've done consistently for 2 years, I'm taking a class that is within my field of study and volunteering outside of that time within the subject matter. I'm not the 100% best candidate, but i believe that I have the bare minimum. I'd really like to up that this summer as I have to take a few more courses and get a field-based internship/job.

    I'd also like to say that while your GPA does help, it also helps to be able to network with people. From my internship alone, I am on good terms with the CEO of the company, my former supervisors, my current supervisors- all people who, when asked, can vouch for not only my work ability, but also my character. That I feel is the most important.

  20. Default Re: Importance of the College GPA

    This is the only real answer. A degree is a degree. Your transcript is nothing but a tool to get people's attention when getting your first job. A high GPA just correlates to a high level of motivation and good work ethic, which is why employers tend to look for higher GPAs when selecting potential candidates. I honestly don't think I've ever seen GPA requirements more specific than "2.5+", "3.0+", or "3.5+", and 3.5 is pretty rare, because that excludes a lot of excellent candidates. Of course, once you're in the door, it's all about working hard and maintaining good relationships with coworkers, supervisors, clients, and other people in your field.

    Extracurriculars like volunteer work are mostly useless for the purposes of getting a job, unless they provide some relevant work experience or demonstrate leadership capabilities. People just want to know that you're a well-rounded person that has real interests. It doesn't matter if that is volunteering at an animal shelter vs. playing in a band.



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