Jan 19, 2015

The Search for the Perfect Career: An Update

By Eric Giles T'16

Eric is a career switcher who transitioned from an education nonprofit—Teach For America—to the health care sector. He hopes to expand health access to all populations.

A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog detailing my search to not just find my career, but also my calling. Since internship interviews begin this week, I thought that this would be an appropriate time to write an update about new developments in my journey.

I have spent lots of time doing personal reflection on what, in concrete terms, I want to be true about my life in one, five, and ten years post-Tuck. It hasn’t been easy to carve out time to have honest and difficult conversations with myself, but I have leveraged Tuck’s resources to give me a boost when I get stuck or frustrated in my long-term planning. The Career Development Office provides a number of resources that serve as guides and offer encouragement throughout career vision setting. A recent example was a session with the former head of campus recruitment for Monster.com about effective off-campus networking.

My fellow classmates have been an unbelievable support system for me, both professionally and emotionally. Whether serving as a thought partner, sharing their industry expertise (Tuck students have all done amazing things!), or grabbing a bite to eat to relax, my friends have helped challenge me to improve while being unconditionally supportive.

Finally, as I mentioned before, there is something about the Upper Valley that keeps me grounded and mindful. Runs through the beautiful woods or coffee by the fireplace all provide a fantastic environment to reflect.

After weeks of reflection, I have developed a list of non-negotiables about my future career. I know that I want to work for a firm delivering excellent care directly to the patient, pushing the boundaries of a health care organization, and driving to improve the lives of others. These non-negotiables have given me incredible clarity of focus and allowed me to be deliberate in my strategy for landing the perfect summer internship. For example, I met with Sir Malcolm Grant, chair of NHS England (an entity with a budget of over £100 billion), to discuss his thoughts on how to institute systemic cultural change in health care, a topic of intense interest to me. I have also attended treks to companies and conferences that are closely aligned with my requirements for a fulfilling career—including the Net Impact conference in Minneapolis—to discuss the role business plays in broader society.

Knowing what actions to take during my time at Tuck requires an understanding of where I want to go. Fortunately, I have done the heavy lifting in long-term planning and, with my future goals much more established, I am actively taking short-term steps to set me up for a career that gives me the opportunity to live out my strengths and passions each day.

(Photo above by Rob Bossi.)