Massively worrying - any help/advice please! Watch

3006
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Hi Everyone,

Basically, I'm in the second year of a chemistry degree at a half decent uni (Leeds).

Two years ago when I was choosing my degree, I never really considered anything else - I was good at chem, got on well with it, never needed top grades to get in (but i ended up getting AAA anyway) and people told me it was a good degree I could get into most things with.

But recently, I've been having loads of doubts - most of these first formed over the last year when I've done a fair bit of travelling - its just made me wonder how much I really don't want to do anything at all chemistry related. I've been thinking a lot about doing something politcal/UN based, potentially working in something like international developement, but it sort of seems that you need postgrad stuff to do this, which I probably won't get as I have done a relevant undergrad degree.

Basically, my question is, what would you all consider in this sort of situation?

I don't know if I'm just making a big fuss over nothing or if there's something I can really do or what.
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3006
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Forgot to add on, any advice/suggestions you could give would be so much appreciated
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3006
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oh and i'll give rep to you
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i.student
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chem is cool. can do some conversion courses? medic, pharm.
i also know insurance people who did chem.
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Jackso
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Margaret Thatcher did Chemistry at uni... Do you really want to be like Margaret Thatcher?
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3006
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(Original post by i.student)
chem is cool. can do some conversion courses? medic, pharm.
i also know insurance people who did chem.
Ahh ok cool - yeah I've looked into conversion courses

Did the insurance people you know intend to go that way or it they just 'fall' into it do you know?
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3006
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(Original post by Jackso)
Margaret Thatcher did Chemistry at uni... Do you really want to be like Margaret Thatcher?
Haha.... well successful enough to be voted in three times.... maybe.

Most hated person in britain, probably not.
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i.student
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good luck with your internship apps.
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chidona
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Well, if you really bulked up your extra-curriculars to show you have a huge interest (and knowledge) of the relevant area, then you could still well be in with a shot. Also, if possible, take a module of politics/economics next year? It's not unheard of for people to work in areas unrelated to their undergraduate.

If that doesn't work, then I would consider doing another undergrad degree in a more relevant field, if you can afford it of course.
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Darkages
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Maybe the high from traveling has given you some ideas on international work.

it might be more of a fling then something long term..

its a big decision..give it a lot of thought and try not to let your traveling high affect your decision.

OTH...chemistry is a general degree and unless you are specialising in something that is taking off, its a gamble..much like mixing two chemicals in a test tube and seeing if they explode...

all the best..
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MagicNMedicine
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(Original post by 3006)
Hi Everyone,

Basically, I'm in the second year of a chemistry degree at a half decent uni (Leeds).

Two years ago when I was choosing my degree, I never really considered anything else - I was good at chem, got on well with it, never needed top grades to get in (but i ended up getting AAA anyway) and people told me it was a good degree I could get into most things with.

But recently, I've been having loads of doubts - most of these first formed over the last year when I've done a fair bit of travelling - its just made me wonder how much I really don't want to do anything at all chemistry related. I've been thinking a lot about doing something politcal/UN based, potentially working in something like international developement, but it sort of seems that you need postgrad stuff to do this, which I probably won't get as I have done a relevant undergrad degree.

Basically, my question is, what would you all consider in this sort of situation?

I don't know if I'm just making a big fuss over nothing or if there's something I can really do or what.
Yes Chemistry is a good degree, if you get a 2:1 or 1st in it then people will know you can study at a good academic level. You will be used to a scientific approach which is important if you do something politics/development related at postgrad because you will need to be able to separate facts from normative statements and take a scientific approach to how to analyse a problem. But yes they will want some evidence that you can write essays and do 'social science' type study and research.

My advice would be as you are at Leeds now, have a look on the POLIS or other departments websites and see if there are masters which could interest you can then email the programme manager to ask for advice or preferably if you can go over and meet with them. I know they do some good stuff on international security, post conflict reconstruction etc, in POLIS. Even if you end up wanting to go to a different uni for masters you can still make the most of the opportunity of being on campus at Leeds, to speak to people. Maybe they can give you advice on relevant extra curriculars etc you could do.

Other alternative if you are interested in development work and are finding it hard to get onto a politics related masters is to look at development economics. You will need to do a conversion course first so its 2 years of postgrad study not one however you will be able to get onto an econ conversion (graduate diploma) with a chemistry degree. They don't do them at Leeds but you can find other unis that do. Then with MSc Development Economics you could work in development consultancy, DfID, World Bank etc.

So yes some research is necessary however I would not say that you have wasted your time doing a Chemistry degree, you find science graduates in all sorts of unlikely places, the scientific method of thinking that you are taught is useful in a social science environment where too many people are a bit prone to emotive language rather than fact...
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La Esmerelda
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Chemistry, like most degrees , is quite versatile-you don't have to become a historian if you do history, psychologist if you do psychology or an economist if you do economics or a chemist if you do chemistry.

Don't worry. Speak to your careers advisor.
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