There would be moments in your life where it might be a small event or even comments but it end up leaving a big impression.
One of mine happened 8 years ago. It was a simple comment made by a course mate who found out that I didn’t pursue a career in biotechnology when almost everyone in my batch did. “So you wasted 3 years of your university life by ending up doing something else?” I admitted I was taken aback. But she was half kidding (I think), so I let it slide.
I have always had a passion for monitoring trends, technology, the market, all in general. And I knew at that time there were not many opportunities when it comes to a biotech graduates. The local market at that time was pretty much on researching mode and not really commercialization of products. I always see myself as a front-liner person and not so much in the background so I could not deal with the idea of going back into the lab and putting my white scientist coat back on. I prefer to be the one selling or consulting or analyzing the future than doing the lab work. Ha Ha. It is much different now though. I see wider interest on top of government efforts on pushing the biotech industry as a major contributor to the economic growth.
Back then and even today though, oil and gas industry was the main economic driver. I didn’t have the oil and gas or even downstream product foundation, but coming from a science background I was trained to analyze plus the extrovert part of me made me a people person which suits well in public relation, sales and marketing. I ended up becoming market analyst/sales in petrochemical industry right after graduation which led me to an enormous learning curve starting from almost ground zero.
University or college is supposed to mature a person up by getting the mind hustling, learning to work in a team and adhering to a certain system and schedule. But to face post university life, you have to look beyond the books and lecture notes. I am not going into the whole debate of education system and spoon feeding on students. In the case of that comment made earlier on me, I knew my interest and I was aware of the market and simply followed my instinct. It was a hell of a ride and turned out alright. Most of the time, stepping out of your comfort zone is the way to discover your potential.
There are many stories out there from a law students turned into fashion mogul or a teacher turned into a make-up diva. Know yourself, get insights, take chances and hustle.