This past week has been filled with research and interviews. With the initial impression that Dallas has a lack of adequate professionals that could be possible interviewees and mentors, reaching out and networking has really opened my eyes to the community around me. Surprisingly, a close friend of mine is currently a videographer and an Audiovisual Technician for the Southern Methodist University Audiovisual Services. Able to interview someone with a connection already present has been able to expedite the entire process and allow me to possibly gain first hand experience by shadowing. In fact, I have been given the amazing opportunity to shadow him as a Wedding videographer in November.
In addition, finding a close connection to the field has helped me even in the research process. I have been able to ask about different aspects of film making,such as lenses, aperture, lighting, ISO, and shutter speed. Having someone who has experience with such equipment has given me unique knowledge as opposed to reading a simple article.
While the entire process is still quite difficult, networking and actually reaching out to people has been the simple solution. As the average American knows roughly 600 people (according to The New York Times), asking 1 person gives me 600 connections. Already having 600 connections, the grand total equals 360,000. 360,000 people and the chances are 0 to none that I cannot find at least 1 person.
This past week has been filled with many “deja vu” moments, as I had to completely restart the process of research, cold calls, and interviews. However, in a way, this second time around has been even more challenging than the first.
Selecting a topic in which available professionals seem to be rather lacking, I have decided to back away from cinematography and start with the basics: videography. Quite upset that Frisco is a bit far from Los Angeles, something somewhat more common than Hollywood is events and the demand for capturing memories at events. Not necessarily exactly what I wish to explore, event videography has offered me quite a large pool of both amateur and professional videographers.
With a topic change, comes the necessity to completely immerse myself in all things film. With so much time spent on neuroscience and neurosurgery, I have really struggled with making up all of the missed time. However, there is also a certain sense of relief. Selecting a topic that finally interests me, spending extra hours of the day exposing myself to the world of film and cameras has been almost relaxing. Never once in my 17 years of being alive has school been de-stressing. Go figure.
Another week comes another weekly report over something intellectual – something brilliant – about the amazing field of neuroscience that I had learned. However, business symposium had some expected surprises waiting for me.
With initial thoughts that symposium would be a great way to network with medical professionals and expedite the process of finding interviewees and possible mentors, symposium did none of these things. Rather it opened a whole new universe (maybe planet..) of possibilities for me. While listening to the guest speaker, two colossally impactful things struck me:
- You have to love what you do.
- You have to do what you love.
These things may seem essentially the same, however, they explicate two distinct things while considering your future. Firstly, I had to examine if I’ve been enjoying what I’ve been doing in ISM – all of the research assessments, weekly reports, informational interviews, and so on. Red Flag. Then, I had to consider if I even chose a topic that resembled my leisure activities – things that I CHOSE to do with spare time. Red Flag.
Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely love the mind. I find it brilliantly fascinating how infinite it is and how metacognitive it is as well. But none of those things changed the fact that I simply dreaded ISM. I began to forget why I even enrolled in this course – until symposium. I realized that the tasks of ISM shouldn’t be tasks at all, rather gifts. I
have to get to pursue what I love (for a grade!). So, I began to question myself “what do I really want to do?”. This led me to a stream of consciousness of all the different things I spend my free time doing – and everything I listed all seemed to come back to filmography/photography/videography. Seems like a pretty obvious answer. And even better, I knew it all along.
In fact, filmography had been a major contender in possible fields of undergraduate study. The practical me won the battle, but the passionate me is rising to possibly win the war. While I do not know if film is completely for me, I believe that ISM is the “no harm no foul” way to find out. And in the end, if I ultimately conclude that it is not for me, at least I can continue into neuroscience with a peace of mind, knowing that I will have no regrets.
After much research and preparation, I have officially begun my journey into the “real world”. From conducting cold calls to getting rejected during cold calls to finally scheduling interviews to practicing for the interviews, this whole process has been at the very least nerve-racking. Seeing everyone progressing so quickly has made me feel as though the race has already begun, yet I am still stuck at the starting line.
With my very first interview this upcoming Monday and the symposium this Wednesday, I have been constantly struggling with readying myself for everything, ensuring that I do not forget anything. While quite hectic, I am thankful for these experiences, which will in no doubt prepare me for real neuroscience-related internship and job interviews after college.
One thing that I really began to understand this past week was that life is truly a race, in the way that it will not wait for you. Time will not wait for me to get “comfortable” with things usually outside of my comfort zone, such as making cold calls and conducting interviews. I have to take initiative with my own responsibilities – not waiting for someone “pleasant” and “approachable” to spoon feed me the information I need. This next week I hope to truly become the leader of my own life and while we all may run the race at different speeds, we all will reach the same destination.