June 20, 2006

Jobs, background checks, and the Internet age

My mini bio below says that I am taking one year off before medical school to volunteer in medical clinics abroad. It's a bit vague, I must admit, but I haven't really given much more detail about this mystery year to those who have asked me in person. The main reason has basically been that I didn't really know what, exactly, I was doing; I just knew what I wanted to do. It seems that things may be coming together, and that I can finally provide some more detail.The original plan had been to work for six months and then travel for six months, allowing myself to be in the United States for the fall medical school interview season. Remarkably, the timing is working out. Beginning early next year, I will be moving to the Philippines for at least three months working in a medical clinic, setting up new clinics in nearby communities, and providing healthcare education to local populations. I'll be working through the Global Volunteer Network, which is a phenomenal non-profit based out of New Zealand.I am also on the verge of a job in New York for the fall and winter. I can't tell you folks about it quite yet, because the offer is contingent upon a background check that is occurring as I write this. This, in addition to a recent New York Times article (TimesSelect required) about employers looking at Myspace and Facebook profiles of applicants, got me thinking about my online footprints. I've been writing opinion articles for a long time, and I pretty much figure I'm doomed at this point if an organization just isn't going to hire someone with my political beliefs (this won't, however, be a problem for the job I'm currently being considered for). This was also the logic I used when deciding to co-found this blog; blogs are now often read by employers and even graduate and professional schools (I did, however, do a bit of Facebook revision after the NYTimes article came out).With the way the Internet works, stowing most everything that pops up in caches, it will be a wonder that anyone is elected president in 25 years.