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Kelsey Summey
Professor Lisa - Michelle Forsyth
UCOL 1200 024
22 November 2014
Career Portfolio Essay
College is all about getting to know yourself without anyone around to help with your
thoughts. All my life, Ive been listening to my parents and friends opinions of myself instead
of creating my own. Ive counted on them to help me create my future goals, and it is time to
end that. Ive now learned that the decisions I make need to come from my gut, right or wrong.
An example of this whole situation began when I was only in elementary school.
In fourth grade, I received the horrible news that I had to get braces put on. Of course I
didnt take this well, but the experience actually helped me. Because I got my braces off in the
eleventh grade, my orthodontist has been a huge part of my life. He taught me a lot about the
industry, and I was inspired to become an orthodontist. My parents, family, and friends seemed
to really like the idea of this career, so I went with it! Throughout high school, I worked towards
this goal. I took Advanced Placement science and math courses so that I could get experience in
what might be my future! Sadly, when reality hit, my interests started to change.
Since starting classes here at UNC Charlotte, I figured out that a different path would be
best. For me to become an orthodontist, I would have to take a lot of Biology and Chemistry
classes. I am currently taking Chemistry 1200, and I am doing extremely well in it, but it doesnt
excite me like it used to. Another reason for my lack of interest is that I absolutely despise

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Biology. In high school, I took AP Biology, and we were on two different spectrums! It sort of
turned me off from the whole pre-med track itself, so I began to focus on other things.
Though health care is still in the very back of my mind, my main interests are now
focused on business and law. Careers within these majors have always been fascinating to me,
but I never believed that I was outgoing or open enough to actually succeed in these careers. To
be successful in business, you must be a risk taker, persuader, and have a pretty heavy attitude.
As for law, you must be confident, ambitious, and a great listener. With these traits on the table,
putting these two professions together would make a well-rounded and distinctive candidate for
any job. The fact that I may be unique in combining these two excites me, and I dont believe
that this excitement will run out. Theres endless career possibilities for these interests since
theyre both so broad themselves. A great example of this is a corporate lawyer. Corporate
lawyers work for businesses and focus on legal issues that arise in the company. This career is
perfect because my two interests are mashed together. Another example of these two interests
mashed together is a health care lawyer! Though Im not going into health care, hospitals,
doctors, anesthesiologists, dentists, and many other people and health care institutions need
lawyers, so thats where health care lawyers come into play. They direct these institutions and
their staff through the world of law by advising, advocating, and representing. Being a health
care lawyer will apply to my business and law interests as well as my existing health care
interest.
Early in November, I toured the Career Center with my UCOL class, and I learned a lot
about career planning, internships, and resume buildup. Though I got a lot from this experience,
I insisted on going back for a one-on-one encounter with my career center advisor, Jessica
Cammarano. I brought a list of questions to the meeting so I could take great notes and become

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more knowledgeable about my future major and career. Jessica and I solely talked my business
and law interests. She made it clear how important it is to be experienced in my field of study
for business. To better my chances of getting into one of the best business MBA programs, I
must spend three to five years gaining experience before applying to any of these programs. She
recommended many internships and to keep my GPA above a 3.5 so I look great compared to my
peers.

As for law, she mentioned that job shadowing and internships are recommended

throughout undergrad. Unlike the MBA programs, I do not need to take an experience break
before applying to law school. This makes me more at ease because I feel that if I take a long
break away from school, I wont want to go back to finish. That scares me! Another thing that
previously stressed me out was the LSAT, Law School Admission Test, and the GMAT,
Graduate Management Admission Test. Im not quite as stressed out because UNC Charlotte
offers free preparation for both of these tests! This allows me to take a breather. Lastly, Jessica
talked about job outlooks for both MBA graduates and Law graduates. As for MBA grads, the
job outlook is very positive! Its growing annually. As for law, its the opposite. It is dropping,
and newly grads are looking out for side jobs. Jessica was a huge help to me, and I will continue
to use the knowledge I learned from her.
The second tool I used was an interview with my Uncle, Jamal Summey. He is an
attorney that runs his own law office, so getting a feel for his position is important. I asked him
questions pertaining to education, and the one thing that stuck out was when he said, I also had
to take and pass a mandatory bar exam, which consisted of two days. The first day was twelve
essays written on different issues. The second day was two hundred multiple choice questions.
This freaked me out because I knew that passing a bar exam was required to practice, but I had
no idea about the twelve essays. Thats just insane! Another thing that stuck out to me was

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when he was mentioning what he is entailed to do. He said, I am also a counselor in certain
situations. Lawyers are never portrayed as being a counselor for a client so hearing this made
me made me feel content. Throughout the interview, my uncle would mention his business
related responsibilities, such as paying bills, collecting money, and paying staff. My uncle
provided great information and advice in this interview, and he also explained the reality of the
job. He said, My work environment is very competitive and cut throat. Im glad he was
honest about this, and Im ready to put up a fight and be competitive right back!
You must be competitive in the business industry as well, says my mother, Shari
Summey. I interviewed her to get a feel for the business industry, as she is a Marketing Assistant
for Hanes Brands INC. She was very brief throughout the interview, mainly because she was
busy, but she told me two great things I can run with. The first is to be patient and to gain a lot
of experience. Patience must go with this because to gain experience, you must wait at least
three years. Secondly, she said for me to go to graduate school because you come out of school
making a lot more money. Her statements ensured that I will be going to either a graduate
school with a MBA program or a Law School.
While in the Career Center, I picked up a few business pamphlets, which provide a lot of
information! The first one that I picked up was entitled marketing. This pamphlet explains,
Marketing is the study of consumer needs and desires for products and services, consumers
willingness and ability to pay for those needs/desires, and consumer demographics. Below this
definition lists a ton of sample occupations. A few examples are, marketing manager, marketing
director, and advertising manager. The greatest thing about this pamphlet is that it gives you a
little advice on how to prepare for marketing relating careers. I also picked up a pamphlet on the
MBA program here at UNC Charlotte. This pamphlet gives me advice on how I should prepare

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for the MBA program. Two things listed stuck out to me. The first says, Seek out leadership
opportunities at work or in other settings to gain experience managing projects. This goes right
back to what Jessica said! The second thing is, Develop strong interpersonal skills and learn
about various cultural, gender, and age characteristics that impact communication.

This

statement is golden! Culture, gender, and age are huge characteristics in every industry, so its
important that I get a feel for these early in the game.
As a woman, one thing that has been worrying me is the wage gap in MBA graduates and
attorneys. I decided to do some related research, and I found two articles. The first is entitled,
What Male & Female MBAs Are Making by John A. Byrne. John explained that women
graduating with MBAs are getting paid only a fraction of what their male peers are getting. He
states, At Stanford, female MBAs this year pulled down starting salaries of $121,945, while
men made $154,713 so women made exactly 78.82% of what men did. Unsurprisingly, there
is a wage gap for attorneys as well! I found an article proving this entitled, The Pay Gap Its
time to Take It Personally by Victoria Pynchon. Victoria went out and personally talked to
female attorneys across the board, and she found that the wage gap can get up to 50%. That is
beyond ridiculous! She also said, Women attorneys median pay still trails behind their male
peers at the largest law firms despite negligible differences in billable hours and client lists.
I knew the wage gap was a real thing, but the fact that women are earning up 50% of what men
are in some industries is crazy. Women and men have all the same education requirements, so
they should have equal pay.
After completing this paper, I am one step closer to knowing exactly who and what I
want to become. With the help of the Career Center, online research & articles, and interviews
with my mother and uncle, I feel more confident than ever before! Im ready to get a move on

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my business and law interests by taking a bunch of related classes. Ive never been more excited
for my future!