By Mary Morgan, ’11

“Before I started working with Katybeth [Lee, an assistant director in the Career Development Center, Office of Alumni and Career Services], I think I was 100 percent positive about several careers,” said Kristen Jobes, a senior majoring in chemistry. “I was all over the place.”

Jobes had decided to major in chemistry during her first year at Richmond.  

“I really just kind of stumbled into chemistry,” she said. “I was open to anything I liked, and it seemed to be the one area that was going well and could have a lot of potential.”

Many students who major in chemistry decide to go on to graduate or medical school, but neither felt right to Jobes.

“I learned pretty quickly that I wasn’t nearly as passionate for, or gifted in, chemistry as I should be,” she said. “I didn't enjoy spending hours in a lab with chemicals and having little interaction with other people.”

After eliminating the option of pursuing graduate education in chemistry, Jobes considered medical school, and although her interest was sparked in a medical path, she was not fully convinced.

“Katybeth and I discussed various options, including pursuing a career in chemistry with the military,” Jobes said. “I think it wasn’t even two weeks before she had me meeting with a Navy dentist! Once I realized that chemistry in the military was what I wanted to do, I decided that I was much more suitable for healthcare than chemistry, so I combined the two ideas.”

Now preparing to graduate, Jobes has decided to attend physician assistant school and then join the Navy to work in a medical capacity.

“The unique thing about my tentative plan is that agreeing to serve in the military as a healthcare provider provides me with a stipend for graduate school tuition.”