TED Conversations

Aaron Yang

High school Mathematics teacher,

This conversation is closed.

I'm seeking direction for my future after i graduate this May 2012.

I'm an Applied Mathematics Major with a Minor in Economics with some background in pre-med. Originally i was seeking fulfillment in life through money, hoping one day to become an actuary. However, as my college career's coming closer to an end, I've been reconsidering my feelings of fulfillment. After subscribing to TED and RSA the past year, my mind has opened up a lot more. I try my best to engage in thought on a daily basis, thinking constantly about the world and the path its headed.

Among the talks i've enjoyed were about changing paradigms. The inefficiency of the 20th century becomes more and more evident each year. Many of the companies i had planned on applying for would have had me stuck at a desk job, going to meetings, surrounded by the old era corporate system stifling the creative mind.

Although I am eager to jump into this revolution of change, I feel like i am in neither the position nor have the means to exercise my thoughts. As of now, my hopes are to find an intellectually engaging community to better myself and perhaps gain opportunities to find a job where i can be in a stimulated environment at the front-lines (or back-lines) of the 21st century. In short, my question are:

What companies should i seek out that would benefit from my skills, and that i would benefit from them?
How can i be involved with changing the old system to make way for the new generation?
Where in the world would i be able to immerse myself with like-minded thinkers? (country/state/city)

It could be possible that i'm not asking the right questions at the moment, because i myself am not completely sure where i'm headed. Any input, criticism, lecturing, opportunity would be greatly appreciated!


Closing Statement from Aaron Yang

Thankyou for even responding to my first conversation on TED. I'm thankful for all of you sharing your experiences with me. I understand that the path i'm on is my own and i will do my best to walk it well.

With much appreciation,

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  • Jan 29 2012: I graduate too in July. And I don't know my path after that. I study Microelectronics and Nanotech. That is something but i can't say i'm a top student so i'll probably go towards other direction. I really don't know, but I refuse to worry about it. I'll solve this problem after I graduate. Until then worrying can't help me with nothing. I think about it once in a while, but i like not to try to tightly control everything about my future. I think it's really a stress booster and an energy consumer to try to avoid any risks. So, i'm not going to tell you everything will be be fine, but I will tell you to go with the flow and when the time comes, calculate the best deal for you, and try to get knowledge in different fields. I think the era of specialists will sooner or later be over, and being a genralist can help you adapt to newer fields and have a flexible mind.
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      Jan 29 2012: do you think you could elaborate more on what a generalist is? or give me an example of an occupation that would fit that genre? my friend suggested that i possibly do business consulting so i can help companies run more efficiently. i'm still looking into different possibilities.
      • Jan 29 2012: In my opinion an era of automation will come in the near future and any human can be replaced by technology. Japanese are working at human faces, so you can be sure that after they perfect the faces and make them reflect emotions to all the TV commercials actors and later the stars from Hollywood will be replaced by these.

        What I want to say with generalist is accumulating knowledge in vast domains, so if you need to reorient towards other job it will be easy for you. Not necessarily you have the required knowledge for the new job but you have some basics and a flexible mind. Being a TED member shows you are in the right direction and you are open minded.

        That's for the future. In the next few years you can make something with your degree, but think about how will it serve 40 years from now. We study to get a degree, but that's not the end of it, we'll have to keep learning new things and have the right attitude towards learning. If you ask me, after you finish your studies and get a job, more or less the one you wanted, you start gaining the experience that can put your college knowledge in a context.

        I don't know how explicit i was with that, but i hope it is useful for you. That's really the maximum capacity of expressing myself in English. Good luck!

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