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As I’ve written about numerous times before, I applied to the online program at UNT. I initially found out about the program at SFAA conference in Vancouver. I was really excited about the program, the faculty and the grad students. The program just sounds like a perfect match for me.

When I met the UNT people at the reception I talked their ears off about my smoking research. However, when the faculty reviews my application and admission essay they may be surprised to see that I actually want to focus on organizational anthropology during grad school instead of my smoking research.

Now you may (or may not) be asking yourselves, why don’t you want to focus on your smoking research that you are so passionate about and love so much? Well, there are a few reasons and they are as follows:

Yes, I love subculture of smoking research, but I don’t see myself being involved in public health anthropology as a career. It’s just not where my passion lies. I would like for my smoking research to be more of a side project than a career. I’m looking at grad school like an internship of sorts. It’s a great opportunity to get experience and knowledge that you will use in future careers. I would be more prepared for my future career if I did a practicum about organizational anthropology than I would by doing one about public health.

Another reason is one of personal ethics. I want to quit smoking one day (more about this to come in future posts). My cigarette consumption sky rockets when doing my research. I believe this to be so for two reasons: participant observation and thinking about smoking makes me want to smoke. I can’t imagine how many cigs I would go through if I continued to actively gather information about smokers for years.

The decision to focus on what I want to do in as a career in grad school was a tough one for me. It would be such a wonderful opportunity to do more supervised research about the subculture of smokers, but I thought the opportunity to do research about businesses was a better one.

Now we will all just patiently wait to see if this was indeed a decision I had to make right now or not. If not, we will revisit this whole discussion in a few months when I apply to different programs.

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