Career Planning: Part III

I had a successful meeting with the academic planner at the Okanagan College a couple of weeks back. There was good news and bad news though. The bad news was that none of the courses I took are eligible for transfer to the Okanagan College (lame). The good news is that I don’t actually need to go back to school to apply at the RCMP or other police forces.

I have a new plan of action as a result of this information:

  1. Increase physical fitness to pass the PARE test
  2. Study for the entrance exam
  3. Attend the recruiter meetings for RCMP
  4. Do the practice exams
  5. Do the practice PARE tests
  6. Apply at RCMP

The time scale for this is to apply by no later than next year. Ideally, I would like to start as soon as possible but I know that I need a great deal of physical training in order to prepare for this.

The academic advisor recommended that I get accepted to the police force first then use opportunities with the force to go back to school to upgrade. I think it is a brilliant idea. I still want to take criminology studies and there’s opportunities to take courses online through Thompson River University.

So, I am going “back to school” right away but it’s a school of my own curriculum. I have a study guide for the written exam and I might be hiring a personal trainer for the PARE exam. I will have to weigh that out as a trainer is costly. For the most part, I know what I need to do and I have friends who have offered to help me train (bonus for them because they get to train too). I am currently doing my own 12 week plan for increasing my fitness level.

I have not ruled out taking a few courses up at UBC-O though. I am currently enrolled as an “unclassified student”, which means that I can register for regular classes after all the current undergrads have registered for theirs. I am looking at taking some sociology and psychology courses that fit in with criminology studies. If I have not made any significant advancements in applying to the RCMP, then I will take one or two classes from UBC-O and just juggle my work schedule around them.

I have to say thank you to everyone who has been supportive of my plans to return to school and apply at the RCMP. For some, it was a surprise that I would be making this dramatic of a career change and I understand that. Those of you who have known me the longest weren’t all that surprised more like, about time!

I feel good about my future plans and to be honest, I like having a plan. For the last few years, I haven’t had any long term plans about my life and working career. I had some financial plans which I have managed to complete. The only thing that I feel a little apprehensive about is my age. While I know that thirty five is not that old, I still feel like I am a little late coming to the game. I had never planned on making a career out of working in the tech or gaming industry, I don’t have a passion for it.

My goals in life are not based around making money, buying a house, or getting married. I have always been driven by creativity, learning, and discovery. Jobs that offer those are few and far between. Working in law enforcement isn’t about catching criminals, it’s about upholding the laws of the nation I live in. There’s a deeper root to the job than making money and that’s what is appealing to me. I only wish I could start tomorrow.

Back on Campus

I made my way back up to my old university campus today. It was the first time I had been back there since my graduation in 2008. I had an enlightening conversation with an academic adviser about my previous degree and my plans for going into law enforcement. I also picked up my alumni card and updated my campus login information.

I was able to review both my high school and university transcripts. They paint an interesting picture about my academic career. I did not recall graduating high school with honors, so that was a nice surprise. Those marks are so good, that I could apply to pretty much any university in the country on them alone.

The first part of my university transcript reflects that stellar academic record but the second half, well, let’s just say I was going through some serious young adult shit at the time. I even had an entire class that I forgot to go to. I mean, that’s the kind of nightmares people have about school but me, I actually did it. I should be horrified that I managed to screw up a perfectly good transcript but it’s been ten years, what the fuck am I going to do about it now? The adviser says that I only need to get ten more credits in 300 or 400 level courses to make up for those marks. Which is good because I found out that I am eligible to take 3rd and 4th years psychology and sociology courses.

I have one more academic adviser meeting at the Okanagan College regarding the criminology and social justice diploma program. After taking a look at my old OUC transcript, I have a good portion of the first and second semester sociology, psychology, and English requirements completed. I just hope that the credits are transferable. It would be nice not to have to redo any of those courses. Mind you, it wouldn’t be so bad to have a refresher in both sociology and psychology.

The best part of the conversation was finding out about a contact with the RCMP recruiter and advise on how to find out what they are looking for. I may not need to actually go back to school because my previous degree might be enough when combined with my current work experience. While I have the option to return to school, I may not need to if I happen to have what the RCMP are looking for right now. Any if I don’t, I have an action plan to get there. Either way, I win.