Advice to those who change majors
By Tim Johnson
MILFORD — The headline of the website Borderzine reads, “College students tend to change majors when they find the one they really love,” and the article reported statistically college students change their major at least three times over the course of their college career.
College student Dorinda Brito is set on a career path that she feels she will love. A member of St. John the Evangelist Church in Goshen, the bright Milford student attended Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne last year as a pre-med student with a minor in mortuary science and business.
Her plan was to be a surgeon, but concerns set in about the future of health care in the United States. She worried about waiting lists for people who may need immediate care and boards that could decide how care is rationed.
“My lifelong dream has always been to help save lives physically, but I also have wanted to spiritually help,” she told Today’s Catholic.
Another concern was cost for premed and medical school.
So Brito is pursuing a new path. “I started working on my mortuary science and business degree during the spring 2015 semester,” she said. “As I am on a waiting list to finish my mortuary degree for the 2016-17 school year, I am working currently on my business degree and hope to finish it during the 2017-18 school year.”
“By being a funeral director, I am able to be a post-surgeon to reconstruct the physical body to help give the loved ones closure as well as spiritual support through the grieving process,” Brito said.
This career choice enabled Brito to complete her dream of helping others. She brings personal experience with the death of loved ones to her career.
So how does one journey from premed to mortuary science? Shadowing experience is the quick answer.
“While in the Intern Career Education program in high school,” Brito said, “I was unable to intern with a hospital due to my schedule restraints. My mother suggested job shadowing our cousin at his funeral homes nearby that would still give me the experience of surgical procedures.”
“During the job shadowing process, I not only saw the preparation of the deceased and the necessary paperwork on the business side, but also greeted the loved ones and friends of the deceased,” she said. “I had a different perspective about the funeral business.”
Unlike surgeons only being able to spend a limited time with patients, Brito said, “I found that funeral directors continue to care for the living not only during the pre-planning and funeral service, but also after the funeral through grief counseling, memorial services, through various community volunteer services, and a simple ‘hello’ at the grocery store.”
Brito said, “I discovered how truly rewarding becoming a funeral director can be. I can touch the hearts of many people. It was these experiences that turned the obstacles into a career change that only God knew would fulfill my life.”
Although premed and mortuary science require health science degrees, the course study at the beginning was similar since both require anatomy and social science classes, “but mortuary science focused more on moral and ethical procedures and how to care for the living who are struggling with grief,” she said. “I was introduced to respecting different traditions and how everyone goes through the grieving process differently.”
Brito currently attends Ivy Tech Community College in Warsaw working on a business degree and hopes to be admitted into funeral services classes at the Ivy Tech Lawrence campus for her mortuary science degree.
Trust in God has also been part of the journey. “Being a devout Catholic, my faith and living a Christian life has played a major role in my decision,” Brito said. “I trust God — that He knows the plans that He has made for me, and He will lead me to the right path to glorify Him through my works.”
Brito offered this advice to those struggling to find their path: “Pray and believe that God will direct you. Sometimes you do not anticipate change, but put your trust in God. — Jer. 29:11.”
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