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 Post subject: Re: Aspiring Gemologist..what to do?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:15 am 
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As far as the kind of degree, please consider the degree type many of the most respected posters on here have- engineering. They are not engineering stones... But as far as understanding and solving problems, well, you can see it bear fruit here nearly on a daily basis.


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 Post subject: Re: Aspiring Gemologist..what to do?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:55 pm 
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Barbra Voltaire wrote:
Just a thought, reflecting my days at university.

I worked at a jewelry store while I was attending school.

I went to a school I could afford to attend on the salary I was making from working. I took a LOT of evening classes.

It took me 6 years to get a Bachelors but I didn't owe anyone a dime when I finished AND I had both a degree and work experience upon graduation.


...and that, ladies and gentlemen, is how it's done!!
8)

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 Post subject: Re: Aspiring Gemologist..what to do?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:31 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2011 12:28 pm
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Thank you guys for your input especially Kyriakin..its given me lots of thinks to think about
would be appreciated if you can reccomend some courses

Quote:
Just a thought, reflecting my days at university.

I worked at a jewelry store while I was attending school.

I went to a school I could afford to attend on the salary I was making from working. I took a LOT of evening classes.

It took me 6 years to get a Bachelors but I didn't owe anyone a dime when I finished AND I had both a degree and work experience upon graduation.


thanks for your reply
what jewellery school did you attend?


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 Post subject: Re: Aspiring Gemologist..what to do?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:48 am 
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I would definitely stay on and do A-levels, that will then give you the possibility of doing a degree later on if you choose to do so.

You can't study for the FGA till you are 18 anyway, but Physics and/or Chemistry A-level will be a massive help to you there.

Having just completed the FGA, the theory papers are much harder than A-level or even my degree finals. Out of my class only half of us passed and some of those who failed had Physics degrees. It is a tough course.

There is the option of a further year after the FGA at Kingston that would give you a Bsc in Gemmology and Applied Mineralogy.

Otherwise, there are great degrees in things like Geology. Camborne School of Mines is part of the University of Exeter and teaches everything you could want to know about mining! My brother-in-law is a hydrogeologist and has worked all over the world advising mines on dealing with water - he even got to do some work with the Argyle Diamond Mine.

I wouldn't suggest going and doing any old degree, but there are lots of ones in the field that would be useful and fun to do at the same time.

A lot depends on what you actually want to do with the gemmology... if you want to work in a jewellery shop selling bling then you don't need much in terms of qualifications (although you will be competing with graduates for the jobs), if you want to work in a laboratory, then the jobs are few and far between and you will be up against people with serious qualifications in the sciences as well as an FGA.


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 Post subject: Re: Aspiring Gemologist..what to do?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:15 pm 
allen wrote:
As a person who spent 28 years of his life at an institution of higher education, I have to side with Kyriakin. In the end, in my experience, it is largely who you know, not what you know or how many degrees you might have. Now, if one wants to go into teaching at the higher levels, that is a totally different story. Degrees are required, as they should be. But in the real world degrees do not count for nearly as much as they used to. I think American culture (not familiar with Europe) focuses too much on higher education when it should be focusing more on job skills, as in apprenticeships in the trades for instance. There is almost a stigma nowadays towards someone who actually does physical labor for a living. All labor should be recognized for its worth, not just that supported by academia.


Seconded.

My father was a civil engineer who became Deputy Chairman of one of the top five engineering consultancies in the world. Some while before that, he was their Director of Research and responsible for all their graduate engineer recruitment, these being the young men who built the business into what it became.

Several decades ago, he told me the following - which I did not believe at the time but life experience has since convinced me firmly of. Some in this world get off to a flying start due to advantages of wealth, opportunity or academic ability - and others not. By mid-life, almost all will rise - or fall - to their true and proper level of overall attainment and endeavour.

If someone has truly given his heart and soul to being a bench jeweller, then a degree - be it in Pure Mathematics or Media Studies - will not assist him. If he truly excels as a bench jeweller he could expect to migrate to becoming a manufacturing jeweller. At that point, some graduate skillls can assist his business. Those he has not acquired along the way, he can buy in as required - either by partnership, salaried employment or day rates.

The following matter at all levels and whatever the business:
- Intelligence (sufficient for tasks in hand).
- Hard work and drive.
- That one's work is not for the pay cheque at the end of the month but for an abiding love of what one is doing. What people love, they learn to do better and better.
- Basic education (numerate and able to express thought coherently in speech and writing). This must develop over time if one is to rise far.
- An ability to get on with and, later, to motivate, others.

Given these, all else will follow in due course by one way and another. As you mature, beyond a basic level of competennce, what your qualifications are matters less and less for most things. What matters is what you have done and what you are clearly capable of doing.

All that said, dear 'Aspiring Gemologist', I don't sense in your posts any burning ambition. That's OK but goes to the root of your quandary. If you go the A Level/Uni route, you put off making any career choice for at least another four of five years. Maybe you you need to do this. Only you can say.

Me? I'd say that you are very young and time is still on your side. If you can, I'd get on a course of A level study for some or all of the following:
- Applied Maths.
- Physics
- Chemistry
- A foreign language - Spanish, Portugese, Chinese or Swahili

After a year of that, decide whether you want, at the end of it, to do a bench jewellery apprenticeship or something else. In this way, you keep all doors open to you for a while longer and learn stuff you will find useful whatever way of life you enter.


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 Post subject: Re: Aspiring Gemologist..what to do?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:28 pm 
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Hey Kerensky, mid-life begins at 60 these days? Right? [-o<


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 Post subject: Re: Aspiring Gemologist..what to do?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:30 pm 
:lol:
So they tell me. And I tell my bones but they don't listen to me :roll:

Joking aside, It's now common for people to change their work at least once in their lives. Some do it three or even more times - and this is likely to become the rule rather then the exception in future. I think it's good. Much experience - and knowledge - is portable and makes a fast start in a new life *much* easier than it was the first time around.

In her mid-'40's now my elder daughter is on her third career, has just received her Doctorate in a field well-divorced from her first degree. Her step-sister and step-brother are also in second and third careers. My elder son, God bless him, has been many things:
- School flunk-out at 17.
- Call-centre operative, selling on 'commission-only'.
- Barman, working 'on the black' in Spain (gained fluent Spanish).
- TEFL tutor.
- Dispatch rider.
- Mature student (Hons graduate).
- Now 39, a film editor with a stack of TV contracts and homes and businesses in London and Berlin :D

Lord knows what any of 'em will be doing when they are 60 - but 'vegging out' or moaning how hard life is not a likely option for any of 'em :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Aspiring Gemologist..what to do?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 2:02 pm
Posts: 2647
Today's world demands versatility. You can't just be a Milkman anymore.

Technology has rendered an aging populace useless and upcoming graduates an over saturated market.

Entrepreneurs will survive on drive and lack of choice. :(


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 Post subject: Re: Aspiring Gemologist..what to do?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:29 pm 
JB wrote:
Technology has rendered an aging populace useless........


You wanna eyeball me, real up-close, and say that again? Huh?.... HUH!..... :evil: :lol:

Quote:
Entrepreneurs will survive on drive and lack of choice. :(


Self-employment is one thing and entrepreneurship is an other. IMHO, few have the blend of skills and personal characteristics to make a success of the latter. Generally, in whatever walk of life you find them, it shows. It shows in their eyes, in the way they carry themselves, in the way in which they interact with others and they respond to questions. They 'lock-on'.

This is not 'better' or 'worse'. Just different from most.


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 Post subject: Re: Aspiring Gemologist..what to do?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:42 pm 
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I agree with Kerensky here :)

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 Post subject: Re: Aspiring Gemologist..what to do?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:16 pm 
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Kerensky wrote:
JB wrote:
Technology has rendered an aging populace useless........


You wanna eyeball me, real up-close, and say that again? Huh?.... HUH!..... :evil: :lol:



Nah Owen, you'd probably put some kind of Jiu-Jitsu move on my ass. :lol:

Actually, "useless" was an inappropriate adjective. "Obsolete" would be nearer the truth as far as meeting today's job skill demands, even some menial jobs. Face it, most grade school kids have more technological skills than the over 50 crowd. Collectively.

And yes, Entrepreneur's work on a slightly elevated platform and are less adverse to risk taking than the self employed.

How does that "Taking care of business" song go? Something like,

"If you ever get annoyed you can be a self-employed, I love to work at nothing all day." :)


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 Post subject: Re: Aspiring Gemologist..what to do?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:10 pm 
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Kerensky wrote:
:lol:
So they tell me. And I tell my bones but they don't listen to me :roll:

Joking aside, It's now common for people to change their work at least once in their lives. Some do it three or even more times - and this is likely to become the rule rather then the exception in future. I think it's good. Much experience - and knowledge - is portable and makes a fast start in a new life *much* easier than it was the first time around.

In her mid-'40's now my elder daughter is on her third career, has just received her Doctorate in a field well-divorced from her first degree. Her step-sister and step-brother are also in second and third careers. My elder son, God bless him, has been many things:
- School flunk-out at 17.
- Call-centre operative, selling on 'commission-only'.
- Barman, working 'on the black' in Spain (gained fluent Spanish).
- TEFL tutor.
- Dispatch rider.
- Mature student (Hons graduate).
- Now 39, a film editor with a stack of TV contracts and homes and businesses in London and Berlin :D

Lord knows what any of 'em will be doing when they are 60 - but 'vegging out' or moaning how hard life is not a likely option for any of 'em :lol:


Good to know I'm not alone!

So far I've racked up:

- half a degree in Archaeology
- advised the long-term unemployed how to get jobs :lol:
- been a Veterinary Science Researcher in the Civil Service
(both in the early 90's in Belfast of all places)
- completed a degree in Textiles
moved to Italy
- designed men's ties for Gucci, Dior, Ferragamo for a living
- designed and manufactured men's suits (mainly M&S - very good suits btw :D )
- designed jewellery of sublime elegance and taste for QVC and others. :oops:
- took up diamond buying armed with a book (Hardness 10), the company credit card and many return plane tickets to Antwerp (I spoke English and said it sounded like fun so I got to be the diamond buyer)
- took up coloured stone buying (this time armed with Webster's compendium, the company credit card and people came to see me rather than my being sent to exotic climes sadly)
moved back to UK
- went into fundraising and events for a political party
- actually convinced the general public to vote me into public office and pretended to be a politician for 4 years (still don't quite believe I actually did that one :lol: )
and that doesn't include all the bar/restaurant/strawberry picking/'strange random things that sounded like fun for a few weeks' jobs.

Then, had a kid and went to do the FGA that I should probably have done back in the 1990's and was what I was always really interested in...

I'm the same age as your son btw! My father has stopped asking what I plan to do when I grow up...

Personally I think most jobs require a very similar set of skills most of which are very transferrable and it's mad to expect someone to decide what they want to be at 20 and them still be happy doing it 50 years down the line. Although life would have been much simpler had I just known I wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer or a hairdresser!


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 Post subject: Re: Aspiring Gemologist..what to do?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:59 pm 
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Hi, pandora,

Wow, you did all those before a baby? I was merely a trainee at that stage. I retired from my occupation (biochemist) 6 years ago, and my oldest daughter is 31.

Truly impressive!

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I am a slave to cutting a stone completely free of chips and very much enjoying it.


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 Post subject: Re: Aspiring Gemologist..what to do?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:40 am 
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mhuynh wrote:
Hi, pandora,

Wow, you did all those before a baby? I was merely a trainee at that stage. I retired from my occupation (biochemist) 6 years ago, and my oldest daughter is 31.

Truly impressive!


LOL, you sure as heck can't do it after you have the baby - and my daughter is only 2!

I'm not sure impressive is how I would term it - you certainly don't get rich, but I had a lot of fun... :D


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 Post subject: Re: Aspiring Gemologist..what to do?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:14 pm 
pandora wrote:
mhuynh wrote:
Hi, pandora,

Wow, you did all those before a baby? I was merely a trainee at that stage. I retired from my occupation (biochemist) 6 years ago, and my oldest daughter is 31.

Truly impressive!


LOL, you sure as heck can't do it after you have the baby - and my daughter is only 2!

I'm not sure impressive is how I would term it - you certainly don't get rich, but I had a lot of fun... :D


Yeah. But you learn a lot too. How to handle yourself and how to handle other people too. As you say, these skills are portable as well as valuable =D>


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