A professional conversion program is essential for people who want to enter the profession. It’s also useful for an established professional conversion programme looking for a career change or interested in developing their existing skills. Business schools are not suitable for this kind of ‘conversion.’ They tend to be too academic, too focused on conventional business careers, and far too expensive.
Why are professional conversion programs useful?
First, they tell one what one doesn’t know. Most professional conversion programme know some obvious things. But there are plenty of things that obvious people don’t know about. Professional conversion programs, such as medical residency, teach the less obvious things. They give people the opportunity to master things they don’t know. Second, they teach one to work with people better than themselves. In both medicine and law, for example, a lot is learned by working as a team. Third, they work. They don’t always turn out as well as we hoped, but on the whole, they do. Fourth, they are expensive. And they are often expensive for the wrong reasons: to preserve the privileges that are the point of the program.
Seventh, professional conversion programs train people to become the kind of people they want to be. The kind of person who takes risks and makes mistakes. Someone open to new people and ideas. Someone who can remain calm under pressure. Someone who doesn’t mind putting in long hours. Someone who doesn’t mind failure. Someone who isn’t afraid to leave everything behind and start over. Someone who shares their values.
Finally, professional conversion programs involve a lot of personal commitment. One has to study a lot. One has to work a lot. One has to put up with a lot of people. One has to put up with the day-to-day monotony. One has to put up with people better than themselves. And one has to put up with people with who one doesn’t share values. If one doesn’t, it wouldn’t be worth it; well, if it fails, that’s one thing. But a professional conversion program should also be something one believes in, something that’s worth doing, and something one feels strongly about. That usually means that if it doesn’t turn out well, one’s still going to keep at it.