When I first started working for my current employer four years ago, I knew I wanted to be there long-term, growing a business I loved with a great team. I got to do just that and I am so grateful for those years. In the back of my head though, I frequently reflected on my time living in Europe and how one day, I wanted to not just travel, but to spend an extended period abroad.
You see – I have never been one to sit around in a resort. I love to learn new languages and learn about different cultures. Fast forward to present, I realized that now is the time to do this. I wanted to do this especially because I am about to begin another graduate program – an MBA.
Not even a month ago, I graduated with my Master’s in English (which I covered in my last post). I had loved going to school while working full-time but the thought of doing another two-year program while working full-time made me overwhelmed. This led me to make the difficult decision to resign from my job. This week is my final week and the feeling is bittersweet. Change is scary! But I feel like years from now, I am going to look back and be happy that I chose this path.
Not everyone is in the position to quit their job, to travel, or to even go to school. I know I am in a position of privilege and a part of me is motivated because I am aware of the position I am in. However, I worked a lot and I planned a lot and am proud of that. My goal is to continue to give back to my local community so that more people are in the position to make similar choices.
In the meantime, I am taking prerequisites before business schools begins in August – statistics, macroeconomics, and microeconomics. Wish me luck!
I’ll share where I am in the world soon, as well as more on my MBA program and my move to another state for school.
If you could take a gap from work, where would you go and what would you do? Staying local is an option.
This month I graduated with my Masters in English. I have been doing this for the past two years, studying part-time while working full-time. Even when I was tired from studying after work, I never complained because I knew I was lucky to be able to study what I love. However, it was not an easy path to get here. I dropped out of law school years before and felt like a total failure – even though I knew I was making the right choice. After years of work and life experience, I surprised myself by doing this program but I am glad I did.
Here are a few topics I loved exploring:
What makes classic literature so classic? There is a lot of literary theory and we can mainly boil it down to there being a certain type of “taste” that society looks towards. In the end though, there are many books that are not “classics” but very well could have been. We may also be surprised by the classics of tomorrow.
There are many voices missing from literature. Namely, there is a lack of Black people and other races in literature. However, technology is leading the shift in addressing this. For instance, anyone can blog or tweet. However, so much more needs to be done to promote writing by people who do not fit a stereotypical profile.
Massachusetts is a literary hub. I’m from MA and I have gone to school in MA but do you know what I have failed to appreciate all my life? Most of the famous writers in U.S. history are from here. I never appreciated this as much as I do now. You can complete any M.A. English program across the world and I guarantee you will be offered one American Literature class focused on our writers.
There is an intersection between literature and coding. Yes, coding. As mentioned above, technology is taking the literary world by storm. Many scholars are using the online world to create digital spaces where scholarship on lesser known topics can exist, such as research on African American migration over the centuries. It has never been easier to share this type of research and due to the increased demand, many scholars adapt by learning code.
Of course, there is plenty more that was covered in my classes and these descriptions are barely the tip of the iceberg. Still, they were the topics that made me think the longest. By being engaged with these topics, I think it inspired me to think more creatively. It gave me more confidence while copywriting at work. Whether or not you have the opportunity to get a degree, I think working hard and always learning will help you get to where you want to be.
I had an encounter today that inspired me to write this post. I recently applied to a part-time business school and received a letter in return that stated, “Based on your undergraduate coursework, we don’t believe you have the necessary skills required to do well in an MBA program.” You can believe I was deflated, but for multiple reasons.
Firstly, I have had 7 years work experience in the corporate sector managing publications and making important business decisions on the daily. In other words, I don’t agree with them. Secondly, this only mentions my undergraduate degree (I’m finishing a master’s now), which is in English. Nowadays, MBA programs are designed for people of all backgrounds and people go to business school to acquire…business skills. A part of me feels like I am not being reviewed fairly because of my B.A. in English. However, sometimes what people study as an undergrad does not align with what they do today. In fact, I feel like that is more the norm!
Ironically, I frequently am asked to speak at university panels about the success of humanities students in the business realm. This is perhaps my favorite topic to discuss because I am living proof that you can be a creative and make it in business – you can even thrive!
All in all, this is one story of one school not looking at me holistically but it makes me wonder: how many people out there are feeling pigeon-holed because they have an arts degree and never thought they could use it? Or how many people get rejections like mine and assume they made a terrible decision with their degree choice? I am sure I am not the only one being judged, and it’s up to us to break the status quo. Let’s show them (whoever “they” are), that we are more than our degrees!
Let’s live our lives creatively and with exuberance. Whether you want to be a car mechanic, fiddler, or business executive, put your whole heart into it and don’t ever let what people think of you hold you back.