Milestones

I’ve had a lot in the past 10 years: graduating magna cum-laude from undergrad, my first day student teaching, getting my Master’s in Teaching, getting my first high school teaching job (and second..), getting back into grad school at Michigan to make a career switch into Higher Education, getting a 4.0 at Michigan, getting into PhD programs, first published article (see reprint below), teaching master’s students…and now today I’ve had three.

1. As you can see, I’ve been in school for what feels like FOREVER! After college, I needed a Master’s in Teaching so that I could get a h.s. teaching job (it is next to impossible to get one now with just a bachelor’s). I had such a great experience teaching my 10th and 11th graders, but after a few years I had a crisis of sorts: I didn’t see myself teaching for my whole career, so what the HELL was I going to do? After considering going after my MBA (I quickly realized the private sector is not for me), I found my niche in Higher Education. But it wasn’t without a good bit of work. I enrolled for a second master’s degree at the University of Michigan and relearned a whole different perspective on education. My year at Michigan was hard, but it was one of the best of my life. I devoted everything I had to both my classes and my social life and it paid off. I had a blast with new friends traveling around the world and ended up with a 4.0 overall GPA. By the end of the year it was too late to apply for a PhD for the following fall so I secured a consulting job in Boston and meticulously wrote my application and visited the University of Virginia. After a few months I found out that I was accepted to all the schools I applied to!

I guess you can say I’ve been a professional student (even though I have several years of full-time work experience too!). As of today I’ve been in school for 9–count them–nine years past high school and I’ve enjoyed (for the most part) almost all of them (it also doesn’t hurt that as a PhD student I don’t pay any tuition and I earn a modest salary). My very last class ended about 15 minutes ago. MY LAST CLASS EVER. Obviously I’d be a lunatic to go for another degree so this is it for coursework folks! Now, that doesn’t mean my PhD is complete, far from it. I still have my proposal defense, data collection and analysis, dissertation writing, and dissertation defense. But coursework is 3/4 of the whole doctoral degree in terms of time and it feels good to have that checked off 🙂

2. Interestingly, on the day I finished my last class ever, I’m humbled to have received a publication award (I’ve mentioned this before, but today was the luncheon and the actual recognition)

The rain cleared up just in time for the luncheon, which was held at UVa’s Alumni Hall.

First we got a scrumptious lunch: summer salad with strawberries and feta, chicken with green beans, and a chocolate torte.

Then our names were read and I received my certificate (I can pick up my check on may 4th 🙂 ).

They only picked two students for this award. Fellow student Xin and myself

Can I bask in the fruits of my hard work for 2.5 secs?

Yep, but it’s damn hard because it’s on to the next…

3. The final amazing thing that happened to me today is a result of a killer interview I had yesterday for a policy analyst summer position in Boulder, Co. And guess what?? I got it!!!!!!!!!! Looks like its off to Boulder for the summer for another adventure 🙂

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2 Responses to Milestones

  1. Claire! Clearly we need to catch up!!! That’s amazing! I’m so thrilled for you, my friend! Congrats!!! XOXO

  2. Thank you!!! I’ve been meaning to call I’ve just been so crazy busy (I’ve read you have too!) Tomorrow!!!

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