So, Elizabeth isn’t my last name, it’s my middle name, but it worked better in the title..and I try to avoid using the last name on the blog. Moving on…
Winter semester of this year I took some classes through the university where I am currently employed (they have great tuition benefits – free). The point was to get my GPA up. I screwed around during the undergrad years, having every intention of marrying well and being a stay at home mom…Okay, not really, but I did plan on going to cosmetology school after finishing (which I did), and that required no college at all…so it didn’t really matter what my GPA was. What mattered was that I graduated and my dad was happy.
A little background, and no I don’t do hair. I became a licensed esthetician. I worked at a great salon and spa for about four years after finishing school, managed to move my way up the ranks into a management position and then I started to really like the managing end of things and a little graduate school seed was planted. A five year plan started to form, I just wasn’t sure how to make it happen with my crappy GPA and the fact that I knew my job wouldn’t be thrilled about me leaving. But all things fell into place when I decided that, after quitting my job, renting out my house and moving across the country for a boy, I didn’t actually want to marry that boy.
Having my life fall apart and finding myself living at home (with the dad) in Utah was the last “little” push I needed. The sad news was that those years of skiing while I should have been studying would not help me get accepted into any program, so part of the plan needed to include retaking at least one class (in case you’re in school and considering skipping out on a final because you are getting a bad grade, I submit to you that that is a very bad idea), and taking at least two more to a) raise the GPA, b) prove that I have changed my ways and c) test the waters to make sure this is what I want to do. The good news was that by moving back home and finding my current job, I was in a great position to do exactly what needed to be done.
And after that long explanation, we’re back to winter semester. I took 3 classes. One was an English class I basically failed the first time around, the final I went ahead and didn’t take (happy to report I got an A-…up went the GPA), the second was Accounting (another A-) and the third was a field studies course through the MBA program (I got an A – very promising). I’m not sure what the heck I was thinking signing up for a graduate level field studies course, working with a team of graduate students, but whatever. I signed up.
You would think that just participating in a graduate course would be enough for me…especially when this is the second semester for most of the students who are in this class with me. And really, it would have been. But then our team lead bailed on the project and we were left leaderless…so what do i do? You know, the girl who’s working full-time, not in the program, taking 2 other classes. I go right ahead and volunteer to take over. The next four months of my life were absolutely insane. The project we were working on was next to impossible. I felt lost and overwhelmed regularly. I won’t go into details here because a) I don’t want to bore you to death, even though I think it’s exciting and b) I can’t because the information is proprietary, but just know that the fact that I survived and that things went well was a miracle. And not a small one.
The project finally came to an end. We actually ended up making some very useful discoveries and the presentation went extremely well. So well, in fact, that I received a phone call a few weeks later to see if a few members of my team would be able to fly out to this company’s corporate headquarters in Washington, D.C. and present our findings (an abridged version) to the board of directors. Really. Truly. All expenses paid.
Well, many months later and after lots of schedule changes and much disbelief, the plane tickets are booked, the meeting is scheduled, the presentation has been revised and in less than three weeks, we will have made a presentation to the board of directors of a multi-billion (yes, billion) dollar corporation. I know there are lots of people out there who do things like this on a regular basis, but I am not one of them.
I am terrified and thrilled all at the same time…and I cannot wait for it to be over.
This is seriously the opportunity of a lifetime (well, of my lifetime thus far), not to mention a huge help in the “getting into grad school” process. And, while the main purpose of going is this presentation, I am super excited because I get to meet Anne, as she will play my tour guide and running buddy over the weekend…unfortunately the running must go on.
Sometimes, I look at my life and wonder why it has all worked out the way it has. I can trace back from where I am and see how every little event has played out exactly right (even the awful, horrible trials) to get me to here. I feel like my life has been a series of situations where I have been in the right place at the right time. Today is one of those days when I just feel truly blessed.