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Archive for January, 2012

Beginning Again

Another year begins as does another semester. This is my fourth semester here at Milano. It really does go by fast. It doesn’t seem fast when you first start, but when you start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, it all can start to seem like it went by quickly.

Since this is my fourth semester, I’m doing my Professional Decision Report, otherwise known as the PDR. It’s the capstone course for Milano students. You serve as a consultant for a client, which you have to get yourself. I have a meeting with my potential client tomorrow. I’m definitely looking forward to it.

This semester has the potential for me to be doing  a lot of work in Harlem, and I’m definitely looking forward to the opportunity to help and serve my community. This is why I came to grad school after all, to serve my community and my people.

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I have been fortunate enough over the intervening years to spend New Year’s abroad on a few different occasions. What I have gathered from these various opportunities is that Americans spend an inordinate amount of time on resolutions — eventhough odds are these resolutions will not be kept. We make promises to eat better, have a ‘new attitude’, to volunteer more, to spend more time with family and loved ones, and of course the big one — to lose weight. I typically, try not to focus on making new year’s resolutions. Instead I try to remind myself to enjoy the life I am living, but as I head into my final semester of the program I find myself focusing on making a ‘resolution’ of sorts. I find myself over my last break trying to find the ‘spirit’ that brought me to the grad school experience and more importantly to trying to reconnect with why I think the learning that happens on the graduate level is so important to my professionalization. 

A few years ago like many of you I found myself at a point in my career and personally that I was seeking something that would take me to the next level, and this led to me exploring graduate school options. I started my new year diligently chalking up pros( more money) and cons ( money) for going back to school, requesting catalogs of potential contenders, and of course weighing taking a GRE prep course as versus self preparation. I visited schools, sat in classes, and sifted through resumes of faculty. in the later stages I talked to alums of program, read articles by faculty, and most importantly looked at the career services of the various programs I was interested in attending.

Ultimately, I was fortunate to receive an acceptance letter from my top choice as well as an alternate choice and probably the most surprising thing of the process was having my ‘fail safe’ selection actually not accept me. I felt my approach was comprehensive and exhaustive and still I have found myself, like many a grad student, faced mid-program wondering if this is the right program for me. Luckily, I have had enough friends who have done the grad school thing and have had to deal with the same inquiry and smartly I have stuck with my program unlike some friends who abandoned school all together because of a program that didn’t fit for them.  However, I recognize that many of you will be starting the process of looking for a graduate program, or you may be in the midst of your program wondering if you selected the right program/ the right school …. and to you I say be resolute in your choices and to be flexible in the new year to maximize what graduate school has to offer or can offer you. No one program will be a perfect fit, no one school will have all the amenities you desire, … and no one experience should chalk up the potential in a program.

Happy New Year Joyeux Nouvel An 新年快樂 سنة جديدة سعيدة

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