Finding My True Calling
It’s going to be a long night. I’m flipping back and forth between the major cable networks trying to keep up with what’s going on over there in Iraq. So while I watch, thought I would take time to post about Michigan alumni professional development function I attended earlier this evening. Event held at Jake Melnick’s was of particular interest as it focused on helping folks think critically about whether or not one should go back for graduate school. This is something I’ve been thinking about doing. When I imagined what I’d be doing with my life, I never thought it would be sales. But having difficulty making the transition. So was thinking about graduate school as a way to get things back on track. The difficult question for me is what to study — law or business.
As a child, when people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grow up, I would say a lawyer. So after graduating from Michigan, I applied to law school. By then I wasn’t so sure anymore, but I knew my mom as well as others within the family would be extremely disappointed if I didn’t pursue. Oh, I was still very much interested in being a lawyer — just didn’t think I wanted to practice corporate law; was more interested in becoming legislative aid for high ranking Senator. I got accepted to a few schools and ending up enrolling at American University – Washington College of Law. I choose school base on close proximity to Congress plus they offered academic scholarship for full tuition (at time about $20K per year).
A few weeks into first semester, my mom took terminally ill. So after commuting back and forth from Washington DC to Boston for about two months every weekend, decided to take leave from school so I could get move her out of hospital. Knowing that she would die, I wanted to make those final months/days as pleasant as possible — I wanted her to die at home. My mom among others, tried to talk me out of taking leave, but my heart just wasn’t in school anymore. It just didn’t seem so important. I look back on my transcript for that semester and am amazed that I ended up with a B average. I was hardly ever there. I didn’t really study for the exams.
In any event, after she passed on, I took on legal responsibility of my younger sister who was 13 at the time. Since it was stressful in the beginning (I was a clueless 23 year old trying to raise a teenager), law school simply wasn’t an option. Then over time, my priorities changed. Law school didn’t seem right anymore. Plus I worked for a company who employees many lawyers, who don’t want to practice law anymore. Now, 10 years later, I’m thinking of going back to law school. I suppose I never really lost interest. But having worked in sales/marketing area, thinking about business school as well. Working for a consulting firm that focuses on accounting/finance area has also peaked my curiosity even further. So I’m going to spend the next few months trying to figure it all out. Should I decide to go back to school, I will go full-time. I know it will be expensive and will put me further in debt, but I consider it a worthy investment. Who knows, maybe through exploration, I’ll discover that I can make a transition without graduate school.
March 20, 2003 at 10:55 am
We make choices based on now, rather than the future. If you hadn’t left to be with your mom, my guess is that you would’ve regretted it – and now, many years later, you are able to make the decision with a little more hindsight – and clearer vision for the future. Best wishes. I’m struggling with the same thing myself – graduate school or no.