first of all, i have to apologize. for the last 9 months or so i have been hinting at and casually mentioning some news that i wanted to share but that it wasn’t time just yet (OMG i realize that this sounds like i was pregnant, but i’m not! no child for me! it just happened to be about 9 months of planning and waiting thus far…i don’t think i could keep baby news to myself). and i want to thank those who knew what was going on but kept it a secret. but most of all i want to thank those of you who cheered me on, who wished me luck, who had their fingers crossed when tests or deadlines were approaching and who just were there for me despite me being a mental mess. thank you!
yesterday i received some great great news. ok, one could argue i received it 2 weeks prior but i like to have things in writing and the in writing part didn’t arrive until yesterday. so now that it’s sort of official and i can truly feel like this is happening i can open up to a wider public about it.
last spring/summer i made the decision to go back to school for another master degree. back in april i looked up various schools online and narrowed down what i wanted to do and where. my plan was to enroll in a program in the states so aside from finding a program i also needed a school that provides scholarships that would be – at least in theory – attainable to me.
due to my current work i’m the first one to tell you that grades and test scores aren’t everything but when it comes to scholarships suddenly people are magically drawn back to these supposedly objective test scores. and i had to realize that my old gre results are not sufficient to make me a candidate that could be considered for a scholarship. so back in july i decided to take up the challenge again and study for the gre again, five years after my last test, in hopes of improving my score.
so i studied somewhat committed…it’s difficult to study super hard when you have months to go and haven’t even set a test date. just by coincidence i noticed that the test taking procedures had changed along with the test design. if i wanted to have my shot at a retake i needed to register for a november test date.
that’s when i realized i had to step up my game if i really wanted a scholarship and that’s when my days looked like this:
getting up at 7am – going to work – after 8 to 10 hour days (sometimes up to 18 hours since i often travel for work) come home and take a 20 minute nap – make dinner – eat dinner taking a maximum of 30 minutes – study for the gre until midnight or sometimes 1am – repeat
this schedule i kept for 5 or six weeks and it was a really hard time for me. i had no social life, and i felt bad for anyone who had to deal with the “private franzi” because i had nothing much to talk about because nothing but gre happened in my life. “work franzi” of course had to keep it all to herself and that may have been the hardest part. i am friends, to varying degrees, with a number of my co-workers and i would have liked to tell them why i look so tired or seem absent minded at times. but i did not want any rumors to start (like “i’m quitting” or “i’m leaving”) when this was not the case at all.
oh and of course everyone who knew was sworn to secrecy – no hints on facebook (work’s on facebook), no mentioning whenever we were on a social outing and work friends were present, just basically they had to pretend they did not know a thing. and i’m sure in secret they wondered who else knew. sorry i put you through this folks!
so i lived a dull life and saw my challenge on november 16 when i took the gre. i was satisfied with the score (out of 170 points in each section i got verbal 161, quant 154…that could have been better!) and then proceeded to really work on my application. i asked for recommendation letters, which again is difficult if you try to keep your current employer out of the picture, and worked on my letter of motivation. that letter of motivation took an embarrassingly long time to finalize. a special thanks to my proof reader and feedback giver! <3
getting together my application documents took longer than anticipated but eventually, in january, i submitted my application and just a short three weeks later was told that i am admitted to the program. now, this is where the tension starts because i did not doubt being admitted (i don’t want to brag or anything but i think i fit the program well plus i have work experience which is typically sought after in master degree students) but needed a scholarship to finance this endeavor.
the letter stated that this decision is being made by mid-march so i had more waiting to do.
to sum it all up: the waiting came to an end yesterday when i found a real letter in my mailbox telling me i was selected for a merit award (full-tuition) and a graduate assistantship. OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOOOD! this is actually happening! i can’t believe it!
my head is still spinning and i have so many decisions to make now. like when i am actually quitting my job, when i’m going to tell my supervisor, when i should cancel the lease for my apartment and what of all the crap that i have i will bring across the atlantic with me.
it’s a two year program with an optional third year of working so i am looking at at least three years away from “home”. so really, i should just go ahead and sell it all off and start new when/if i return. but even selling/ebay-ing it all off will take time and some planning.
oh, i am still debating wether i should detail the program and school here. as of now i want to keep it to myself but if you are curious just send me an email or write me on facebook.
i am very proud and happy and honored and confused and super happy that i was selected for this scholarship. it is an amazing opportunity to go back to school – tuition paid – to earn a second masters degree. and of course going back to the states is something that my heart and cosmopolitan feet don’t mind at all.
come august i’ll be a full-time student again!