Thursday, March 21, 2013

I almost dropped out of grad school pt. 2

If you haven't read part 1, click here.

I convinced myself not to leave school and that my degree in social work could be transferable to a number of careers. I started researching them and came up with several semi-appealing options. I would finish school and figure it out exactly which field to test out later.

Late in the semester, an email came from the Student Affairs office describing a 2nd year placement available to only one student. A social work student could apply to work in the office at school and facilitate programming and provide academic support. Not only would this person work with current students, they would also be placed on a path to a career in higher education. I wasn't sure if this was the right position for me, but I knew I was sold by the description of the position in the email so I replied right away! I expressed interest in the position and waited for word. But after speaking with a counselor and advising her of my plans, I was talked out of pursuing this nontraditional social work career path. 

At this same time, I was signed up to work in substance abuse in a local treatment center.This position was being pushed upon me by that very same counselor who convinced me not to pursue the student affairs position.  I was also suppose to be certified Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor. After I completed my interview with a treatment center, I knew I was going down the wrong path and would again find myself unhappy going to work. I left the interview feeling down and lost. I didn't know what to do. I had already told the supervisor for the student affairs position that I was no longer interested. 

It was too late to reapply for the position, right?
I would look like I didn't know what I want if I spoke up now, right?

The next day, while I was contemplating my next move, I received an email from the student affairs supervisor. He said that I should call him when I got a chance. I went straight home and made the call. He asked me why I decided not to pursue this opportunity. I told him about my counselor and how she convinced me that it wasn't for me even though I thought it was. He asked me if I still wanted to send in my resume and possibly interview.

Is this really happening?!!

I believe in signs and the universe pushing us in the right direction, so I said yes. This was meant to be!

I sent in my resume, killed the group interview, and beat out the other applicants for the position.

Over the past year I have started and directed a grant fund I hope continues to be available even after my graduation, given presentations and led workshops just to name a few. Now I can say that I am happy when I go to work. Not only am I proud of my work but I enjoy the environment.

The most exciting outcome is that I've found my passion. I want to work with multicultural and diversity issues within universities and aide high schools. Even though my goal is to work in a university after graduation, I can still work with underserved communities and unprepared minority college students. I can have a full time position as a director of a program and utilize successful models to help underserved communities guide high school students from high school to college graduation. So many times we focus on getting these kids into college doors but leave them to fend for themselves in the pit that is a PWI. I know all about this experience first hand.
Reccently I had a mentor refer to me as Dr. [Scorpion]. He said it fit and if I wanted to pursue a doctorate, that he would support me. I'm excited for my future and ready to begin affecting that change that brought me to NYC and the field of social work in the first place.

I'm so glad I didn't drop out of grad school.

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