I've been thinking about grad school since finishing undergrad, but it wasn't until this past fall that I was finally able to think seriously about it. Because of my work at World Relief, I knew I wanted to continue in this relief & development direction, so I started researching schools with master's programs in managing and implementing international development projects. I found about a dozen schools that looked interesting, spent hours looking through their websites at their programs and professors, and narrowed it down to three schools I really liked: American University in DC, Brandeis University in Boston, and University of Denver in, well, Denver.
I spent November, December, and the first week of January pulling together references, writing and re-writing a purpose statement, and wishing it were already May or June - "I'm ready to go NOW!" :) Being the procrastinator that I am, I saved the writing and compiling for the very last minute, and sent my applications in just a few days before they were due.
Then the waiting started. Wait for the tax documents you need so you can file your FAFSA. Wait to hear if Brandeis wants to interview you. Wait to hear about acceptances. Wait for a nomination from your undergrad for a potentially large scholarship. Wait until you know how to make your decision, without really knowing what you're waiting for. Wait for life to change more drastically than it has for three years - more than that! Wait to decide when you'll visit each school, when you'll leave work, when you'll spend time at home. Just wait.
Today is February 14, 2009. As of today, I have applied to all three schools, interviewed at Brandeis, been accepted and offered partial scholarships at Denver & Brandeis, and filed my taxes and the FAFSA. Phew! All that in four short weeks. The next four weeks don't promise to be quite as eventful, but here is some of what I'm looking forward to:
- American says it will be April before I hear from them - I'm hoping to hear earlier than that :)
- A decision from my undergrad about a scholarship nomination
- A visit to Denver, if I can get my act together and schedule it!
- A winning lottery ticket - that or the discovery of some other form of free money to help me pay for this expensive undertaking :)