How I defeated my first year of Graduate School with a 4.0

Conquering Grad School and working full-time (1)

As like many other college graduates, I struggled with what I wanted to do in life once I graduated with my bachelors.  I got a BS in Fashion Merchandising, because at 18 that’s what I wanted to do in life, be in the fashion industry, but at 20 and 21, I knew that was no longer my interest, but stuck with the degree because one, the major I had switched too, Marketing, was too hard, and two, I didn’t want to be in school any longer than what I had to be.  After graduating, I was lost and didn’t know what I wanted to do.  I finally came to the conclusion that I wanted to work in Higher Education, especially since I was heavily involved with Student Affairs in undergrad.  I even lucked up and got a job in Higher Education working as an Admissions Representative at vocational/technical college.  Six months after being terminated from my job as an Admissions Representative, I found myself lost and in the dark.  I took a big leap of faith and moved to Los Angeles, CA.  The city of many opportunities, especially in the fashion industry.

I thought well maybe since, I am in LA surrounded by PLENTY of opportunities in the fashion industry, this was it.  This is the industry I am actually supposed to be in. That was until all I kept getting were interviews for internships. Honestly I wouldn’t have mind doing an internship AND a full-time job to pay bills, but the way traffic was set-up, the what I thought was possible seemed impossible.  I finally landed at a job as a Talent Acquisition Coordinator, because I figured why not go into Human Resources.  Every company, has an HR department, to include fashion companies.  About a month after landing that job, I landed a second job, working graveyard shift as a Human Resources Call Center Associate.  After I got my second job, which was also in HR, I knew that this was the field for me to go into.  There is no reason why God will allow me to obtain two jobs in HR and I have zero experience in this field.

I also decided that I needed to make myself more marketable besides just having the experience in HR, especially when a lot of job requires you to not only have 3-5 years of experience in HR, but they also require a Bachelor’s degree in a related field.  I decided to attend my alma mater, online, and obtain my Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership and take courses in HR.  After living in a LA for year and moving back to TN, I still am in Talent Acquisition/HR.  I currently work as a Campus Recruiting Specialist. I’ll be honest, I have my jobs where I’ll see a job posting for a Visual Presentation Manager or something fashion related, I think heavily about applying to it.  Heck, there are some days where I think about owning my own business because I don’t want to work for anyone, but here we are, still working in Corporate America.

Going to work full-time, working a part-time job AND going to graduate school full-time is AN EXTREME SPORT, let me tell you. If I weren’t working my part-time job, I’d have days where I wanted to do nothing but go to sleep when I got home.  I’d open up my laptop, open up a book, bring out the highlighters and pens and would either go to sleep or surf the net doing everything BUT that homework. However, I knew I had to get it done.  I knew I wanted to achieve a 4.0 every semester in graduate school because I’d only gotten a 4.0 one semester my entire time in undergrad. I started working out in the mornings before work and on the days that I didn’t have to work my full-time job, I’d make myself go to Starbucks or Panera Bread so that I knew I would get my homework done.

Of course, going to grad school by itself is a beast, but then add a job, two jobs at that into the mix and BOOM, you’re tired like shit all the time. But you have to think about the outcome and why you’re doing this. Me personally, I’m trying to make sure that I am set up financially.  Living paycheck to paycheck is an awful thing and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. I want to grow my knowledge in the Talent Acquisition and HR field beyond what a company can teach me.  I want to know what it’s like to be a leader in the world, so I make sacrifices so that I can do all these things.

I’ll be graduating in May 2019 and this is just something I can add to my testimony.

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