Thursday, October 1, 2015

So I'm Going to Get an MBA (feat. highlights from my admissions essay)

I wish the title of this blog could have said "feat. 50 Cent" or "feat. Christina Aguilera" like some important musical artist was sponsoring my educational endeavors and also dropping a beat somewhere in this post.

I have no idea why I picked those two artists but I'm not taking it back and you'll never make me. Also if any important musical artist does want to sponsor my education, I'll be here with open arms. Let's move on to the real substance of this post....


Found out approximately 8 hrs ago that I am officially accepted into the program at Santa Clara University. No, I'm not quitting my job. Night school. I love my job. I will love working full time and going to school at the same time. Sanity status pending evaluation.

**And also, please note (PLEASE NOTE) that Santa Clara University is where my one true basketball love, Steve Nash, played college ball. The reason is fate. We're in this together now, he and I. (Nevermind that one time when he broke up with me. He regrets it, we chatted, there were some tears, he went down on the Lakers' dime, I'm fine he's fine we're all fine.)**

Anyway, I'll start school next spring and I couldn't be more stoked! I was going to write my thoughts on the why/how/what/who/quienes/quieres of the decision, but then I realized I already had -- in the ol' admissions essay that I submitted with my application! So, you get excerpts from that below instead.

Thanks to everyone who knew about the application shenanigans and encouraged me along the way. And specific thanks to Camille and Justin for writing my letters of recommendation. You're both champions and your blogs are real nice too.

First, this photo of me in my official college kid swag.

How, you ask, did I come to own this swag when I only received official admission 8 hrs ago? The answer might be that I bought it right when I applied, as a sign of confidence to the universe. Universe, thanks for playing along :) (Especially since now I don't have to awkwardly donate it to Goodwill or burn it in spiteful frustration.)

And now, them words.
The night before I moved to California, an email from my new employer appeared in my inbox. Due to funding, the company was eliminating my position. I had 12 hours left before leaving for Palo Alto, and I no longer had a job waiting for me. 
The next morning, I got in my car and I drove to California anyway.
The next few months were a whirlwind. My survival methods ranged from working part-time at a shopping mall to taste-testing popcorn for $80 in response to a craigslist ad. With college graduation several years behind me, working jobs similar to the ones I’d worked in high school was humbling. But, it infused an empathy in me that I don’t take lightly. In fact, I am now shaping my entire career around it. 
Prior to California, my career interests centered on writing. As I look back from where I’m at now in the recruiting field, I can see clearly that although I was funneling my time and energy into a creative career, there was always a strong people-focused aspect to everything I did. From building relationships with coworkers to taking new interns under my wing to instituting company culture perks (e.g. office olympics), it was always, in some way, about the people for me. 
When I was working full-time as a content writer, my team completed the Strengthsfinder 2.0 quiz. My results were telling of the career change that eventually lay ahead of me, as many of my top five strengths (empathy, developer, includer, adaptability and positivity) focused on my passion for people. 
These days, when people ask what I want to do down the line, my answer is simple: I want to help people be happy at work. I want people to love their jobs. 
(blah blah blah, thoughts about how the program and what concentration specifically play into my career goals, organizations I created and volunteered with in the past, I'm a special unicorn and I'm too self conscious to let the world read this part, etc.) 
I have considered graduate school for years, but could never quite put my finger on an end goal to justify the investment. After changing job fields and moving into recruiting, I finally realized what had been written on the wall for years -- my career needs to be about people. And after meeting people who work in [the types of roles that interest me], it finally all clicked for me. I am the type of person who often immediately knows what I want when I see it, and will then doggedly pursue it until I achieve whatever I’ve set my sights on. The convergence of my newfound career goal and my long-time desire to attend grad school finally put all the pieces in place for me. I am going to earn an MBA, and then I am going to immerse myself in a people-centered career where I can fuel change and make a positive impact on work culture and employee satisfaction. I want Santa Clara University to be the next stepping stone on my way to getting there.
....the end!

Thanks for reading along. And thanks in advance for joining me in the inevitable rambles over the next couple years as this whole crazy show goes down. Mazel tov to one and all!

Katie Elizabeth Hawkes, MBA. Let's do this.

1 comment:

Budget Splurge Beauty said...

congrats girl! Masters are no joke (on top of work!!), I wish you the best of luck! You seem like you're gonna kick butt though!