Posted by: Clare | March 23, 2011

Wearing a black graduation robe in August, in Texas: Just as hot as it sounds.

In 2007, I decided to go to graduate school. I enrolled in the MBA program at St. Edward’s University. After three years of working full-time, going to class at night, and working on homework in every other spare moment, in August 2010 I finally graduated!

The couple of months before graduation were pretty much hell – in fact it was actually a good thing as far as school was concerned that my last day of work was June 18th. From 8am until 11pm or later every day, one of my classmates and I would work on our final project (a consulting project for a client in Costa Rica). It was one of those “the rest of the group sort of ditched all the work on us” situations, but I wouldn’t change that for the world as it means that when I look at our final report I feel a true sense of ownership. I contributed to all of the research, wrote every word, edited, formatted and even personally printed and bound that report. Blood, sweat and tears, etc.

The graduation was the week after our final project presentation. This meant I did not have time to clear up my “MBA stress skin”, and it was a small affair in the gym because it was the August ceremony rather than the May one, but I didn’t care. I was so thrilled to finally be done!

I think my invisible friend was also happy to graduate.

My mom flew in from England to spend some time with me in Austin and come to the ceremony. We recreated a picture that we took at her Master’s graduation in Cambridge, England when I was eight.

That picture makes me happy.

Of course as with any major event, my graduation was pretty anticlimactic. The next day I did not wake up feeling different, or smarter. I still didn’t have a job. But wearing that cap and gown, while extremely hot and not particularly flattering, sure felt sweet on the day.

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