Ten Steps that Got Me to Now (or Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes, Part One)

Since major elements of my life have changed from last I blogged, I feel the need to mention things about my current school, career, and life trajectory.

1. In spring 2012, I took a class that gave my life a 180– Leadership and Ethics. Devoid of any buzzwords and business jargon like the typical Leadership minor fare, this was my first class with Dr. K. He is a public administration professor. I loved this class. We did policy analysis and I didn’t even know it. Brilliant.

2. I then took a public administration  statistics course in fall of 2012 as an elective with Dr. K. I felt like it offered me real world applicability that my English program’s experience lacked (after deciding being an English professor and/or textbook editor was not for me.) I was solving problems with math, language, and logic! Can’t beat that.

Side note, I am almost certain if Technical Writing had been offered as a major at the time, I would have instantly switched. But alas…

4. In spring of 2013, the home stretch of my English degree, I got a part time job at the Journal Record Legislative Report. This allowed me to quit my job at Target (sorry that you didn’t get many stories of my days at the deli). At this job, I reported on goings on at the State capitol. My beat was covering bill filing and committee meetings, like the rest of the army of warm bodies interns they hired.

5. At one of the meetings, I covered a committee meeting for an entity going through sunset legislation review. Sunset is a mechanism built into many bills–basically it’s a built in expiration date unless the two chambers and the governor approve it for another length of time. This was a policy think tank for early childhood education advocacy.

6. Despite “graduating” in May 2013, I had two more courses to take in the summer. I quit JRLR and got a job at SSO, the policy think tank. I also got it counted for internship credit.

7. At the end of the internship, I applied for an open part time position at SSO as the Communications Coordinator. One of my work colleagues, to whom I will be forever grateful, introduced me to the department chairs at OU’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) program since policy and politics started stoking my fire.

8. What gave me the final push on applying to this MPA program was attending the Summer Policy Institute (SPI) at OK Policy. These tireless group of people are probably one of the few reason this state has not moved backward (at least more quickly than it has under Fallin’s leadership, but I digress). I met so many wonderful MPA students and reconnected with a high school friend.

9. I procrastinated so hard on my application, but I got it in in November 2013 to start in January 2014. I took one class only because the commute and the 100 percent out-of-pocket expense. My first class was Bureaucracy and Politics. Despite it being a three hour class in the evening with a long-ass commute back home, I loved it. I took a summer online course about grants where we wrote a grant application for a real non l-profit. I almost have a full year of grad school under my belt as of this coming spring.

10. My Bureaucracy and Politics professor messaged me out of the blue about a new job opportunity as a grad assistant (with tuition waiver!!!) with a women’s leadership program. I had taken a program with them before after I heard about it from my SPI cohort. I applied for the job and got it! Now I work for the Women’s Leadership Initiative.

You know the crazy thing? If any of those steps were changed, I would not be doing anything close to what I’m doing now. I have no idea what I would be doing, at all. 

Thank you Dr. K, Kristen, Debra, Megan, and Dr. F for helping me set my path. I’m truly blessed for having met you.

Next entry, we are going to get to the fun stuff. The fun, pop culture, video gaming, podcasting, and weight lifting stuff. Stick around!

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