In which I ditch my degree and move across the country.

I graduated.

post 200 image 1

It’s a weird feeling. I’m done college. I’m supposed to go find work. Get my own apartment. Start a 401k. Be a grown-up and all that. That’s the general plan for college graduates, right?

post 200 image 9

So, last February, I started looking for employment. I attended job fairs, sought advice from my career office, and sent my resume out to dozens of employers. You know the drill.

post 200 image 10

All so I could start my exciting future as a full-fledged adult.

post 200 image 11

With a bachelor’s degree in biology, I was likely to get some sort of lab technician job. You know, pipetting, running gels, growing cell cultures, doing someone else’s experiment for them. I more or less know the drill. I’ve done two co-ops in the pharma industry, and one internship in an academic research lab. Let me just say, I run a mean lab bench.

post 200 image 12

So, yeah. Graduating college, getting some lab work. All very exciting stuff.

post 200 image 13

It was amidst all my frantic job-hunting that I received this e-mail from Northeastern.

post 200 image 14

Seriously, though, what was this? I’ve never taken a class in computer science before.

post 200 image 15

The rest of the e-mail went on to describe why computer science was awesome, and why I should accept this spontaneous admission to some random master’s program. I know nothing about coding, but: it’s okay! This particular master’s program is designed for students with no prior programming experience. What’s more, the e-mail was signed by Northeastern’s dean of the College of Computer and Information Science. Northeastern does have a small campus in Seattle, it’s true. Was this legit?

post 200 image 16

I guess we were about to find out.

What compelled me to even go to this informational lunch? I’m not sure. Perhaps it was my overwhelming enthusiasm for my future lab job. Or, my love for the study of biology.

post 200 image 37

So my friend and I went to the informational lunch. We’re both in the sciences, though, and any good scientist has a healthy amount of skepticism.

post 200 image 18

The dean had brought her second-in-command and two current grad students with her. They buttered me, and the handful of students who came, up with food and drink and handshakes and flattery.

post 200 image 19

They then proceeded to give us the most enthusiastic pitch I’ve ever seen.

post 200 image 20

Unfortunately for them, I wasn’t the only one who came in skeptical. One girl raised her hand and asked,

post 200 image 21

I added my thoughts.

post 200 image 22

And finally, another girl asked it straight:

post 200 image 23

The dean seemed shocked that we thought it was a scam. For her, setting up this program had taken years. But, to us… let’s be real. Out of nowhere, you’re offered admission– and a scholarship– to a master’s program you hadn’t even heard of?

I wanted to cut the crap and hear the real deal. Civilly, of course.

post 200 image 24

She went on to explain. Northeastern’s Seattle campus was built only a few years ago. It offers a number of graduate programs, including the master’s of computer science. Northeastern is hoping to grow the Seattle campus to have a couple hundred students, but they’re having trouble.

post 200 image 25

The truth comes out: their program needs home-grown females. So, they’re offering us admission and a scholarship. That way, we could go and do the first semester for free. Try it out. If we don’t like it, we can always drop out and go home.

post 200 image 26

My friend turned to me.

post 200 image 27

post 200 image 2

post 200 image 28

If you haven’t seen the Sassy Gay Friend videos, you are missing out.

So, the dean and her crew seemed desperate determined to bring in some local, female students. Not everyone was as keen as they were, though. Take my friend, for instance.

post 200 image 29

And this girl.

post 200 image 30

They had contacted us too late. It was already April, graduation was approaching, and future plans were already finalized. Except for my own.

post 200 image 31

I once again turned to the Sassy Gay Friend.

post 200 image 3

post 200 image 32

Uh-oh.

post 200 image 6

post 200 image 33

I think you can guess what I chose.

post 200 image 34

post 200 image 4

post 200 image 35

And that’s why, right now, you can find me in Seattle, Washington, starting anew with only my suitcases and my nerves.

post 200 image 36

I guess Sassy Gay Friend said it best.

post 200 image 7

post 200 image 8

Let’s see how long I last.

Advertisements