Many students come to UT knowing which major they wish to enroll in and which career field they hope to enter upon graduation. A lot of these students change their minds, some multiple times. At the same time, there are students who have no idea what they want until graduation is staring them in the face. Each path is a product of choices and preferences and no one way is a best fit for all.
I entered UT knowing full well that I wished to be a MPA student. My mind was set because of an experience I had in seventh grade and I even took two years of accounting in high school to confirm that I knew what I wanted. I chose my school, my major, my career field and a lifestyle so long ago that I sometimes wonder…why was I so sure?
After a decade of striving after a childhood dream I look back and wonder; Did I do the right thing? Is this really what I want? Spring 2010 will be my final semester here at Texas and with only two classes standing between me and graduation…I search within myself for reassurance; reassurance that I have made the right choices and I will not leave with any regrets.
Five years of homework, group projects, pop quizzes, midterms, and late night three-hour finals…it has all become such a blur. The only way I can justify years of hard work is by stepping back and looking at the big picture. Sure, if I think of each day as just another day to learn GAAP, Porter’s Five Forces, Supply-Chain optimization formulas, and put-call strategies, only to be later regurgitated on an exam that can never fully test what I have learned…then yeah, I may walk out of here thinking that I wasted five years of my life and “$150,000 on a tuition that I could have got for $1.50 in late charges from the public library.” This is a very bleak outlook on life and I refuse to be this way. I refuse to think that I went a thousand miles from everything I ever knew just for a piece of paper with a fancy seal on it.
Looking at the big picture, I see that each remarkable professor that I have had the pleasure of learning from has shaped me in a way that a book never could. I see that every group project and student organization I have been a part of has helped to develop team-building and leadership skills that are a necessity for successf in my career. I see that this school’s reputation gives me an advantage over all others across this country. I see that each day at this school was a puzzle piece to the most complex case study I have had to tackle yet, with the final corner piece to be placed on May 20, 2010.
The big picture is what has motivated me each day since I came to Austin. Knowing that the MPA program is the best stepping stone towards my future goals, I am able to stay focused and driven to perform in class. Quoting Professor Lil Mills, a Tax Guru here at UT…”To all of you who are questioning your time here, I encourage you to step back and look at the forest, don’t get tangled up in the trees!”