OMG! The first day of my graduate assistantship came and went and now I’ve even completed my first week!
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My first day as a graduate assistant was full of emotions and a huge disbelief that I’d finally made it. The journey to graduate school hasn’t been tough but it definitely took longer than I expected.
I applied to graduate school in 2023, even though I’ve been thinking about it since 2019! It’s taken me a while to get here but better late than never, right?!
An Unexpected Email
When I first applied for graduate school, one of the optional elements was submitting a resume.
Since I’ve had years of experience in the library world, I had a pretty flushed out resume ready to go as part of my graduate school application. I never thought it would go very far but, APPARENTLY, it made it’s way past the admission committee and into someone else’s inbox!
Just a few weeks after I submitted my decision to attend graduate school at the University of Maryland (UMD), I received an email from the Teaching and Learning Services department at UMD providing a link to setup an INTERVIEW for one of their graduate assistantship positions!
I guess my resume stood out just enough to be considered for one of the graduate assistantship positions!
I took the interview opportunity!
When Kyle and I first (seriously) discussed my graduate school options, one of the things we had talked about was how I would balance a job and graduate school (or if I even needed to).
You see, I always expected to work while attending grad school, whether that was with a full-time job, a part-time job, or even a work study job. Since Kyle also works full-time, I wasn’t under pressure to HAVE a full-time job but expected to work in some way. I even considered not working the first semester and then applying for jobs during the spring semester.
When I saw the graduate assistantship interview email come through, I was actually on the UMD jobs page, looking through the graduate assistantship positions that were open. I was deciding which ones were most relevant to me and would be a good investment of my time.
In the end, I never ended up applying to those positions because of the one that simply landed on my lap!
Virtual Interview Essentials
Must-Have: Camera & Headset Bundle
These are the exact ones I own and they’ve been amazing for the past two years! I love the camera because it provides an HD option for Zoom. While the camera does have a microphone, I prefer to use the headset for better audio (and not annoy coworkers).
After reading through the interview email, I signed up for an interview slot and prepped as usual. I was ecstatic about the fact that I hadn’t officially submitted a resume through an application portal but had still received an email with an interview offer. It’s the first time something like that had happened to me and I was excited!
The interview process was pretty quick: I received the email with the interview offer on Monday, interviewed on Wednesday, and then received a job offer the week after on Friday. In total, the process took just two weeks!
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Starting my Graduate Assistantship
I dove into my graduate assistantship pretty quickly! I decided to take a pretty early start date to make sure I would be comfortable in the position and processes before classes started. I still took off about three weeks between jobs to make sure I had plenty of time to relax and get things organized before I dove into a new phase of life.
My graduate assistantship is pretty flexible, providing both in-office and remote hours. I’ve spent most of my days going into the office to try to get a lay of the land (actually, more like the lay of the campus) and to try to meet as many of my coworkers as possible.
However, many of my coworkers are actually taking advantage of it being summer and are maximizing their WFH opportunity (which I love) but it does mean I haven’t seen as many people at the office as I expected! My last job was very heavy on the in-person work so this is a BIG change for me (but I love it).
The Work Tote from Beis
For Christmas one year, Kyle got me the Work Tote in Cognac Croc from Béis and I have been LOVING it!
My original plan was to use it for travel (because of the trolley pass) but then I realized my usual backpack came in more handy. Now I’m using my work tote to go to, well, work, including my graduate assistantship!
I also used it during a major conference and it came in so handy with it’s keychain, multiple pockets, and it’s even the perfect size for a smaller laptop (or even an iPad)!
While I can’t believe I finally made it to this part of my life, I’m excited to dive deep into all the opportunities that going back to school provides. I’m looking forward to expanding my career network, learning new topics, and continuing to prioritize work-life balance!
After several years of contemplating the many options available, I can’t wait to share all the fun adventures I’ll get to explore during grad school!
Classes start in just a few weeks, ahhh!
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Starting my Graduate Assistantship, finally!