Monday, November 8, 2010

The MBA Project: I get by with a little help...

...from my friends.  And my family. And my work colleagues!

I kept this whole MBA project close to the vest for a long time, divulging in just a few people at a time over several months. That's how I go about announcing big, life-changing decisions. I'm glad that I am finally at the point where I feel comfortable talking about it with everyone, because a golden opportunity fell into my lap this morning thanks to a conversation I had over the weekend.

One of my co-workers held a housewarming party on Saturday, and one of the other people from work who stopped by is an acquaintance of mine from another department. Let's call her Jane. (I don't think she would mind if I used her real name, but since she doesn't know I have a blog or that she's subject to be in it, I'd rather just use a pseudonym for courtesy.) At some point several of us were sitting out on the back patio chatting when I heard Jane tell another engineer who works at our company, "...yeah, and I'm taking the GMAT soon. I'm looking to go back to school." Naturally my ears perked up. (Barooo?) I put down the chips and salsa, sprang out of my chair, and went over to her side.

"ME TOO!", I cried like an overexcited 5 year old. Maybe that was a little exaggerrated--but I was enthusiastic about joining this conversation. As we got to talking and comparing notes, she told me that she's been taking a prep course. I am all for that sort of thing, but I am trying to go about this process as frugally as I can get away with. So, for now, I've just been studying with used books that I ordered online. Jane offered to lend me some of her study material when she's done since she is going to test very, very soon. (As in next week.) Who am I to turn that down? She followed through this morning by showing me her prep materials and saying that I am welcome to use them, especially after next Wednesday because that's when she sits for the exam.

Hot DOG! Do you see what opening up and having a little conversation can do? And now I gotta get her a fruit basket or something because this is above and beyond just the normal friendliness and helpfullness that I've come to expect from Jane. I'll put something on my calendar to give her an inter-departmental thank-you certificate, which is usually good for a nice gift card. :)

I'm so grateful for all of the help, advice, and words of encouragement that I've received from everyone thus far. I'm really lucky to have the support network that I do because there's no way I can do it all alone.