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The Plan [BACKDATED] June 25, 2014

Posted by blith3 in Ramblings.
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It’s been a trying few weeks since I was given the undesirable news (see previous post). Yes, I went home on that Friday and had a part meltdown, part ranting session with my parents. Yes, I was very hurt, disappointed and completely indignant at the half-baked reason verbally communicated to me for turning me down for a scholarship. But no, no matter how strongly I felt I had been mistreated, I did not come this far to screw things up and will flush out a proper plan of attack…with major emphasis on the word “attack”.

And so I had candid conversations with my parents, mad4manu, my supervisor and my Head of Department. All of them told me the same…that I owed it to myself to find alternative sources of funding instead of doing it on my own. And I went to speak with LHY, a person whom I have come to see as – for the lack of a better word – a mentor at the workplace. I say this because our relationship doesn’t fall within the normal realms of a mentor-mentee relationship…we don’t bond over shared interests or socialise outside of the workplace.

Truth be told, I had expected LHY to be sympathetic and offer to help pull some strings (which I would have gladly accepted). But as usual, she instead gave me more than I had expected. In the span of 45 minutes, she challenged me to REALLY, REALLY think about what I wanted out of going to B and how would this impact my life overall.

She told me that in retrospect, furthering her studies did not value add as much to her professional career as she had expected. There were other, more effective ways (like moving departments to increase visibility or getting myself nominated into the corporate talent pool) to get to the next level of my career. And because of this, zeroing my finances to further my studies as a means to climb higher up the ladder was strongly unadvisable.

She also shared that she had decided, out of consideration for where she was in her personal life, to stay with the organisation. Despite her misgivings about the organisation’s flaws, it was still – in her assessment – the least broken system out there. And after a great deal of looking around, she was able to get herself into a Department that allowed her to employ her strengths and skills whilst minimising her contact to the parts of the organisational ecosystem that she did not like.

And so…after a great deal of tweaking to my original plans…I present to you, THE PLAN:

ACTION PLANS:

  • Pursue a one-year deferment for entry to The School at B, supported by testimonial from the Head of Department
  • Obtain in writing, the official reason for the panel not to recommend me for a scholarship
  • Get Human Resources Department to reconsider the decision to decline awarding me a scholarship
  • If all else fails, look for alternative funding…including re-applying for scholarship next year (and yes, put myself through this stupid process all over again)

KPI: TO OBTAIN SCHOLARSHIP FOR THE SCHOOL @ B…be it either for the Class of 2016 or 2017

 
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How To Tell You [BACKDATED] June 20, 2014

Posted by blith3 in Ramblings.
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So, the moment I sank into my seat this morning, I made THE CALL to Human Resources Department. Heart hammering in my chest, these were the words I heard while on bated breath… “Hmmm…I don’t know how to tell you this…”

Words cannot adequately describe how it felt to hear that. It’s a peculiar position to be in, remaining calm on the phone and carrying on a conversation whilst my heart was slowly cracking into many a million pieces. It dawned onto me right then, at barely 9am, how much I REALLY, REALLY wanted to go to B despite my initial misgivings about spending an entire 2 years in another country, halfway across the world.

Thanks to the Internet and social media, I have slowly but surely come accustomed to the thought of being part of B. In the past few months, I have been receiving emails from the university from their administrative staff who have been immensely supportive and kind. I was also getting a feel of the activities at The School at B through its official Twitter account. And in recent days, I had even joined the Facebook page for the class I am enrolling in and really felt the spirit of going back to school.

I mean, of course, I felt intimidated at the thought of keeping up with every other student in the class who seemed to be younger and more dynamic than me. Of course I would have to overcome cultural gaps and familiarising myself with my surroundings. And of course it was daunting to reintegrate myself back into the world of academia. But armed with a host of digital information and exchange of emails, I realised that deep down, I was looking forward to a new beginning and the challenges it would bring.

Thank goodness both my supervisor and the Head of Department (my supervisor’s supervisor) were on leave in the second half of the day and that both of my staff was also away for the day.

Needless to say, I spent the rest of the day being miserable and nearly broke down several times. Once whilst relaying the news to my supervisor within the hour of finding out and several more times when I updated in my family in our chat group. Otherwise, I would have to be forced to function and that would have been felt like a much longer day than necessary.

But don’t you worry, I have worked too long, troubled too many people and come too far to take this lying down. THERE WILL BE A PLAN.

 

 

Wish Me Luck: Reprise [BACKDATED] June 13, 2014

Posted by blith3 in Ramblings.
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Today’s interview went well…I guess. I thought I was clear in delivering my points and had a frank discussion with the panellists. But I do admit, I probably could have been more persuasive when fielding some of the questions. At the end, the head of the panel said that it would be “a question of whether the Bank sees value in your course.” Knowing the personality of this guy from other colleagues, I took it to be as a good an answer as any.

Aside from this though, I found out today that another officer in my Department is leaving. Counting me, that brings the total number of officers exiting my Department this year, with the bulk of exodus between August to September, to four. Add one Manager who will be delivering in September and another Manager who is leaving at an as-yet-to-be-determined date, and you have a Department suddenly losing 1/5th of its staff strength…when only four months ago, it was just the prospect of being down by only two Managers.

The good news though is that already the Department has been doing all the right things in getting my replacement. I just hope that these other developments don’t compromise the plans for my replacement.

Wish Me Luck [BACKDATED] June 12, 2014

Posted by blith3 in Ramblings.
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Finally! After waiting for nearly a month, Human Resources Department finally got back to me about which day I am scheduled to sit for the interview with the panel. Even that, I was the one who had to follow up with them about what time it was exactly.  *SIGH*

Anyway, I am scheduled to be interviewed on…wait for it…Friday the 13th! Wonder if that’s an omen, eh?

Jokes aside though, to be honest, I have to admit that I am not as confident as I’d like to be. Whilst my confidence has largely been buoyed by the fact that I have gained entry into a decent university despite being 10 years out of academia, another part of me feels highly disadvantaged going into this interview that my “competitors” are younger than me and are well-connected. Although my closest confidants have scoffed at this, I honestly can’t help but feel that the decision will boil down to these factors.