As I've said to another friend in the profession, there is nothing that excites me more than helping someone else along their educational path. Some people get their excitement from performing in front of an audience, others get it from winning at poker or sports.
My thrill is guiding others.
Today, a friend in the computer spoke of her fear of not being good enough holding her back from seeking further schooling. After chatting back and forth, she later told me that she sent an email to the director of the program she is interested in. While the fear of how the heck to pay for it all is now forefront in the brain, I told her to take one step at a time.
That felt pretty good.
Then, about a half hour later, an IM from the first friend I made when I returned to college. She double majored, so rather than finishing her undergrad a semester after I did, she just graduated this past May with a pair of bachelor's degrees.
She is taking the GRE this week. My two closest friends from Poly are brilliant women-who choke on standardized tests. If this were an oral exam or an essay, she would have no issue convincing an examiner that she is well qualified for the rigors of graduate school. But, this afternoon, she was freaking out and asking for help.
We spent a few hours this evening, not cramming the material, but talking. Giving test tips, telling her about my experience with the test, what happens afterwards and that honestly, it doesn't hold as much weight as a high GPA will when it comes to choosing candidates for an incoming class. She graduated with a 3.79 GPA, clearly she is a dedicated student.
Once we talked about that, the conversation turned to the program she was contemplating and whether it was the right fit. This is where I felt helped the most-I was able to show her that there were ample jobs in that field locally and what education employers are looking for job candidates.
The best part is that she'd been wavering between two programs, and the one she wants doesn't require the GRE. She will still take it, but the pressure is off her now. It will be a nice thing to share on her application, but not required. With that fully realized, she probably will kick my butt on that GRE.
I hope she does, for it means I really did help her to find her focus and direction.