Last Friday I attended my MSW orientation session at University of Cincinnati. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, and I was a little nervous to step back into academia after a year off in the "real world." But after an hour of flipping through my program binder and listening to more details about the degree, I'm feeling much more excited about heading back to school this fall.
One important detail I learned last week is that starting in my second quarter, I'll have 16 hours of field experience at a local non-profit or government agency each week. This experience is unpaid, and an additional requirement on top of my regular class schedule. And it'll be this way until I graduate in June of 2012.
With 16 hours of field experience and 16 hours of classes this fall, it doesn't leave me with much time for work, especially not at a full-time position. I considered dropping to part time at UC so that I could work more, but eventually the field experience requirement would catch up to me and create scheduling conflicts anyway. Taylor and I decided the best thing at this point is to go full time and get done as quickly as possible so that I am free to take a position I want without the stress of graduate school hanging over my head.
As good as it is to know this now, it's still a little disappointing. Today I was offered a full time position with Interfaith Hospitality Network as their Childcare Coordinator and I had to turn it down because of school. They plan to keep me in mind for a part-time position that may open up soon, but as of now I'm still unemployed. In a few weeks I may be starting as a paid on-call advocate with YWCA's House of Peace in Greater Cincinnati, but those hours won't be set in stone. And of course I still have my 10-hour/week work study position starting in late September when school starts.
So I'm still looking for a part time job but if I don't find one I'm not stressing. Between graduate school, field experience, work study, and an on-call position, I'll be plenty busy this school year. I'm lucky to have such a supportive partner, both emotionally and financially, to be in such a good position!