According to the Nebula Award categories, a novel must be over 40,000 words. In the past year I have written assignments for 22 classes totaling just under 65,000 words. A novel and a half.
Today I turned in the last 3,000 words in an essay all about the power of storytelling in business and how I learned to apply it over my summer internship. With that submission I am now finished with all assignments for my MBA and have just under 2 weeks until I have my first of two graduation ceremonies. Two you ask? Surely one is enough!?!
Nope, its Oxford and they are weird. I graduate with the MBA in September 2016 as a recognition for finishing the course and ending the 12 months of academics I’ve endured. We will have a commencement speaker, parents are flying into town, the whole works.
I also graduate as an Oxford University masters student with my college in March 2017 because the college waits until all 65,000 words have been fully graded by not one but two assessors and then have the results certified after an exam board meets to ensure no foul play has been afoot or to apply a curve if they feel the need to.
What this means in reality though is that I am done. My year in Oxford is essentially over and now all I have to focus on is securing a job, a home, a visa, a country, a life after school. This means applying to yet more and more jobs, prepping for interviews, having interviews if I’m so lucky and then waiting by the phone. Waiting, waiting, waiting.
I don’t know which is worse, the waiting or the writing? Either way it will all be over soon. I just finished the travels and moving my stuff back up to Oxford from London where it will stay for ~4 weeks. Not long before that I’ll have to make a call and find a home for my stuff while I figure out what’s next.
That being said, I am not worried. I have a degree from Oxford, a network I’ve spent a year building up in addition to the one I left back in the states. I have my past experience and new tools and skills to succeed. I could panic and freak out but if I’ve learned one thing over the year of writing 65,000 words its that panicking doesn’t solve the writing. It won’t solve the waiting either. Only getting to work will do that and that’s one thing I know how to do.