Saturday, November 19, 2011


I am writing a blog after a long long time. A lot happened between the last post I wrote – more than a year ago, and this one. I graduated from school, got a second Master's degree, fell sick with my annual flu, had a big family vacation to British Columbia in Canada, my second beautiful niece was born and I moved to Washington DC. A and I always wanted to move back to the north east part of the country and I found a good job in the District. Having a full time job has happened after a long time - five and a half years, and after working for it. A senior and very well-respected person in the field of policies told me in an email about a month back that I have a great support group here in DC. It made me emotional and immediately made me reflect on the past few years. Having a professional support group has not come easily. The email is the reason for this blogpost.
I came to the United States in early 2006, with a background in journalism. I knew it would be difficult to break in to journalism, but was willing to work for it. I didn't know how much 'work' meant at that time. Since that time, I freelanced, interviewed at places for a full-time job, worked odd jobs and then got enrolled in school. Like me, there are other girls who come to the country, give up their passion to work to follow their heart and be with their significant other. The choices of finding work are limited. I would say that from the many friends I've had, M from Connecticut has been one of the luckiest, who took her GMAT and got admission in a college in NY. And then she found a job! So she didn't end up going to school, and began working. I was beyond happy for her when that happened to her. (I still remember the car conversation that the four of us had)
Some of us freelanced for a year or two, hoping to break in, and at the same time understood that it was not easy. The combination of not having a work permit along with print journalism trying to cut corners was not in our favor. We went to school, changed our fields and got our degrees. It is easy for me to fit this in a few paragraphs. But it was hardly easy. We did become adept at juggling school, work, home and social responsibilities. We went to school with the hope that an educational degree from here would help finding a job a bit easier.

As luck would have it, the timing was such that by the time we graduated, the country was already in a recession. Companies didn't want to spend the money on hiring a lawyer and filing the paperwork for a work permit. A lot of us were once again writing cover letters, tweaking resumes and looking for jobs. The difference was that we had a degree from this country. The question was - to what extent did this help?
A and I were extremely fortunate that we were able to get the green card (becoming permanent residents). This provided a huge impetus and a factor that helped me get the job I now have. Had I not had a green card, I would not have been eligible to even apply for this position. After spending endless hours talking on the phone with friends who were in a similar situation and asking if I should take this job, I finally did! My friend F and I have spent a lot of time on the phone since 2006 - first venting out our frustrations about freelancing, then deciding whether to go to school or not, and then talking about visas and green cards.
I understand the value of this opportunity because of what my friends and I have worked for. Having a handful of friends who have been in the same boat as I and having a family that supported me has helped on various levels. In the end, it is all about choices we make and our luck. Should you go back to school? Should you pay the enormous fees that an international student pays? What's next? What if I keep trying to find a job? There will be questions at every stage of life, decisions that will have to be made.

My two cents – step back, take a look at the bigger picture. Have faith in the Higher Power. This post is called Destiny as you swim along with the currents of life and adapt accordingly


  1. Truly inspirational!

  2. Dear Anonymous,
    Thanks for your comment and for finding it inspirational. I appreciate it.

  3. I am sure this is not for the first time that you are hearing this - but you write very well. Most people I believe can relate to it and very lucid and simple.

    anyways, I am impressed with your journey and I am sure you are and will continue to do great.

    Keep writing and yes, please let us know you write so well!

    Like the title destiny though its a big topic of discussion in itself...


    1. Hi Amar,
      Thanks a lot for your comment. I am glad to be able to continue writing in this new job. When I moved to public policies and health policies, I thought I was done with writing. I made a conscious effort throughout to keep writing. So am glad to be able to contribute with my writing. As for destiny - yes it is a big topic in itself. I hope you are doing well.