But for Ohio State … 20 Years in the Making

But for Ohio State.

Those four words have led a campaign for students, alumni, employees and others to share their stories of how our great university has transformed their lives. Mine is but one more story.

My journey began in September 1992 when I moved into Haverfield House, Room 2104, on Woodruff Avenue with one of my best friends from high school and two other strangers. I’d like to say that a life-changing campus visit or lots of time-intensive thought and research led me to campus. Truth be told, there were two real reasons I came to Ohio State. 1. It’s where my brother attended and 2. I imagined that the university would offer any major I could possibly want to pursue. On that point, I was completely right.

Soon I was in love. I found a world filled with ideas, cultures, learning, music and people I had never experienced as a girl attending a somewhat rural school district. It was liberating in a way I never knew existed.

Of course I was also in love with my now-husband, Bill–who was once roommates with my brother–and fellow Ohio State student. At the end of my sophomore year, Bill and I were married and people asked me if I would continue to attend school. It seemed like such a crazy question. Of course I would!

In 1996, I graduated with a major in journalism, minor in English. But for Ohio State and my classes with the Lantern, I would not have had published articles to get my first internships, which led to my first job working for a magazine. I loved working as a writer and an editor. In that career I saw and experienced opportunities that would have otherwise been unknown to me. I have stood with bison, talked to people in-the-know, flown in a four-passenger plane on the way to a story, walked until blisters formed, and fired hand guns–all for one story or another. But for Ohio State, I would have never known the beautiful world of exploration and discovery writers experience every time they start a new assignment.

Two years after my graduation, Bill graduated for a second time with a bachelor’s degree in computer science to pair with his bachelor’s degree in nutrition. We often say that his return to Ohio State to pursue that degree was one of the best decisions we have ever made. We didn’t know just how important that decision would be until several years later.

Along the way, we joined the Alumni Association, and I contributed to the OSUAA magazine as a freelance writer while raising our family. In 2003, our daughter, Amelia, was born at the Medical Center, and I could not have asked for a better experience.

By autumn 2008, career turns led Bill back to Ohio State where he joined the Biomedical Informatics Research and Development team developing cancer research software. For the first time, the knowledge he learned pursuing both degrees at Ohio State combined perfectly. Today he is a director for Biomedical Informatics, a position that is both meaningful, challenging and everything he could have hoped for at this stage in his career.

With Bill working for Ohio State, I finally had the opportunity to pursue a master’s degree, thanks to the generous tuition benefit for spouses. In 2009 I started the MLHR program at Fisher and, as they say, I never looked back. Once again, I was in love. The wave of loving learning returned, paired with a wonderful group of classmates.

On June 10, nearly 20 years after my journey with Ohio State began, I will officially earn my master’s degree. Together, Bill and I will have four degrees to frame.

But the story does not end there. But for Ohio State … I would not have my first full-time job in my new career. In April I started a position as an HR Associate with the College of Medicine.

To say that our lives would be immeasurably different, but for Ohio State, would be an understatement. It is the university that once served us and for which we now serve today. But for Ohio State, we would not know the life we live today, and for that I will always be grateful. Thank you, OSU!

 

 



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