Goodbye CA, Hello OH!

“You left California… for Ohio?!” is the number one question I’ve been asked since arriving in Ohio three short weeks ago. It’s true, California is an amazing place- wonderful weather, beautiful scenery, and of course my incredible family and friends. But Ohio offered me something I couldn’t find in California.

Leaving CA; Entering OH

I graduated from UCLA in June 2011 with a BA in International Development Studies and little intention of going to graduate school (at least not right away). Unfortunately the “real world” had other plans. I soon realized that a graduate degree and a bit more time to get some relevant career experience could make me a much more desirable employee. I began my search for a graduate program with Ohio State because it is the only university outside of CA to which I had any connection- a good friend attended OSU for undergrad and I visited during Fall 2010. Still, I didn’t want to put all my eggs in one basket so  I applied to three other universities as well.

When decisions rolled in I learned I had been accepted to all four of the universities to which I had applied! But, that meant I had a TOUGH decision ahead of me. I decided to take a trip to three of the four schools to determine which might be the best fit. I met wonderful people and saw exceptional programs in Texas, Indiana, and Ohio. But, as I mentioned, Fisher was where I began my search for a graduate degree program and Ohio State already held a special place in my heart.

My best friend and I after OSU vs Michigan 2010.

The personal connection I already felt intensified during my visit to Fisher. Each person I came in to contact with was so warm and welcoming. It was clear that Fisher is a supportive and collaborative environment- something I intended to find in a graduate program. Throughout the visit Fisher staff, students, and faculty shared their passion for the program and the university with me. They showed me that despite the massive size of Ohio State, at Fisher you are not a number. Fisher cares about each individual and provides them with the education and resources to succeed in their chosen field.

As I prepared to move 2300 miles away from my home and family, I looked forward to finding a new family and home away from home at Fisher. And I am already well on my way. There is no doubt in my mind that leaving CA was a great decision! And hey, I can always go back in two years.