Moving to the US as a Family

I have only been at The Ohio State University for about four months, but it does seem like it has been so much more. My experience here has been really intense, so many positive experiences in so many different aspects - it is already easy to call Columbus home!

One of the first things I read about grad school is that it’s not a sprint, it is a marathon and I really agree with that. My process was long, it took almost a year, but it was worth it. In the beginning the challenges were many: finding the right program, TOEFL, GRE, scholarships, leaving my job, applying for visas, doing all of this in double since my husband was going through the exact same process!

I think there were three major steps for us as a couple: Brainstorming – what did we want? What were immediate and long term goals? Researching: what programs fit our interests? Was it possible to find programs in the same university, or at least close to each other? Preparing: Getting our scores as early as possible so we had time to be competitive and have time to prepare resumes and essays.

After having our goals clear, we spent some months researching and then decided to visit some universities during our vacations. We were leaving full time jobs behind to find something that fit our goals, so we really wanted to make the right choice. My visit to Fisher made me certain this was the right choice for me.

The reason I was looking for a Master’s degree at this point in my career was that I wanted a program that would really give me deep foundations of HR. I already had an MBA, but since it wasn’t completely focused in HR, I wanted a program that would be highly specialized and help me to grow as an HR professional. Visiting Campus, talking to the recruiter, to current students, spending time clarifying all my doubts about the curriculum and the logistics, were really helpful in my decision. At the same time, my husband was visiting campus and other universities, and we decided we would focus on being in Ohio and we went back home with that decision in mind.

We studied for the exams together, and we decided to focus on one at a time. We studied for the TOEFL for a few weeks and once we were done we focused on the GRE. This was what worked best for me, it made it less confusing than focusing on two at once. I gave myself a few weeks as well to prepare my essays and my resume.

Since we applied early, our results came early as well! We were both accepted with scholarships! Knowing that with 6 months in advance helped us to have enough time to apply for our visas, raise money for extra costs, prepare our cats (leaving the country with 2 cats was also a challenge!) and still take some weeks off before we came here.

I am really enjoying the program, the professors and classes, and have been able to be very engaged with it. I have been involved with the Fisher Graduate Latino Associations, and have now been accepted as a Member of the Fisher Board Fellows. I have also been awarded with a Minority Award offered by ExxonMobil, have won second place in our internal case competition and have just been offered last week an internship at Microsoft! I am also a Graduate Assistant at the Graduate Programs Office in which I support the recruiting and admissions of MBA candidates. There are so many resources on campus that are helping me have a successful experience: my colleagues at the GPO, my classmates, professors, advisors and the Office of Career Management. It was a long process until I got here but I really think it was worth the effort.

Here are some pictures of the many experiences I have lived here:


Holding the ExxonMobil Minority Award at the Courtyard of the Fisher College of Business

My husband and I saying goodbye to our family at the airport

During the final round interviews at Microsoft

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1 Comments

December 9, 2019 at 6:53 am
Cristiano Guarana

Hi Karina, I am also a Brazilian who left Brazil to work on my masters in HR at OSU. Currently, I live in Bloomington/IN and am a professor at IU. Feel free to reach out. Cristiano Guarana!