You still with me? Good. Let’s get right to it then.
Take a good look into the pensieve and see what I did in 2017.
The year started off with some pretty awesome news. I got accepted into my top choice internship—and in my dream company/organization—and would be back in Japan for the summer. This gave me something to look forward to and challenge myself with. I focused on getting through my first year of grad school and saving money.
I went on another short academic trip/vacation in March to Seattle, Washington with the same best friend as last time. Even though the trip was short, we managed to make the most of it and get some much-needed venting done. We also got to see the Game of Thrones symposium live during its first run. Who says you can’t mix business and pleasure into one?
My first year in grad school ended with a bump in the road but I survived it—barely. I was eagerly looking forward to my internship in Tokyo, which started in May—only a few weeks after the semester ended. I spent a week in California before flying out to Japan in late May and had the time of my life in a work environment that was amazing.
I worked full-time alongside my grad program at a Fortune 500 but the work environment was toxic and I was miserable nearly every moment there. My standards were still set at what I had in Japan and the work environment was nowhere close to living up to those standards. It was a huge relief for me when I started my internship to find out that my expectations were not unreasonable by any means—just that my company and management in PA were lacking. I interned with a major governmental organization with connection to the U.S. and Japan, alongside working with other countries from time to time.
The internship allowed me to realize that I truly did miss Japan—it wasn’t just a passing phase—and that the career I have been working towards was what I truly did want to end up in. I thrived in the work environment there and it was extremely difficult for me to say goodbye to it when my internship ended in August. It left me with a yearning to one day work with them again and make it my career.
When I returned to the U.S., it was time to begin my final year of grad school. My final year was not bad—it was stressful, but not bad. I had a favorite professor/advisor and he made the entire experience good, even during those days that I was drowning in my research and studies. The hardest part about returning to the U.S. at this point was returning to my job, which continued to be a hostile work environment until I transferred out in 2018. In fact, the work environment only got worse upon my return and it was a struggle for me to continue with them at times.
The latter half of 2017 ended pretty uneventful. I focused on job hunting, internship hunting, research, and looking into PhD programs, which all carried over into 2018.
Check out how 2018 went for me here.