I can’t believe that I haven’t updated my blog in three whole months. But as my last post warned, I took the summer off to focus on the quest for my next big challenge.
The process included research, reflection, brainstorming, endless flip charts stuck up on the wall, and countless discussions with friends, family and mentors. It was messy, and at times uncomfortable. I’ve never taken that long to decide anything. By nature, I’m a quick decision-maker, comfortable with risk and prone to leaps of faith. But I don’t like not having a clear direction, feeling like I’m drifting from possibility to possibility. When I still hadn’t reached any firm conclusions in late August, I felt an almost overwhelming urge to choose something, anything, and just get on with it. But none of the possibilities that had emerged felt like it — my next big thing.
Then BAM! Everthing started falling into place, and within two weeks, it all came together. Not one, but two very big things, each perfectly meshing with the other. Both incredibly challenging and exciting.
I can only talk about one of them now, because the other isn’t quite ready for public launch, so here’s the Part 1 announcement:
As of next week, I’ll be a doctoral student at Birkbeck College, University of London, working towards a PhD in Intercultural Communication. This topic has become a passion for me over the past few years, and was further inflamed by my experiences serving as 2008-09 Chair of IABC. Throughout my whole process, it was clear that my next big thing would have to entail a focus on expanding my cross-cultural knowledge and experience. I looked at a number of universities in the UK and abroad, and Birkbeck seems like the perfect fit. With only a BA in Mass Communication, I was initially looking at MA programmes. But based on my 20+ years of experience, they waived the MA requirement and accepted me into their “new route” PhD programme. So I’m prepared to feel like I’m in over my head at first, but I’m hoping I’ll catch on fast. Hey, I said I needed a challenge, didn’t I?
Stay tuned for Part 2 sometime in the next few weeks. It’s big.