I had always planned on going to grad school…eventually. I didn’t know exactly when that would be, or which school I would go to, because for the time being, I was working comfortably at a library in Qatar, a country that until this year didn’t offer any programs even related to library studies. As luck would have it though, University College London had begun offering degree programs relating to the arts and culture sector here in Qatar the previous year, and were in the process of setting up a Library and Information Studies program that would commence in the Fall of 2013. I had first heard of the program after my friend Joey, an artist from New York who was completing the Conservation Studies MSc at UCL, recommended me to the recruitment manager for the university.
I received an email from the recruiter in May, and responded with my interest in attending. I received another email from him at the end of August in which he informed me that the program would definitely be going ahead in October, and that UCL was now accepting applications, and would continue to until the end of September. I had one month to get my application together! I quickly set to work updating my resume, contacting my academic and professional referees, arranging for my transcripts to be sent, and composing my statement of purpose.
While I would like to think that my professional and academic merits were the only things that contributed to my acceptance into the program, I must acknowledge that the help of a few influential people speaking positively on my behalf definitely had something to do with it (you guys know who you are!). I’m also very grateful for their assistance in helping me secure the Hamad Bin Khalifa University Scholarship, which will cover my full tuition for the program.
So this is really happening now. After tomorrow’s induction, I will be attending the same university that educated Robert Browning, Alexander Graham Bell, Gandhi and even Ricky Gervais… a university that recently ranked 4th in the world according to the QS World University Rankings. I expect the classes to be extremely challenging, but am happy for that, since those classes are usually the most beneficial.
This really is nothing short of a dream come true! Wish me luck!