There are very few places in the Philippines that I would like to go back to, and I want to visit them before I leave the country for Master’s. It’s just that even though I’ll be gone for only a year, I would really miss the country.
I’m planning on resigning from work effective July 31st (and I can only be too excited about it), so that will give me the month of August to go to some places around the country.
Out of all the places I have been to (and they’re not that many), there are very few I would want to go back to –
- Bacolod – The food – cheap and delicious – and the laidback atmosphere of the city is enough to make you want to go back. It felt almost surreal. It’s like how I would imagine living in a country. I definitely would keep coming back. Of course, I think I should give some of the credit to Telex, a friend who was gracious enough to take us around.
- Coron, Palawan – The place is awesome, what more can I say? I actually plan on doing the Puerto Princesa – El Nido – Coron route, depending on what the budget will allow. Palawan is one of the few provinces in the Philippines with pristine waters and green mountains. It’s a haven for any environmentalist, nature traveler, and probably just any tourist. In other words, it’s a paradise.
- Sagada – I haven’t seen Sagada’s caves yet. I just roamed around the area and looked for some places to go to. We managed to trek up a hill. There’s just a different feel to this town. Peace. That would be the word.
I was given more or less two weeks to confirm my place in Hult IBS. We told the relatives in California that I got accepted in Hult IBS and was wondering if I could stay with them. They live around 20-30 minutes away from San Francisco so it will take a bit of a commute but at least the accommodations are free. We also asked them about the school if they could check on it.
It was a series of email and phone discussions as my cousin was somewhat against Hult IBS. I asked for their opinion since they are the ones living in CA so they must know more about schools there. According to my cousin, it might just be one of those schools which are popping up but aren’t reputable or accredited. She refers to it as career-oriented schools aka vocational schools aka community colleges. To be honest, I didn’t know what to think. I sent her links of Financial Times and the Economist revies, and also the accreditation of Hult. It didn’t change her mind. She said it was not accredited when she checked the links I sent her. I wanted to make sure she was right.
I messaged a friend who lives in CA. I told him I got accepted in Hult IBS and he got excited. He told me it’s a good school and he was thinking of taking Masters there as well. I told him what my cousin told me. He actually has a somewhat violent reaction… he said my cousin must have been misinformed, and it might be some form of misunderstanding. He sent me some links which has a review of the school and some photos. He told me that my cousin must have looked at another school and not Hult IBS. Around this time I was already looking at universities in UK, possibly University of Edinburgh, or University of Surrey, or University of Nottingham (which has already sent me a prospectus). I was also bothered that Hult IBS is not as known or as famous as the universities. I checked the rankings again of the business schools. According to the Financial Times, Hult IBS ranks higher than the U of Edinburgh Business School. Surrey and Nottingham weren’t in the list. Lancaster was but it also ranked lower than U of Edinburgh BS.
I also weighed the program. I enumerated the reasons I could go into this business school –
- The Financial Times ranked Masters in International Business (which is what I’m taking) and Hult IBS ranked #3.
- Hult IBS is in the top 100 business schools around the world.
- Hult IBS is in the top 20 business school in the US.
- It’s AMBA accredited (doesn’t really apply to my course but it’s worth considering especially since the school is young compared to the universities)
- It has 95% of international students which means I would get to meet a lot of people from different cultures, therefore for an International Business studies student, this is already a plus plus in networking if one is to go into international trade.
- The program is more applied and less theoretical. One problem I found with universities is that they are all theoretical. Hult IBS, on the contrary, are taught by people from the industry. I can expect that I will learn from the people who know what they are talking about.
Also, it was taking me so long to discern that I was barely moving forward. Considering all of the above, even with the fear that I might not get a job immediately because the brand of the school is not that popular, I decided to take a leap of faith. I had been praying so hard about this and decided to go ahead even with my cousins against it. I told my mom I’m confirming my seat. I also emailed my cousin telling her what my friend told me, and what I had researched on etc. I also told her that I hope she can trust me in my decision of enrolling in that school.
The next morning, I received an email from her telling me that she’s sorry because she made a mistake. It seems that she was looking at a different school instead of the Hult IBS. She told me to go ahead before I miss this chance. She also asked me if I’m already 24. If I was, I must make a definite decision on the career path I wish to take. She told me that I wouldn’t want to regret not going if ever. To be honest, right now, the decision of enrolling in Hult IBS is still a leap of faith and will always be. I don’t know how different living in SF would be from traveling it. I will meet new people and I do not know what everything else will entail. I haven’t even taken care of my visa yet. I’m just praying that God will always be there to guide me and help me out.
So a week after I had submitted my application, I received an email a few days after that which is a request for an interview schedule. The interview was scheduled a week after my submission of the application. I asked the person who emailed me who will be interviewing me and what would it be about. She told me it was basically about the future plans etc. I was grateful I asked, better than going blindly who you’re going to talk to. She said the Admissions Director will be interviewing.
On the day of my interview, I made sure I printed out my personal statement just to have a copy in case I would need it. The interview went smoothly and was over in an hour. The Admissions Director said I have a strong application and not to worry about being declined (which actually made me a bit worry even though I am confident with my application). He also said that somebody would call me approximately one week after for the results.
I need not say that it was a week of anticipation even though I am sure I got in. It’s still different when it has been confirmed. On the appointed time that the recruiter said she would call, she didn’t. It was more or less 30 minutes after that I received a call from her. And because I have the gift of foresight (just kidding), I was not mistaken. I got in.
I was quite excited and had all sorts of questions. I already asked about the scholarship and if I could enter on September 2012 (as I have applied for the September 2013 schoolyear). I was given until May 10, 2012 to confirm my slot for the SF Campus for SY 2012-2013.
And this led me to one of the most confusing week in all my life.