Wednesday, April 25, 2012


There is something beautiful about being back at BYU. I don't feel a super close connection to BYU as an institution (I haven't gotten super involved since I've been here, and many administrative and cultural aspects of BYU kind of irk me), but there's something so familiar about this area and campus. I've been here almost four years - Provo is now more familiar to me than my hometown. Driving around town, I feel like I know where I am going. I can anticipate the stupid things other drivers and pedestrians will do. I know the back roads and shortcuts. I know what roads to avoid and where there is good parking. After spending a semester feeling like nothing I ever did was good enough and kind of wading with no real direction, I am so glad to be back at BYU doing what I do best - school.

I love school. Yeah, I complain about the work from time to time. But I love learning. I love being busy. I love being challenged and succeeding. I love being in charge of my own schedule - at school I know exactly what I need to do and when it needs to be done by. I can prioritize my work and decide what I want to work on and when I want to do it. If I need to run errands, I don't need anyone's permission. If I want to take a break, there's no one stopping me. I can study at home, on the couch, with no pants on. I can be home to make dinner and eat with Greg. At school, my life is my life. If I feel like someone/something is intruding on that, I have the power to put my foot down and do something about it.

I've heard so many students talk about how they can't wait to be done with school and start working. No homework. Getting paid. No textbooks. I used to feel the same way. But when I was with E&Y this past summer, I missed school so much. I'm good at school. I know how to do school. I know how to go above and beyond and stand out. I feel powerful at school. I feel in control at school. I like being able to see an assignment through from start to finish. I love being able to talk to other students who are in the same place in life as me. I love being able to ask professors questions just because I'm curious about a topic. I love not feeling like I'm doing things just to get them done, feeling like I'm actually growing and learning and contributing.

I obviously won't be in school for forever. I'm already working on my master's and I have no desire to get a PhD. I wonder what type of job will make me feel the same way school does. Is there such a job? Or will I just need to realize that work will never be as enjoyable for me as school is?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Free as a bird

My internship with Ernst & Young has finally come to and end. Before I left, I had an exit interview with a partner at the firm, where I would find out if I got an offer or not. I was really  nervous because I expected to get an offer and I wasn't sure how to respond since I was leaning towards not accepting. But the meeting turned out to be perfect.

We sat down and he explained that there was an offer printed up for me at the office if I wanted it, but that he wanted to talk to me about whether or not I wanted it. What a relief to actually be able to talk to someone about my true feelings about the job. He said that the rumor through the grapevine was that I said I would probably only stick around for 2 years (I don't remember saying that to anyone, but there are only a few people who I can think I might have said it to, and isn't that really annoying that someone basically "tattled" on me?). Apparently E&Y doesn't think 2 years is a very long time. I can see their point - they put so much money into training you during you first couple of years, and if you leave right after that, they don't really get to benefit from their investment of time and money. But, to me, two years is a really long time. I know that I cannot be in this career and be a mom at the same time, and I'm not going to wait another two years to have kids for the sake of my career, especially when I don't even like it that much.

I talked to him about how I knew public accounting would entail long hours, but I didn't realize how much I would dislike that. I told him that through the recruiting process, I heard so much about how great "the people" are, and how "the people" you work with make the long hours more bearable - I rarely felt that way about the people I worked with, or many people I met at E&Y for that matter. I was really worried about how this would reflect on BYU, but he assured me that this is the reason they do internships - to see who is a good fit - and they'd rather know now that I don't want to stay rather than finding out a few months in to full time work.

So now I get to be the black sheep at BYU who turned down an offer from the Big 4. I've already explained it to a few BYU people who all seemed quite shocked. Uhh... hello.. there is more to life than the Big 4. I'm sorry that I like being home for dinner. I'm sorry that I like having time to do my laundry and clean my house. I'm sorry I like to spend time with my husband. I'm sorry I don't think it's cool to brag about working 80 hours a week. But yeah, you guys have fun giving up your life for your job!