Journey to America III
J ourney to the America III
You know all those flaws in my application
process that I pointed out earlier - low GRE
Math scores, weak SOPs and letters of
recommendation - I only became aware
of them weeks after I had received the
In my mind, my applications were strong
enough to get me admitted into my safety
school at least.
Like they say - hindsight is 20/20.
After the rejection letters, there was only
one person I blamed for my failure to
get admitted into any graduate program.
I know you’re thinking it was Village people
but no they were innocent this time around. I
n this instance, it was God I blamed.
I had a weird relationship with God at
If good things happened to/for me,
I’d thank him.
If bad things happened to me or I
didn’t get what I prayed for I would
After all, He knew how badly I needed
to school in the US and was aware that
I’d told the world I was journeying to
As powerful as he is, it would have
cost him absolutely nothing to get me
accepted into just one school.
You needed to attend church on Sundays
at my house if you didn’t want to answer
questions from my parents so I had to
go to church even though I was keeping
malice with God.
For the next 3 Sundays post-rejection,
when I saw people dancing in church
I would be thinking “why are these ones
dancing to a wicked God that’ll end up
I can’t remember what made me stop
thinking in that foolish manner but it
was over 3 weeks post-rejection that
I decided to have an honest conversation
with myself and sincerely evaluate my
I went back and read all my SOPs and
saw they weren’t compelling.
I read the letters of recommendation that
had been written for me and compared
them with samples I saw online and
agreed they were subpar.
I patiently read the admission FAQs to
see the factors that were considered
when evaluating applications and saw
that perfect GRE math scores and
previous research experience were
That was when I identified all those flaws
I laid out before.
By this time, my shoulders had dropped
significantly from their previous high
position and I had become humble.
My morale was also very low and I
concluded that an MSc from the US
probably wasn’t in the cards for me.
I had accepted my fate about not going
to school but it was very painful for
me to find out that some of my
classmates who unlike me, hadn’t
announced their plans to travel to
the world, had been admitted to graduate
programs in the US.
There were 2 of my classmates’ admissions
that pained me the most.
The first was by a guy who was going to
my dream school to study my desired
The second was by a classmate who
had expressed his fears to me about
the US denying Nigerians admission
and study VISAs because of the Nigerian
guy who was arrested for attempted
I had confidently dismissed his fears
saying the attempted suicide bombing
would not affect our admissions and
VISAs. Yet he was the one traveling
and I, sister bold and confident, was
the one staying behind.
As if that wasn’t enough, I had to
keep explaining to all the people I’d
bragged to about traveling that I was
denied admission and would be
remaining in Nigeria.
I also had to be explaining why I
refused to consider going to the UK
since the US didn’t work out.
As far as I am concerned, the UK is
not the same as the US and if I
couldn’t make it to the US, then
I wasn’t going to get a masters.
Anyway, I needed to get a job and
eventually got one as an Information
Security Analyst 6 months post-NYSC.
I loved my colleagues but I wasn’t a
fan of the company’s management
because they had reneged on some of
the promises they made me when
I accepted their job offer and I also
found out a few colleagues had the
I also had a work colleague who was
so passionate about the work and the
company and seeing how much his
drive and attitude contrasted with
mine every day made me feel like
perhaps, I was on the wrong job.
1 year 3 months after I started work
while waiting for my friend to pick
me after work, I watched that Steve J
obs’ viral commencement address
to Stanford graduates where he said:
“the only way to do great work is to
love what you do”.
I cried and cried after watching it
because I knew I didn’t love what I did
so it meant I couldn’t do great work.
There and then I decided I was going
to resign without discussing with
I can be quite impulsive when making
even serious decisions.
I emailed my resignation letter with
my 2-weeks notice to my boss and
The following day, he called me into
his office to ask why I was resigning
and wanted to know if I’d gotten a
better paying job, or needed a raise
but I replied in the negative to both
questions and said I just didn’t think
the role was a good fit for me.
Of course, my parents were upset
when I told them I had resigned
(I didn’t say it was Steve Jobs that
made me resign oh) and just
explained to them that I didn’t think
consulting was for me and I wanted
to go back to my Telecoms.
I assumed it wouldn’t be difficult to
get a job with a Telco but mehn
I was wrong. My dad had a connect
at one of the major Telcos and I was
invited for an interview with them.
On 3 different occasions, I and other
candidates waiting to be interviewed
were kept waiting for several hours
only to be told after the wait that
the person who was supposed to
interview us was not available and
asked to go back home.
We were told that an email would be
sent to us informing us of the new date
when the interview would hold.
Honestly, my memory is telling me
this happened 5 times not 3 times.
Since I wasn’t making any headway
with my search for a job with a Telco
and the only lead I had were time
wasters and there was no guarantee
they’d employ me anyway, I decided
it was time to consider re-applying
to the US again. But I had learned
my lesson and this time around,
I wasn’t going to share my plans
with anyone until I not only got
admitted but also secured my VISA
just in case history planned on
repeating itself and I failed to
get admitted yet again.
To be continued...