9 to 5 kind of girl: Back to School

It’s been a while since I last wrote something here. But since my life has been going through a significant change once again in the past two months. So I find it necessary to reflect my thought here. After 11 years of working a corporate job, I have put my career aside and decided to take a study leave abroad for a year. On one side, I would miss some opportunity in terms of career advancement. But twenty years from now, when I look back, it is something that I will regret if I don’t do it.

Right now, I’m sitting at my desk in my accommodation in Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom. I’m a postgraduate student in the School of Arts and Cultures at Newcastle University. My study focuses on media and public relations. This blog post will serve as my diary about how important it is for me to come here.

For years, I had come up with a list of things I’d like to do or have before I died. I called it ‘My 50 Things’. There were 50 items on the list. Coming here for one year will mark out two major items off that list.

First, to have a degree in media, public relations, or a related field. I have been working in the area of corporate communication and public relations for the past 11 years. But I never had a proper educational background in the area. I did my bachelor’s degree in political science. My major was government and politics. Then, I earned my first master’s degree in English for Careers, which basically I studied how to use the English language in the professional arena effectively.

I started my career 11 years ago in corporate communication, knowing nothing about the job. I didn’t even know how to write a press release or an advertorial. I knew nothing about marketing and PR terms. Back then, I was like a racing horse running with half my eyes close. But day by day, I was learning by doing. I hate to say this because it sounds arrogant. But based on others’ compliments and recognition, I became one of the top people in my division who wrote the best press release. I had covered many important issues that determine the direction of the organization. Countless of my advertorial got to publish in the national newspaper and magazine.

But there’s still room for improvement, and working in a very dynamic environment gradually wore me out. As a result, there are times that I consider leaving my job. Instead of walking away from the career that I’ve worked so hard to build. I decided to take study leave from my office for one year to brush up on skills and knowledge and get some breath of fresh air. I will forever be thankful for my office and the executives that allow me to take this gap year.

The second major item I had crossed out is to watch a live match at St. James’ Park. I’m a lifetime supporter of Newcastle United. I’ve been supporting the team since I was ten years old. At first, I almost didn’t come to Newcastle University. Before I came here, I applied to 5 universities in the UK, including Loughborough University, Cardiff University, Leicester University, University of Essex, and Newcastle University. I was determined to go to the University of Essex because the course was the most suitable for my future career. But I changed my mind at the last minute. Not only because Newcastle University has offered me a partial scholarship, but the university also ranks among the top 5 in the UK in media study.

The most crucial factor that made me change my mind was the question that I asked myself. Will I be regretted not coming to Newcastle? The answer was a big fat YES! In my life, I have so many interests. But one thing that always stays in my heart and never leaves is Newcastle United. It has been two months here, and I believe I’ve made the right decision.

Thank you very much to those of you who read to the end. I’ll try to write more this year to record my journey. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Until next time, take care, guys!

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