Interview by Helen Arase

I have a grad school interview (hopefully the first of a few) tomorrow. I'm really, really excited - and nervous - but mostly I just want the chance to talk about my work and ambitions. 

I am not afraid to say that I love the program I'm interviewing for tomorrow. It was on my list of grad schools the first and second time I was thinking of applying to grad programs. Hopefully the (sort of) third time is the charm. 


I've spent a lot of time looking at my writing for these applications, and it's journalism so that's absolutely reasonable, but I believe there is more to judge a person on besides their writing abilities. I may be biased because I feel that is the area I want to improve and have the least experience, but I think there are missed opportunities if only writing can be submitted. 

One school completely  only wanted writing or an audio/video. The only way they'll see the body of my work and capabilities is if they seek out my site from my resume. And I kind of think that sucks for both of us - and others who may have a less traditional take on journalism. 

Having had/read a few conversations with still photographers on the various journalism Facebook groups, it seems that there could be enormous enrollments in journalism and media programs because they (we) are interested in being more educated and and having more skills to use to report. If programs count out those without many writing experiences they could be missing someone who could be a great asset. 

Anyway, I'll get off my soapbox. Things seems to be working out in the direction I wish they will and I don't want to jinx it. Please, universe, I want to go back to school.

Grad school by Helen Arase

I didn't get the internship in Cleveland but I'm actually alright with it. I thought I'd be more upset about it, but I think this is the universe telling me that something else is coming up. Probably more news-y. 

And I'm still really excited about grad school. I still have three applications to submit. Two of them are coming up at the very beginning of January and one in February. It's a little crazy doing all of this writing all of a sudden. I have a lot of self-reflecting to do. It's all kind of similar prompts but still makes you think about yourself. 

We'll see what happens.

The universe works in weird ways... by Helen Arase

The "thanks but no thanks" from the White House was so long and drawn out that I wasn't upset that I applied in April, was on the waitlist by May/June, and then notified I was still on the waitlist through September, and then not accepted the last days of October. 

They said they would place us by mid September at the latest, so in my head I was like, "Obviously I'm not in DC, can you just give me the official notice?"

I didn't pursue other opportunities because I was really hopeful the photo office would take an intern. I actually don't know if they took one but I'd like to think the internship spots were taken by prelaw students who are into politics and the WH had no room for a photo intern. But I don't know.

Anyway, the universe is strange.

Just before the White House emailed me I had decided to apply to grad school. And the applications are stressful. I just feel like I'm underqualified in certain areas - but that's why I'm going back to school - so I'm not sure how it's going to turn out. 

So I'm basically dedicating all of my time to these grad school applications or photographing random stuff and doing a job application here or there. 

Someone called me back.

I probably shouldn't be this excited to be going through an interview process but after so much radio silence from internship and job leads it was like, and is like, weird that I keep getting passed though to next steps. 

The people who I've been emailing and interviewing with are so nice. It's one of those interviews that you get off the phone and you're like, "Wow, that was a good conversation," and not like, "Oh my god, I could hear in their voice they hated my answers." 

I said stuff that I probably wouldn't have in other interviews but I don't regret it. I'd rather put it all on the table and know that I told them everything I was concerned about and if those are deal breakers then... I guess it wasn't meant to be. 

I'm not going to lie though, I want this internship. The thought of cleaning, packing up and moving to Cleveland in about 10-15 days is a little stressful, but I like it.

So the world was static for a year and then all of a sudden, BOOM. Possibilities. 

Fingers crossed.