It’s mid-August, and instead of planning out a fall show schedule, I find myself planning a school schedule. I enrolled full time (15 credit hours) at Oklahoma State University- Tulsa this semester. This certainly wasn’t what I planned to do in my early 30s, but here we are.
I’m sure I’ve talked about this on the blog at some point in the last eight years, but the gist of how I got to this point is as follows. I graduated during the recession with a degree in natural resources management. My plan to work for any number of government agencies or private corporations didn’t pan out; environmental compliance was not high on anyone’s priority list at that time. After an uncomfortable couple of months living with my mother, I moved to Wichita, Kansas (from the Nashville, Tennessee area) and worked at a cell phone carrier call center. I did that for a year before moving to Tulsa, Oklahoma and got a job at a therapeutic riding center. That’s about the time this blog began.
For the last five years, I’ve worked as the e-commerce and marketing manager for a small tack shop. I like my work a lot, but always felt like I was making it up as I went along. I don’t know anything about marketing other than what I learned through free online resources. Last year, I enrolled at Tulsa Community College in courses I thought would be useful for my job. (They were.) I especially liked my accounting classes.
I’m uncertain about the tack store’s future, as the owners are in their 70s. If they sell it, will I still have a job? When will they retire? If they have an unexpected health issue, what will happen to the business? With those questions looming, I’ve been weighing my options. I do have five years of experience doing something. But I feel more like I’m competent at lots of things (sales, digital marketing, graphic design, retail buying, accounting) rather than an expert at anything. I lack relevant formal education, which I think hurts my chances for anything other than future entry-level employment.
Instead of waiting to see what will happen (which is my usual MO), I decided to do something. OSU Tulsa offers a variety of degrees and accepted all of my classes from TCC and my alma mater. I am four semesters away from a bachelor’s degree in finance. I’m still working part time at the tack store in addition to taking classes.
Right now, I feel overwhelmed- my classes are both on campus and online and require a lot of time. I’m mostly excited, though- the prospect of someday having a job that includes benefits and enough of a salary for me to maximize my IRA contributions is very appealing. (Although I imagine I’ll miss wearing breeches to the office three days a week.) My show schedule will be limited for the foreseeable future, but I’ll continue foxhunting for sure- I need something to keep me motivated to ride!