|Crayons were not on my supply list this year. Sad.|
Today is my first official day of grad school. As I sit here enjoying my usual post-workout egg whites and oat bran, I am nervous, excited and anxious all at once. I’ve already done homework. I’ve met my classmates. I am a student once again and after three years of working as a waitress it’s a strange feeling.
My MBA experience began with two days of orientation last Thursday and Friday. Classes and expectations were outlined, teambuilding exercises were held and I was bored off my half-asleep ass; you know how orientations are. We began with the usual introductions – all fifty of us. Of course being that this is business school, it was apparent people were trying to be impressive with their ventures and business experience. It made me nervous. As I am so often, I was left to decide if it was appropriate to bring up Hooters. Would I offend anyone? Would I lead a professor to stereotype me? Would it prudent to just not bring it up at all?
As the woman next to me finished her introduction, I slowly stood and gathered my breath. I started talking. Out came my name and where I got it, along with my hometown and undergraduate history as a college athlete. I spoke with ease and before I made a final decision on whether or not I wanted to bring up Hooters, I already had.
“And after being an unfortunate casualty of budget cuts my desk job ended and I – like so many new graduates – found myself working as a waitress. Lets just say that the place involves owls.”
I got quite a few chuckles and then nods of what I hoped was appreciation as I went on to bring up my blog, it’s surprising success and the experiences that led me to my opportunities Hooters Magazine and Hooters of America. I spoke about my time in Miami and the social media work I was given that so intrigued me. I finished by saying that I hoped to continue working for Hooters and move into a corporate position when the timing was right.
I sat down feeling a mixture of relief and apprehension. I had gotten the Hooters thing out of the way early. But had I appeared ambitious or pigeonholed myself? I mean it’s obvious that people were judging me, it’s human nature after all, I just didn’t know in what way.
When we had a break a short time later, I was approached by several people and asked about my blog. Not only were they interested they were seemingly somewhat impressed. Yes, I was a Hooters Girl, but it was the ambition that people apparently noticed. Even a professor asked about my writing in a positive tone. I couldn’t help but feel relieved. It turns out that maybe Hooters wasn’t so big of a deal after all.
So while I’m nervous on this first day, I’m looking forward to what this first semester will bring. My course load is heavy, I am still working and I’m going to be busier than ever. Luckily, I have an ambitious streak that will hopefully serve me well. I’m not just a Hooters Girl. I’m a Hooters Girl/blogger/MBA student/freelance writer/social media guru/girlfriend/fitness competitor/glorious individual. And I’m so proud of all of that.