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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 11-Nov-06


Friday 10-October-06

Clever daughter, proud Dad

My daughter got her results for her M.Sc. in International Management this week -- and found that she had been awarded a distinction! Of course she was thrilled, but I suspect I might have been even more pleased.

Seeing your children succeed is one of life's greatest pleasures. It is by no means guaranteed and Heledd's road has been very rocky at times. She did a year on a Psychology degree and then dropped out (despite passing all of the exams). She worked in a furniture store for a year and then went back to University, this time doing a degree in the History of Art and Architecture. It's not what I would have chosen, as I have a pragmatic view that a degree should be a step on the road to becoming self-sufficient. But at least she was on the road somewhere and having a degree sure beats not having a degree.

 And guess what, after three years of hard work (and she does work like a Trojan), she couldn't get a job. In the Art world, it seems, you need at least a Master's degree and and then may well end up in a low-paid museum or gallery job that is way below your capability. Presumably, you're supposed to live on gratitude and the benign reflection of nearby priceless works of art.

So we agreed to fund another year in college, but on the condition that she did something that would help her get a job. She started a M.Sc. in International Management at Reading University Business School, but in the first few weeks she seemed to be struggling and declared that she would be happy with a bare pass. Yet she soldiered on and by Christmas was making sense of it all and actually rather enjoying it. Like a duck to water, it seems. She got distinctions for most of her submitted work and ended up with a distinction overall. Her dissertation was marked at 75% and described as 'innovative and original'.

She's a determined and dynamic lassie and had got a job lined up by last February, after five interviews with the same firm (most of her friends are still looking). She now works as a researcher in headhunter eg.1 in London, where she's fast becoming a real star. She loves her job and I love walking from where I work to meet her for an occasional lunch or chatting on the train home.

And so I'm a very proud Dad. (smug grin).

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