This week I did one of the most thrilling things of my time as a graduate student. I flew to London and back in 48 hours :)
Three months ago, I had just arrived in Washington and thought it might be a good idea to check out job opportunities, knowing that the busy semester would not allow specific time for applications. Out of curiosity, I checked London's options as well and came across an opening with BBC. I began the online application on my work computer, where I had found the posting, couldn't stop thinking about it all day, went home and stayed awake until 5 a.m. and submitted it.
As the days went by, what seemed to be glaring errors on my application jumped out at me. They haunted my sleep along with that growing sinking feeling in my stomach that I had just blown a perfectly good job possibility.
The last date to notify applicants if they had been selected for the next round was Nov. 4, which came and went without a whistle. I had resigned myself to not hearing back long ago.
And then, a message popped into my inbox.
I had been called to London for an interview with two BBC journalists. I had made it to the next round!
Thrilled beyond belief, I booked tickets and counted down the days.
Just back from London and I can't stop smiling.
When I got to the BBC headquarter in White City, I had to walk through a long cobbled pathway, lined with trees on either side. The three BBC letters stared back at me from across the building.
"In London, I'm Ayesha Aleem, for BBC World," I said softly to myself, grinning that I was actually here.
I spent the rest of the afternoon in a series of tests brought to a close with the interview, which was my favorite part.
Before heading to the hotel room for the night, I walked through packed Oxford Street, all lit up and pretty for Christmas. The queues at Primark were endless but with good reason.
I'm not sure if I will get this job. But I was among 60 people called for an interview from among 2000 applicants. Only 15 people get through to the program.
If I do get the job, it won't be any secret. And if I don't, I'll always have this whirlwind trip to London to smile about.