They say life is unpredictable. Sometimes God shows us a glimpse of the big picture, or clues about what the future will look like. If you are like me, you put the little clues together like a puzzle and come up with a picture of your future that pales in comparison to what God has in store. This sums up my Charleston story. I occasionally imagined what my future in Charleston would look like based on what God promised, and the revelations I had. But when God began to unveil His plan, I marvelled because His plans for me were greater and much more beautiful than what I could’ve ever imagined. Spring 2010, my last semester in graduate school started out with some members of the College of Charleston administrative staff coming together to raise money to pay off my tuition debt. Already God had started fulfilling His promise of keeping me in constant celebration in 2010.
Few weeks into the semester, the Undergraduate Admissions office heard about my Cognos reporting skills and decided to also hire me as their Cognos Report Writer. However, I was working for two other offices on Campus. All three offices decided to meet and make a decision on how to utilize me and share me between the three offices if I was onboard. A proposal was made and I was totally onboard with it. The Institutional Research Office, Graduate Admissions Office, and the Undergraduate Admissions Office decided that it would make more sense to work for them from a single office. I was assigned my own office in the Undergraduate Admission Office building where I worked with very little supervision. I was told that there was a possibility of getting a job with any of the three offices after graduation.
Few weeks prior to graduation, the Acting Director of Institutional Research called me into her office and told me that she would like to offer me a six-month part-time temporary job as a Cognos Report Writer after graduation and that another executive on campus, the Vice President of Fiscal Services was interested in also offering me a part-time temporary job to write financial analysis reports in Cognos for the Fiscal Services office for a year, and my office was going to be based in the Information Technology department. I also became one of the two Cognos experts on campus who was the go-to person for help with complex Cognos reports for the entire college. I was to divide my time equally between both offices. These positions were created for me and none of them required an interview. However, my Acting Director told me that the VP for Fiscal Services had arranged to meet me along with my Acting Director for lunch at the Francis Marion Hotel restaurant the next day just to get to know me before I commenced work. I was extremely nervous meeting someone of her calibre for lunch, but it went better than I expected, and before I knew it, I signed two contracts to begin work shortly after graduation. Little did I know that this was just a stepping stone to something even greater that God had in store for me at College of Charleston. You will read about this in my next blog post. The Undergraduate and Graduate Admissions Offices were a bit disappointed as they were also looking into hiring me.
Graduation Day came, May 7th 2010. A day I won’t forget in a hurry. I walked across the stage of the beautiful Sotille Theatre at College of Charleston and received my Master’s Degree in Computer and Information Science before my family, friends, and those who had initial doubts that I would succeed in the Computer Science graduate program. “Sana Ndon!” my name was called as I walked across the stage and my family, friends, and professors cheered and screamed! I thought my heart would burst from excitement. After the toils and tears, I finally graduated! After the graduation ceremony, the graduates and their families were entertained in a beautiful garden beside the Sotille Theatre. I walked around the garden shaking hands and thanking the professors who taught me during my graduate program. I was just about to walk out of the garden with my family when I saw a familiar face walking towards me with a big smile on his face. My Java professor – the man who tried to discourage me when I was struggling with my Java course at the very beginning and drove me to tears. “You know I wouldn’t miss your graduation for the world! I’m so proud of you. Congratulations!” He said as we shook hands. “So Sana, what’s next after graduation?” He asked. I told him about my job offers and then he looked at me with a more serious face after congratulating me on the job offers and then said, “Sana you have taught me a big lesson on faith these few years I’ve known you. Wow! Look at all you endured to get to this point, yet you did not give up. I really admire your faith!”
To be continued…