Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Alex Moody, MFA Blog Contributor

Alex Moody is preparing for his first year in Vanderbilt's MFA program (fiction). In 1997 he made the proclamation that he was only entering the IT world so he could save up money to have time for writing.

"Surely this is a short-term thing," he said. "In fact, it better be. I really hate computers."

On May 30, 2008, Alex left his cubicle. He is thankful for resources like this blog, although he spent far too much time refreshing Seth Abramson's "2008 Application Response Times" post over at The Suburban Ecstasies.

Alex figures there are other worker bees who are considering leaving the corporate world for an MFA program, and he hopes he can contribute something from his experience applying to, choosing, and attending a graduate writing program.

Gardening, Pearl Jam concert road trips, and maintaining a "Consecutive Days with a Beach Visit" streak are this contributor's primary methods of procrastination.


michelle said...

What a nice surprise to see you here, Alex! I look forward to reading your posts.

Emily A. Benton said...

hey Alex,
I'm hoping to follow your footsteps! (I'm also in a cubical job.)

I'd like to know why you chose to quit in May - did you already know which school you were going to then? Or was quitting this early always in your plan? How's your summer going?


Alex said...

Hey Michelle -- long time no see!

Emily -- I quit in May for 2 main reasons...

#1 - I really didn't like my job and, once I had my choice made (I signed up with Vandy in mid-April) it became difficult to go in each day. There were also some big projects coming up that would reach their peaks in Aug/Sep., and I didn't want to commit to those when I knew I wouldn't be around during the worst part(s). The timing just felt right and I'd saved up a month of vacation time so I spent that in June to snag two extra paychecks.

#2 - I knew I'd be leaving a lot behind, at least temporarily. Girlfriend of 13 years, our house, our friends, and my family. An entire life. I don't know what is going to happen once I move so I figured that if I could swing the financial side of an early departure it would help me make the summer as good as it can be.

Now that I'm 21 days from moving I can say I've done everything I wanted with the summer break -- a road trip to follow my favorite band, a writing conference, plenty of time with friends/family. I can't say I did the right thing financially but I had a lot to sort out and accomplish, and I hope I'll be leaving with my mind as clear as can be...

It hits you some days, though. Part of the reason I like reading here, P&W, and other places is to re-discover that people are going through the same things.

Pwoltz said...

Hi Alex, how has your MFA worked out for you? I am very interested to hear about your experiences, as I am currently considering applying for an MFA (over an MBA) and leaving my strategy consulting job to do so. It's scary to head toward a graduate degree that doesn't have any sort of set career path coming out of it, especially when most of my professional peers are on the b-school track.

Now that you've seen the MFA, what are your thoughts on leaving a corporate job for the world of writing? From your perspective, what sorts of corporate jobs await writers post-MFA, if any?

Thanks for your contributing to this blog; I'm very interested to hearing your thoughts on this!

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