Learning Discernment: First Job Application

Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

Proverbs 19:21 ESV

When I graduated last June 2017, I honestly did not know what to do afterwards. That time, I was the most unstable and indecisive. Some classmates already decided to apply for some jobs at some Data Science companies in NCR (commonly  in BGC, Taguig and Makati).

However, as someone who doesn’t want to go with the mob most of the time, I decided to want to do something else. Besides, my heart tells me that I shouldn’t work yet. I think I still have a lot to learn about Mathematics. Something’s telling me that beyond the bachelor’s degree, there are still a lot of interesting things that I have to know and learn about. And it all happened when somebody told me to pursue masters.

I prayed about it and God answered.

I had a long journey but to sum it all up, I was able to enroll for MS Applied Mathematics at UPD. I was not able to get a scholarship last year when I started my MS but this time, I got a higher possibility to be accepted at DOST. I’m excited but not expectant.

Yet, even with that possibility, I still have this eerie feeling because some people have been telling me to work already and earn on my own. I’m already on my 20s and I’ve already graduated so I should not seek financial help from anyone anymore. I should be able to manage on my own already, they said. So I was also deciding to work and just continue MS after a year maybe.

Every night, I lifted that decision to God until a night came when I became so sure and motivated to finish my MS as a full time student under DOST ASTHRDP NSC (because I’m already claiming it!) and maybe apply for job after that (or pursue PhD? – ) until somebody called during the finals week last May and asked me to consider applying for a teaching position at USTsP CDO.

Is this God telling me to work already?

I still have no idea what God has prepared for me but everyday after that, I was praying for discernment.

When the 2nd semester ended, I had my usual meditation and after, I’ve realized and I’ve never been so sure that God planted the desire to pursue MS in my heart. So I told the one who offered me that position that I wanted to continue my studies.

I said no.

However, Thursday morning last week, I was informed that USTsP is also sending their staff to graduate school with scholarship as long as they have to render service afterwards.

Excitement got me. I thought: I can apply for the university’s scholarship, be a full time student, and render service there after. So I put DOST as my second option and planned to prepare my CV later in the afternoon so that I could send it the day after. Little did I know that I’d have to prepare it before noon because the dean asked if I could go there immediately for an interview in the afternoon.

Man, I didn’t even submit any application form, or even a letter of intent, and they didn’t even know if I am real. Yet I was so happy and excitement suddenly increased exponentially.

After all those overflowing feelings, I went there for the interview.

Initially, I wasn’t prepared for this. I never experienced job interviews before but I just did my best with all honesty and tell them what’s really in my heart. Then I told them my ultimate intention of applying. And what they told me after was a little rain on my parade.

The condition is that I would have to teach first for at least one year, before they can support me in graduate school where I have to take MS Data Science, and I will be given both allowance and salary, and then render service for two years for every year that I spent in grad school.

Well, that was actually a good offer, I cannot deny that. I love teaching too! I wanna teach Math to students and let them see that it is not as bad as it seems like. Also, allowance+salary? Who wouldn’t want that, right?

However, I just know that my heart’s desire is on something else.

So with a not-so-joyful heart, I went home and prepared my slides for my teaching demo. But I redeemed that joy and thanked God for this opportunity because I just know that there’s a reason for this. (I remembered somebody told me that just because we did not receive the very thing that we asked for, we already have the right to be ungrateful for something that was given.)

They asked the applicants to do the demo the day after and while they told everyone to demo anything that they want, they asked me to demo my undergraduate research (because they spent almost an hour interviewing me and it lead me to discussing my research and somehow they became interested about it).

I finished preparing everything at midnight and I was not tired at all.

I ended up staring at a dark space and soon I was in oblivion as different thoughts came flooding my mind. Should I delay my MS? Should I give up Applied Mathematics to pursue Data Science a year after? Should I get this glory of being a pioneer to the very new curriculum? (Note: a.) You have to finish masters within 5 years after your first enrollment; b.) USTsP is just starting BS Data Science this year.)

I meditated and remembered how I fought for pursuing MS AMAT at UPD and the stormy sail I had during those times, with God. I remembered that He was able to get me to start MS and I just know that He will definitely be with me through it all, and that I will finish it, strong and victorious, with Him, for Him, and through Him. (The principle in Philippians 1:6)

But I still have this question on my mind. I know God will have me finish my MS but is it Applied Math or Data Science?

The next day, I went early.

The dean came early and so we talked for a while. I told her that I will have to withdraw my application and continue my studies. At first, she was sad about my decision because she told me that after the interview, the panel were already so sure of employing me. And that they thought they could get someone who can be an asset in their department.

For a couple of minutes, she tried to convince me to change my decision but then she gave up and heard my reason. We then talked about the research she’s currently doing. She told me that they would just keep in touch with me and offered me to do some research collaboration soon if I’m already on my higher year in MS or just whenever.

I was a bit happy about their remarks on my interview but I was sad at the same time. Now I know how it feels to reject something that wants to have you. Yet after a little friendly chat, the dean told me with conviction that I’m still so young and that I should go with the desire that’s deeply rooted in my heart. I just knew at that moment that she was the confirmation that God sent me. I left the room with a swelling heart.

I prayed about it and God answered.

I believe that God allowed me to experience such thing for three reasons:

  • to experience a legit job interview;
  • to witness that God does answers prayers;
  • to learn to discern God’s will and plans in my life.

First, God does answers our prayers especially when we’re torn between a lot of choices and we are troubled with a lot of questions. And He always answers at the perfect moment. He may sometimes be silent but He’s doing something behind the scene. You’ll know it when He reveals it.

Second, He will surely use a lot of people to confirm His plans in your life. People whose discouraging words push you more towards your goal and people whose encouraging words give you inspiration to continue.

Lastly, when you’re about to burst because you don’t know what to do and you’re not sure if your desire is in line with His, you have to ask wisdom from Him. You have to constantly talk to Him about it. Let your request be made known through prayer, and have yourself know God’s response through reading His word. He will send help. And sometimes, He sends people.

If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.

James 1:5-8 MSG



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