The end of my Journey at Carnegie Mellon University — 6 Months Later

Patrick Tumusiime
4 min readNov 18, 2022

It has been about 6 months since I graduated from Carnegie Mellon university. Having completed my degree in less than a year centrally to what I had originally planned but circumstances decided otherwise. In hindsight, I am glad it worked out that way, nonetheless I did get my diploma and made lifelong relationships but most importantly I was stretched beyond my comfort zone. I though I would be writing this on graduation day but turns out that my mind was more concerned about figuring out what next rather than celebrating what had been achieved.

You would think that with such a degree from such prestigious university, all employers would be lining up in demand for my special skills. As my friends would say in slung, ‘Nosing’(read ‘Nothing’ to mean that it doesn’t work like that). I have since lost count of the number of job applications and rejections in my inbox learnt the hard way that there is a lot more complexity in the Job market. There is this one time I thought I had hit the jackpot (Literary) because I applied for a fully remote role and sailed through the first 2 interview stages only to be politely informed a few minutes to the last interview stage that the company had decided not to proceed with the interview because I was not located in their preferred country. After that experience, it has been a barrage of rejections until today. Yes, the whole situation has the potential to be saddening when I look back at where I was before going to graduate school and imagine where I would be now if I had not taken that step of faith to go for graduate school or simply a bad idea depending on what you believe. I choose to believe the former

I must however acknowledge that my graduate school experience accorded me the opportunity to explore so many things and through that exploration I was to sieve out what I am not passionate about( turns out that there is a lot of things I am not passionate about) and with that, my future prospects are a lot more directed to areas that I am passionate about because at least I am aware of what I don’t want and what I am not meant to do. Special appreciation goes to the my awesome instructors; Emmanuel Ndashimye, Edwin Mugume and Barry Rawn. I was also privileged to have worked with Martin Saint, Monica Sumbi, Jacqueline Bangirana, Marie-Ange Rukundo, Olga Gikundiro Buki and Lucy-Anna Kelly that taught some of the most valuable work ethics.

During the time when I had almost given up on the wait for any good news regarding my graduate school scholarship application, a friend of mine shared with me Isaiah 43:19 (Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”) which kept me grounded during that time and God did come through, several months later, I am reminded of this same verse and it has helped me look at the current circumstances in a different light and trust that just like my scholarship came through and then my successful completion of graduate school, the next stage of my life will also follow suit as I continue to faithfully steward the responsibilities and resources I have now.

So what next…

  1. I will continue to faithfully ‘donate’ some of my skills to different organizations that need them through Catchafire

2. Knowing that learning never ends, I will continue to take advantage of every opportunity to acquire more knowledge, so I have signed up to the McKinsey Forward Program and I am waiting on two other applications for the SAP Young Professionals Program and Cisco Engineer Incubator programme

3. It’s been a month since I signed up on upwork as a freelancer providing SAP Business One Consultancy Services and although I have not yet landed a gig, I know that soon it will pay off.

4. I will continue looking out for other full-time employment opportunities that best fit my career aspirations

5. Being a farmer at heart, I will continue investing in the coffee farm as I look to expand the vision to add apples, bees and fish.