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The Best Email Ever!

The Best Email Ever!
2011/07/21 Maya H.

Thank you to Yahoo! Mail for sponsoring this post about staying connected. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

Where were you when you received the best email ever?  What was that email about?  Mine was back in early 1993 when the concept of email was still slightly obscure if not outright "strange".  And it was slightly anti-climatic as well.

I had just graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in December 1992 and life was ripe with possibilities.  I had heard rumors of the "Michigan Mafia" -- the infamous network of Michigan alumni that would recent graduates to essentially be welcomed into any opportunity that they wanted.  Well, I wanted to continue with school and get my Masters!  I had applied to the top four Health Administration programs at the time (the University of Michigan included) and was just waiting on the offers to come in.  Read this: I had already made the assumption that I'd get into all of the programs and was just concerned about which one would give me the best financial package.  I had spent every summer taking classes and doing something related to health administration including working with executives of the famed Henry Ford Health System- - - there was no way I wasn't getting into the school of my choice. 

[Fast forward to February 1993] I was working in Washington, DC at George Washington University Health Plan and I had started to receive my acceptance letters from my schools (no surprise there!) at home.  Along with most of the letters came information about how I was to finance my graduate studies and, again no surprise, I received ample money to cover tuition!!  But here's the doozy - - I got this letter from a Coordinator at the graduate program at the University of Washington, Seattle that I had a terrific opportunity being made available to me to work for the State of Washington doing health policy analysis and did I want it?  My reply, "Huh?"  A few days later, I got an email from the Director of the program asking me to join his team for the summer and then continue on through the year!

OMG! Up until then, I was certain I'd be continuing my academic pursuits at the University of Michigan where my mentor was....where I had received my undergraduate degree...where I had built a network of people and memories - - this blew me away because, indeed, I would not only be earning very good money but I'd be doing significant policy work that would affect the entire state of Washington.  How could I say no?

The acceptance letter was nice, but I had expected it.  The follow up letter from the Coordinator was cool, but I knew money was coming; I just didn't know from where.  But the email from the Director seemed like (and I guess kinda was) my personal invitation to make a difference and I could not refuse.  I accepted the summer position, the spot at the University of Washington's graduate program, and a challenge that shaped who I am today and what I believe in.  And, yep, it's all because of a simple email that meant so much to me!