I am also a GIA grad, and can tell you that they give you a great
base of kowledge, but you will learn more in the first month than
you did in JMA! We all have bad days...stones go crunch or something
just kinda melts, even when you KNOW you didn't have that much heat
there...it happens, life goes on...
I was having a bad day about a week ago. I was replacing a stone in
a ladies micro pave engagement ring and when I went to pop the stone
in it "jumped". It was a 1.5mm and the last one I had, and the lady
was coming back for the job in an hour (Yes Mr. Geller, I asked for
and got the rush fee!). I checked my tray, I checked my bench top, I
checked the hems of my apron and pant cuffs...nothing. I had the
lights out, on my hands and knees with a flashlight crawling around
my not-so-surgically-clean shop frantically looking for the
tell-tale pinpoint of light, and had been for the better part of a
half an hour, when our salesman can in and asked what I was looking
for. I told him and he began looking too. I was getting excuses ready
in my head, trying to come up with some way to get the gal to leave
her ring until the next afternoon when my buddy said,"Uhh, Jim? I
think I found it...."
Stuck with wax to the side of my benchpin...
Good luck with your new carrer!