Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Notes on an Interview

Time for a bit of debriefing on my interview last week. To set the scene, the interview was for an institutional research gig at my GradU. It was a number-crunching position for the university at large.

The first half of the interview was just with the associate director, who would be my direct supervisor. It was a bit of "this is what we do," since so few people actually know, and a bit of "here's my standard list of questions." Ze was a bit brusque but was also dealing with a phone call, an email, and two questions from analysts in the hour we talked. I had my list of questions to ask hit all ready and asked most of those that were not answered in the course of our talk.

The second half of the interview was with that associate director and some of the analysts. There were 5 analysts there. We all introduced ourselves and insanity ensued. One of the analysts clearly had English as a second or third language and was difficult to understand. Ze also asked a question about religion that several people at the table squashed and told hir that ze couldn't ask that. I felt really sorry for hir because they all pretty much jumped down her throat. Another analyst had 3 solid pages, single-spaced, of questions to ask me. The rest were just sort of flying by the seat of their pants. The conversation went off on several tangents with several topics set aside for their Thursday staff meeting. I had a list of questions for them as well and asked a few, but tried to avoid anything that might be sensitive in the situation.

All in all, I think it went relatively well. It was odd but they were an odd bunch. I don't mind odd. I'm pretty odd. Put all together, I felt like it could be a good fit for 5-10 years. Ten years would be handy because I could get the 10-year loan forgiveness that way. Loaners would never see that money, bwahahaha!

My only issue was that during the talk, the director pointed out (and the analysts kind of confirmed) that people who get into institutional research stay there forever. I like crunching data and the interview confirmed that they do a lot of different kinds of crunching and there's a lot of variety however, the idea that this would be all I do for the rest of my life is terrifying. And there was very little room to move up in the organization. It was definitely something to consider.

Additionally, there's drama at GradU. Serious drama. I'm worried that if I move back there I'll get pulled into the drama and revert to my bad habits as a grad student. Risking temptation seems to be one of those lifestyle factors you can't really measure ahead of time but it's still something to consider. And Boyfriend would be a 5.5 drive away. That would suck.

On the ego boost side, I ran into the professor I used to TA for in the parking lot. Ze gave me a hug and commiserated about being unemployed (ze was for awhile after hir degree). Ze said "If it's any consolation, all my grad TAs have sucked since you left." Aww, shucks, thanks. Ze used to call me hir Girl Friday. Good to know I'm irreplaceable that way.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I have an interview...but not here

So, news!

I have a job interview. It's for a data analyst position at GradU. There's just one catch...I don't live in Grad City anymore. In fact, I now live about a 5.5 hour drive away. Let me back up:

As of my last posting, Boyfriend found a new job in Ohio. So, we moved to Ohio at the end of May. The apartment is a little smaller and darker than our last one but we're making it work. It's giving us a reason to downsize our stuff some more. Boyfriend got to cut his commute to about a third of what it was at our last place. Trying to look on the bright side of life, as Monty Python sings.

I have not yet found a job in our New City. Currently, I'm sending out feelers and looking for informational interviews. The lack of a network in our Last City was a big part of my unemployment, I think.

Between Boyfriend's old job and new job, I applied for a position at GradU. It was exactly what I was looking for in a position. At the time we had no destination for where to go next, so it made sense to apply. Well, they took their sweet time getting to the interviews and we had already reserved a truck and put in a deposit for a new apartment by the time they got back to me.

I decided to take the interview, scheduled two weeks out. It should be good experience interviewing and I might be able to get some pointers to make my résumé more competitive. Maybe someone even has contacts in New City and could help me out. Seems like a good idea. Not sure what I would do if they offered me the job. We're just going to jump off that bridge when we come to it.

To sum up: my post-academic adventure now encompasses three different states and may soon come full circle. I'll let y'all know how the interview goes next week and keep you updated on my unemployment follies.