Sunday, February 26, 2006

Now Hiring?-Post 11

Post 11 from Now Hiring?

Okay, okay, this is a day late. However, I have been really really really busy with our conference here on campus I had been advising. I am extremely proud to say that my students did a wonderful job planning and hosting 1200 students for the past 3 days. When registration began, I was amazed at the ease people were getting their information and t-shirts. Our conference services staff here did an extraordinary job with logistics, and catering made some pretty damn good food. There were no major problems, and many people commented on how nice the facilities were and how there were no slip-ups. I must tell you, it was a beautiful sight to see all these people at my school. And, in all honesty, I was sad to see everybody go, because it was such a wonderful time.

Also, I was a host for a great speaker. He flew in early to take part of our festivities and was very popular with everybody he met. In his lunchtime talk, he said something that struck me and is constantly swimming in my head. He told the participants "It's not your fault how you got here, but it's your responsibility to get out of here". It made me think on two fronts. students...many blame society for the lives they've lived thus far. Some will tell tales of woe and horror about what they've gone through. I feel at times we'll say "it's okay" and let them be. I also feel that we complain about where our students are, or how the world is...and leave the discussion there. Let's take our work "to the next level"...let's go out and try to impact change. Let's not live vicariously through our students, but let's work alongside them to make our campuses, and ultimately our nation, a better one. I commented that it's easy to point fingers at the problem, but sometimes we don't have the initiative nor the care to help fix it. Note: I'm not saying this towards everybody in our field, for I know there are some dedicated "change agents" out there, but our American society as a whole is more "me" instead of "we"; we're an important part of this society, and must critically look at ourselves and see what our impacts are.

Second...I think about this job search. Sometimes I complain about how I got into the field and how it would be easier to just quit and make some real money. But, I'm here, and I ain't quittin'. It's my responsibility to make change. It's my duty to help people "take it to the next level". It's my honor to work with kids that want to make themselves and their environments better. I am a student affairs professional; I am proud to say that. And damnit, I ain't quittin'!

Enough of the rant...I'm feeling pretty empowered right now. Remember, I'm not calling everybody out. But as Charles Barkley said, "I might be wrong, but I doubt it".

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Candidate #0000 - Post 11

69 days until graduation.

Olympics Medal Count:
Austria – 19 medals (hopefully 20 soon, if Benni Raich has a good second run in the Slalom)

Last DVD I bought:

It’s Saturday and I’m exhausted. Last night, one of our Hall Directors had his weekend program – a Drag Show. It was awesome! I had so much fun! Afterwards, a couple of the other grads and I went out for a bit – not too long – but when I got back, I just wasn’t tired yet, so I went on a little road trip to Walmart to finally get the RENT DVD. I’ve wanted to buy it for the past couple days (since it came out), but just hadn’t gotten around to it. And then that I had bought it, I had to watch it, of course. I mean, what do you expect? So I was up half the night and now I’m exhausted. Today will be a busy day though: one of my CAs is having a program, then we have staff development and I need to write two papers. So much for a nice relaxing weekend!

This week has been crazy busy on the job-search front. After I finally filled out some online applications and mailed a couple of resumes, I got a couple more interviews for ACPA. I also have a phone interview for Monday. The person called me as I was walking to a meeting. I was totally out of breath and seriously confused. So I just threw my bag down (in the snow), hectically searched for my planner and at the same time tried to sound totally calm and professional. After I scheduled the interview, I couldn’t stop smiling for an hour.

The smile faded though as the interview has been coming closer. I printed out a lot of information about the institution and their ResLife department and I keep reading through it whenever I have a free second. I want to be well prepared for the interview. I just didn’t expect an interview already…the plan was to prepare over Spring Break, so that I’d be ready for ACPA. I don’t even really know what I’ll do to prepare – it’s more just getting mentally ready to be interviewed – but now it’s on Monday and I just don’t feel ready. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel ready. I’m not a big fan of interviewing. I say “ummm” and “well” a lot, my accent comes out more and I sound like a total idiot, at least that’s how it feels. When we did the Mock Interviews a couple of weeks ago, I got a lot of positive feedback. But that was different because it was people I knew and especially people who knew me. I’m not so sure about the first impression I make. I know I can do these jobs and I know I’m a good candidate because I’m a very hard worker, dedicated and absolutely in love with working in ResLife. But how do you express that in an interview without sounding stupid?

Oh, I need to stop talking or I’ll make myself even more nervous. So back to the good news: lots of interviews scheduled for ACPA (maybe a few too many, as most people think…but I’ve always preferred rather too many than too few), already a phone interview for Monday and waiting to hear from a bunch of other schools that have told me they received my materials and would be reviewing them soon.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Now Hiring?-Post 10

Post 10 from Now Hiring?

The body's feeling: meh
The mind is groovin' to: Leela James "My Joy"

Well, this week is going to be very busy. My students' conference is this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and I'm pretty excited. They have worked very hard and are going to have a wonderful time. But, as an advisor, I have a lot to worry about. Did we order enough food? Is there enough security? Is the transportation we secured reliable? Will everyone enjoy their experience? I have those thoughts, but now I'm focused on picking up a keynote speaker and "hosting" him during the conference (it sounds like he's gonna crash on my couch, but he's shackin' in a swank hotel in town), so I have to go to "host training". It shouldn't be too hard...pick him up from airport, take him to hotel, take him to speak, take him to airport..or maybe it's a little more than that. We'll see tomorrow.

On the job front...good news! A school wants to conduct a on-campus interview. The only problem was they were in the Eastern part of the USA, and I'm not. So, they say "we'll fly you out". I figured I would have to run up my credit to visit, but it sounds like they're interested. I had a phone interview with them last week (the one I thought I absolutely ruined my semi-good name), but I guess I didn't. I'll be going out there before Spring Break, so I'm going to rack up my frequent flyer miles (maybe I can upgrade from "cattle car" to "I finally have my own seat! to a crying baby and a guy that smells like a combination of sausage and menthols").

Well, I hate to cut this short, but the capstone paper is calling my name again. I'll update you with happenings at the conference, as well as anything else that's going on.

Candidate #0000 - Post 10

74 days until graduation.

Olympics Medal Count:
Austria – 15 medals (tied in 3rd place with the United States)

Isn’t it slightly ironic that my two countries are tied in 3rd place in the Olympics medal count? I used to root for the United States – back in the days when all I wanted to do was move to the US. My friends used to joke that I had been “Americanized.” I put up a big American flag in my bedroom. My parents questioned my loyalty to Austria.
But now with all this visa drama going on, I’ve lost any ability to cheer or root for Team USA. Ironically enough, the harder I’m trying to get into this country (and be allowed to stay and work here), the less I actually like it. It’s just that all these immigration laws and regulations are so ridiculous and seem to be set up simply to make my life hell.

So back to happier topics and the Olympics. What a day for Austria! Two gold medals in Alpine skiing, another gold in ski jumping and couple others just because…
I’ve getting really frustrated with the fact that I can’t watch the Olympics live this year. So this morning, I kept checking the live results on NBC, but after I found out that the Austrian ski jumping team was in the lead after the first jump, I stopped checking. It ruins all the fun if you know already, who has won. So I waited till tonight (just a few minutes ago) to see the last minutes of the second jump. It was definitely worth it! I was attempting to read this article – coincidentally it was about sports, college sports to be exact – but right before Morgi was about to jump, I just sat there and almost forgot to breath. And I’m not even into sports!

It was a great day for Austria not just at the Olympics. I scheduled two more interviews for ACPA. (Well, I don’t know if the rest of Austria actually cares whether or not I’m scheduling interviews…but hey, at least in this blog, it’s all me, right? And I know those Austrians that know me, very much care about my job-search progress… “Hi Mom! Hi Dad! Hey Sis! And of course, hello to my three best friends from high school!”)
My interview schedule is starting to fill up quickly and I haven’t heard from some of my top schools yet. I need to slow down a little to give those schools time to review my resume and hopefully contact me in regards to an interview.

Did I mention that when I filled out one of those online applications, it said that I was “not qualified” for the position? I’m still confused how that happened. A representative from that institution, one of my top choices, wanted to schedule an interview with me. But I need to figure out first what’s going on with this online application. I called Human Resources like five times before I figured out that they may be off due to President’s Day. So I will call again tomorrow. Hopefully they’ll have some good news for me and it’ll be another good day for Austria (although at the Olympics, I don’t expect us to get any medals tomorrow because none of “our” sports are taking place tomorrow.)

So let’s take a minute, think of these “awesome Austrians” (as NBC likes to call them) and your one, favorite absolutely amazing Austrian, a.k.a. Candidate #0000.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Candidate #0000 - Post 9

75 days until graduation.

CD I listened to for 6 hours today:
Romeo & Juliet Soundtrack

Last person I talked to online:
RHA President

First of all, I wanted to thank everyone, who e-mailed me! It’s very helpful to hear from people, who have dealt with the same visa issues. It makes me feel like maybe there is some hope for my situation.

So I spent about 6 hours in the office today – on a Sunday!!! What’s wrong with me? At least, I was only doing “work” for the first 2 hours. Then, I threw myself into job-search craziness. Can I just say that I really hate those online applications? It takes forever to fill them out! And I filled out one of them and once I was done, it said “not qualified.” I’m so confused. I have no idea why. So I e-mailed the Human Resource department and asked them. Hopefully, I’ll hear back from them on Monday. And it was a school, I was really interested in. :(

Other than that though, today was definitely a success. I sent my application materials to 7 schools. I also have my cover letter written for two more schools. But there was no e-mail address, so I guess I will have to send those via postal mail. That means, I need to print them out nicely on our office printer (my own printer is slightly messed up lately and prints weird lines across pages, so I don’t trust her with something as important as application materials for a school…I think, she’s going through a mid-life crisis – and yes, my printer is a she). Anyway, the printer in the office didn’t work today either. It was driving me insane. I had originally gone to the office to print out my newsletter and make copies, so my Community Assistants can pass them out when they are doing Health & Safety inspections this week. I tried to fix it – and usually I’m pretty good at fixing things – but it just wouldn’t work. So I gave up. I guess I’ll have to give it another go tomorrow morning.

Back to job-search craziness: So guess what happened…you won’t believe it. I’m so mad at myself!!! After I sent out all these application materials, I realized that there is a mistake on my resume. Can you believe it? I have revised my resume like a hundred times (no kidding), had a million different people look over it (maybe not a million but at least 5 or 6) and read through it myself like ten thousand times (Okay, so maybe math isn’t my greatest subject right now…haha…it actually used to be all through high school and I was supposed to become a math teacher, but that’s another story and should be told at another time). What happened is that during one of my last revisions, I changed a few of my bulletin boards to make them sound better. And when I changed one of them, I by mistake wrote everything in present tense although it was one of my past jobs. I’m still so upset over this. And after I have just sent my resume to most of my top choices in regards to institutions and jobs. :( What am I going to do? Well, I guess there’s not much I can do besides hope that all these people, who’ll be reviewing my resume, will look the other way. Everyone can make a mistake sometimes, right?
Everyone always tells you that you CANNOT have a single mistake in your resume, no types, nothing. I’ve tried so hard, I swear. I can’t believe I didn’t notice this stupid mistake. That’s what happens when you revise your resume too many times!

Okay, enough about that. Like I said before, other than the one online application that said “not qualified” and this stupid mistake on my resume (I am so mad!!!), today was a success. I have been pushing this sending-out-applications back for weeks. I don’t really know what I was waiting for or what I was afraid of. I just couldn’t bring myself to actually doing it. But now I did and I’m well on my way. I just hope I’ll hear back from all these schools soon.
I’ve also made a list of 10 more schools that I want to apply to within the next week. It’ll be a crazy busy week.

By the way, I already have five interviews set up for ACPA (Okay, I feel like I’m bragging, but this is supposed to be about job-searching, right? So I’m not bragging, just keeping you all updated on how things are going). One institution contacted me on Thursday. I was at the mall getting my pictures taken for this Optional Practical Training application, and suddenly my cell phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number, so I picked it up and it was someone trying to set up an interview with me for ACPA. I was so excited, but also so flustered because I didn’t have my schedule with me of what interviews I had already set up. But fortunately, I remember the times and knew what afternoon I still had completely free.

And then on Friday, another institution contacted me. So now I got five interviews all together. People keep warning me about setting up too many interviews. But I know myself. I can deal with stress pretty well, and I’m good at going for a whole day non-stop. That’s what I do here every day. I get up in the morning, go to work and barely take a break for lunch or even dinner. I do much better if I just keep going all day, because if I do take a break, I have a hard time motivating myself to get back to work. So I figure, I’ll be alright doing interviews most of the day. I am leaving a half hour in between interviews, so I can review notes of institution in between interviews, but other than that, I’m planning on having a very tight schedule.

I just figure that I will need a lot of option. Some institution may just not like me and not ask me back for a second interview or invite me for an on-campus. Then, some institution may be interested but once they find out that I’m an international student, they may not be able to accept my candidacy for their position. So I need to have a lot of options, if I want to get at least five or six on-campus interviews, so that I will get two or three offers.

Okay, it’s definitely time for bed!
Good Luck to everyone else, who’s job-searching right now!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Now Hiring?-Post 9

Post 9 from Now Hiring?

How the body feels: Time for a siesta
What's the body's feeling: Kirk Franklin "Looking for You"

Okay people, it's me again. The past few days have been trying for a couple of minor reasons:
1. It's really really f-ing cold out here! I know it's too cold when the heater in my car blows air that's colder than the wind outside. That's cold I've never felt before. 3 weeks until spring break, I keep telling myself...
2. I took my girlfriend to see "Date Movie". Now, I'm a fan of dumb movies, but this was one I grimaced at while watching (not because of the content...well, yeah, it was the content...because it was stupid and unfunny).

On the job front, it was slow going this week. I got an invite to do a campus interview, but the only times I can go are when I'm in conferences. I also scheduled another interview at ACPA. I also sent my stuff into a school that was advertising a position that was rather intriguing. All in all, a slow week indeed.

(Okay, you're probably thinking that's not a slow week...that's pretty good or something to that effect. Remember, it's all about eating, sleeping, and breathing, hence my efforts.)

So, about the job search, there's one thing I don't like to do...announce the goings-on in class. In my seminar course, we have the opportunity to tell everyone how it's going. And, I can tell there's hesitation on the class' part to speak up. I know I definitely don't want to talk, because I don't want to seem like I'm gloating...especially towards the people who haven't started their search yet. See, the job search is really important to me, so that's why I've been looking so hard to find the right position. And (probably because I'm crazy), there are probably some people that just don't care how many interviews I have at ACPA, or if I found the "perfect fit". I share my experiences with those that are close to me and, of course, you. (Why not my classmates but the rest of the world?...because this is supposedly anonymous...and the folks at probably wouldn't like secrecy as much, this being a blog about job searching and all).

But, I not too concerned about my classmates and their feelings towards my search. In fact, I've found positions and forwarded the info to them, because I know it may be what they're looking for. In retrospect, I'm trying to keep the friendly student affairs touchy-feely perspective in the front of my mind.

OK, this damn capstone paper is really calling me (despite Bracket Busters is on ESPN). Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Now Hiring?-Post 8

Post 8 from Now Hiring?

The Mood I'm In: Pretty Tranquil, thank you very much
The Music I'm Jammin' To: John Coltrane "A Love Supreme"

This week has been pretty uneventful, work wise...meaning I haven't been fired yet. I mean that jokingly, but it's been going pretty smooth. I have two big conferences coming up in two weeks (just before Spring Break). The first one next week is one I've been advising for the past year. When I started, these students didn't have the slightest clue what they were facing. This group was responsible for the feeding, entertaining, bedding, and safety of 1400 participants. Also, our students wanted people to "kick it" and just relax...not realizing they were planning a leadership conference. Well, all the fussin' and complainin' has paid off thus far. At last week's meeting, we ran through the entire conference and responsibilities, and loose ends were being tied up. All in all, a job well done thus far. These students have done a masterful job, and I can't stop gushing about it. After that, there's another conference on campus, one where my students are presenting posters on the "-isms" and their evidence on campus. They're not too thrilled to present, but it's a good opportunity for them, if they recognize it or not. At least I'll get to wear my new fancy suit...let's just say it'll make Michael Jordan weep "Why I can't look smooth like him?" However, let's just say my dry-cleaning bill will be pretty huge the next couple of weeks.

On the job front, I had two phone interviews this week. The first one was with a private school on the East Coast for a multicultural advising position. At first, I was a complete nervous wreck. When they called, my mouth was already dry and the butterflies (more like crows the way they were moving) in my stomach were goin' full force. At times I felt like I was babbling like a 3-year old, and at times I felt I was giving answers with the flow of Talib Kweli or Nas. But, they only asked 4 questions for a 30 minute interview. Which means...I talked a lot. I didn't feel good at all...I thought I completely bombed it (not in a "damn, I'll try it again tomorrow; they'll like me then!" sense, but more of a "damn, what am I gonna do if that's the only interview and I'm gonna have to be a grad student forever?" sense). The phone interview today was for a similar position here in the state I'm living in. It went much better, I was flowin' like Jay-Z with my answers, I wasn't nervous at all...I...WAS...THE...MAN. I was proud of myself...until they finished asking questions. Once they were done, they said "Okay, Thanks!"...then "click". I was wondering (and I still am) whether that's the way they conduct interviews or if they were late to lunch or something. I thought I said something stupid, but I figured that's how they do things there...something I'll just have to get used to.

Well, this damn portfolio paper is calling my name...I must attend to it. Take it easy peeps.

Oh, I forgot....I decided to copycat my fellow blogger with an idea (I hope they don't mind...if they do...well they can find me...HAHAHA!). Hit me up at with comments, questions, concerns, job offers, chain letters (not seriously), anything. Any feedback (I like positive notes, mostly) will be appreciated.

Candidate #0000 - Post 8

81 days until graduation.

Song I’m listening to right now:
Ghetto Gospel – Tupac & Elton John

I was about to crawl into bed, after grading 10 papers from my Community Assistant class (I hate grading…I wish I had become a math teacher like my mom wanted me to. Grading math exams is just so much easier. There is a right and wrong answer. But when it comes to grading essays, it’s so hard to be consistent and fair).
Anyway, so I am brushing my teeth (yes, my toothbrush is stuck in my mouth while I’m typing this and I occasionally take a little break to brush some more…I know you really wanted to know all about my daily teeth care) and I decided that I just had to write another post today.

Today was a really good day!

I called this immigration attorney this morning. The advice I got was to apply for this Optional Practical Training (OPT) thing, which will allow me to stay in the country for one year and work within my field of study. Then, during that year, I will be able to apply for an H1B visa. So I still need to find an institution that is willing to sponsor me for this H1B visa eventually, but at least I don’t have to rush through the whole process not knowing if my visa request will be granted in time to start working in the fall. (Thanks also to everyone, who responded to my posts and give me the same advice!)

The only downside to this plan is that I won’t be able to go home for the next year. I haven’t been home to Austria in three years. Fortunately, my parents and my older sister have been able to come visit, but I haven’t seen my grandparents in such a long time. I don’t know how I’ll break it to them that I won’t be coming home in May.

It does make me feel a lot better that I won’t have to deal with the visa issue right away. I started immediately to get all the necessary documentation together for OPT.

The other thing that made today a good day was that this institution from California e-mailed me. They saw my resume posted on the ACPA Placement and contacted me to express their interest in my candidacy. I’m really excited! This is the first California school that has contacted me. I spent the rest of the night checking out their Web site, and I’ll definitely send them my application materials tomorrow.

Okay, now it’s really time for bed though. I have to get up at 7 a.m. tomorrow (Did I mention that I am not a morning person?) so I’ll be able to finish all my work before class.

By the way, I set up an e-mail address for anyone, who would like to contact me directly. I didn’t want to ruin the confidentiality of this blog (although I know I’ve been “busted” a long time ago by many of my friends and colleagues), so here my new e-mail address: (the 4 0s at the end are zeros).

Sweet dreams!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Candidate #0000 - Post 7

82 days until graduation.

Quote of the day:
"Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game."
– A Cinderella Story

Okay, this will be a much shorter post than the last one. It’s Sunday night and since I wasn’t productive at all this weekend, I’m not scrambling to get at least the most necessary tasks done before I go to bed.

I need to call this immigration attorney on Monday to set up a meeting and find out more about my options in regards to applying for a visa. I hope he has some good advice for me. And I could really need some good news right now.

I try not to worry about all this too much. It’s hard sometimes. A lot of times, I feel like screaming or crying or hitting something. Then, I look myself in my apartment, so that nobody else needs to witness my “nervous breakdowns,” as I like to call them. And after that, I try to keep telling myself again that I need to stop worrying. Worrying won’t help. Whatever is meant to happen will happen.

But I need to start taking some serious actions. I have been putting the whole job search off because I’m just too confused and freaked out about this whole immigration issue. But if I keep this up, all the good schools will have their interview slots for ACPA filled.

So here’s my resolution of tonight: Tomorrow morning, I will call the attorney and set up a meeting time for either this or next week. Then, I will respond to all the e-mails from schools that have contacted me so far regarding interviews at ACPA. And lastly, I will contact at least five schools this week that I’m interested in.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Now Hiring?-Post 7

Post 7 from Now Hiring?

How I'm Feeling: 'Bout time for that afternoon nap
What I Downloaded: Grace Jones (yeah, I said Grace Jones) "Pull Up To My Bumper Baby"

Well, there was a development this week on the job search front. A school I was interested in asked for an interview at ACPA. Not just any school, mind you, this was the dream school. I worked there for a summer, and I loved it. It met my two criteria perfectly, was in an urban area, had wonderful people, great employment benefits, everything. I was hoping, praying, wishing, just waiting for them to say hey man...we remember you...come on home! Well, when I checked my e-mail yesterday, there it was..."Let's schedule an interview". I couldn't tell you how elated I was. If I was already excited about Placement, now I'm like a 6-year old on Christmas Eve.

Also, I decided to apply for the job at the institution I currently go to. As I thought about it, I didn't want to be discouraged about past happenings. So, I hope to hear something back from them relatively soon. It's what I would like to do, plus I would keep working with the same people I do now.

However, I do have one problem to speak about. It's time to plan my oral defense so I can graduate. I have until April to get ready...and I'm completely lost. I don't have a clue where to start. I spoke to my major professor, and he cooly told me to look at our department's "learner outcomes" and write a paper about it. Here's two things about that:

1. Now, these "outcomes" seem really intense. I guess this group of people wanted me to learn so much in two years without acknowledging that I might not have time to actually learn them. Thinking about it, in my 2 years in graduate school, I probably didn't hit no more than 2 of them. That's a scary thought with 20 pages of blank paper staring straight back at me.
2. What did I learn that could fit into those "outcomes"? I'll tell you what I really learned...
2a. How to live off $200 a month (nope, not one those "outcomes")
2b. How to discern when students are inebriated or just acting like fools (the blue-ribbon committee didn't think of this one)
2c. How to deal with faculty members (now, wouldn't this be an "outcome"? really should be).
2d. How to inform your colleagues that multiculturalism is important in our work and its issues should be acknowledged by all professionals (Eureka! Got one!)

So, now I went through that, I've got to write a paper and defend myself on just one learner outcome. At least I'll have Grace Jones to keep me company (yes, the musical talents of the one and only...Grace Jones...writing this paper will be an interesting experience).

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Now Hiring?-Post 6

Post 6 from Now Hiring?

The Mood: Feelin' good, lookin' good
The Music: New Edition "If It Isn't Love"

It's time for another post from the semi-infamous student affairs blogger. It has been a rather interesting couple of days since I last chatted with ya'll. Well, it seems that I've stopped getting e-mails about scheduling interviews during ACPA. I don't know if this is normal, but I was a little worrisome about this development. However, I have to remind myself that I was sending information to schools in October, so if I want a gig I'll get one. However, I'm just doing the "hurry up and wait" thing. I'm just so excited to get those dental benefits...

I did have one good development this week...a really good job opened up at my school here. The description (as I glance over it for the 49th time) looks interesting, and I would do some programming and some res life work.'s here...and there's no Dunkin' Donuts around (you know my fanaticism about those lovely glazed donuts). I can get over that, because I'll be doing some great work with some really good people. However, I had a not so good experience with trying to get a job, and it might skew my thinking. I'll detail it in 8 simple points:

1. Job opens up...I'm encouraged to apply. "You'd be perfect" everybody tells me. "Tell it to the employer" I sarcastically reply.
2. I apply.
3. Get a phone call...on a Saturday morning. "You in grad school?" they say. "Um, yeah" I reply. "Well, you'll have to stop going to work here" they reply. (There's a lot more to the discussion, but you get the jist of it).
4. Discuss with Dad: "Boy, remember, eat, sleep, and breathe". "Yes I know" is my reply.
5. Consult girlfriend. Before I finish the story about the phone conversation, she already has an apartment picked out. It takes me 3 days to realize that she's excited.
6. Negotiate with job. They want somebody now, and in their language, I would have to stop going to school, advising groups, studying, eating, sleeping, and breathing.
7. They tell me "Well, if you want this, you'll delay graduation." Delaying graduation costs, if my math's correct, like $7000 (or more, or was a helluva lot of money, I don't remember the exact amount. It had a lot of zeroes in it). I tell them "thanks, but no thanks"
8. They hire somebody, and from what I hear she is doing a great job. No hard feelings.

So, you can understand my apprehension. I might go ahead and apply still, and hope I don't have to go through the same process. I doubt I will, so I've got some thinking to do.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Candidate #0000 - Post 6

88 days until graduation.

Song that has been stuck in my head for the past couple of hours:
Bare Necessities from Disney’s Jungle Book

Last University Web site I looked at:
University of California – Santa Barbara

A lot has happened over the past couple of days. I don’t even know where to start. And I’m having a really hard time concentrating right now. I had to bring my computer speakers to a conference this weekend (we needed them for a presentation) and I haven’t put them back yet (because I’m really lazy, which anyone knows who has seen the mess in my living room…I have just been way too tired yesterday to move, let’s not even talk about cleaning). So anyway, I can’t listen to music right now, which means that the only sound is the typing on keyboard. It’s really starting to drive me crazy. I can’t work without some background noise. Isn’t that weird? Some people need absolute silence so that they can concentrate. For me, it’s exactly the opposite. I need some noise because silence makes me nervous. Also, whenever it’s so quiet in my apartment, I start listening to all the weird noises of the plumbing in my apartment, the sound of the refrigerator, the wind outside… I get sidetracked more easily when it’s quiet than when there is a lot of background noise.

Anyway, I’m going to try really hard and write this post and hopefully it’ll make sense. :)

Thursday, I met with our Associate Director of Residential Life and she had a lot of great feedback for me regarding my resume and cover letter. I thought, after I had so many people look at it, that it was good. And it probably was, but there were still a lot of little things that could be improved and tweaked. I tried to do that today and I was surprised myself how much I was still able to improve these documents. I sent them to our director again and she will probably get back to me in a couple of days with more feedback. Once I’ve heard from her, I really need to start sending out resumes and cover letters.

I keep getting e-mails from different universities and colleges, who have seen my resume posted on the ACPA Placement. It’s really flattering and exciting to get all these requests. It’s also extremely scary though. I mean, it’s really starting to force me to figure out what I want to do and where I want to go. And most of all, I am still really worried about this whole visa situation. I’m currently here on a student visa and that will expire once I graduate. So what do I do next? Should I apply for this optional practical training visa that would allow me to stay for one additional year? But what after this year? So should I apply for this H1B visa or whatever it is called, that would allow me to stay for six years but is job-specific? It said on this Immigration Web site that applications take 4-6 months to be reviewed. I don’t have 4-6 months after finding a job, before I need to start working. Is this even a possibility? And what if my request is denied?
I’ve been participating in this Green Card Lottery for several years now, but I guess I’m just not a very lucky person. For those of you, who may not be familiar with this lottery: Every year, the US gives out green cards to people from countries that don’t have a lot of immigrants. It’s an effort to further the diversity of this country. All you have to do is send in an application and if you’re lucky, your name is picked. I was told that people from Austria (that’s where I was born) have a 1 in 8 or 9 chance to win. I’ve participated in this lottery for 4 or 5 years, I think (It’s been so many times that I’ve stopped counting). If I could just win, all my problems would be over. This is so frustrating! I wish that whether or not you’d win had something to do with your education, job qualifications, your language skills, etc. I mean, then I would have a much better change. But pure luck? It just doesn’t seem fair.

So yes, the e-mails regarding my candidacy for a variety of Residence Hall Director are very exciting, but I wonder if these institutions were still interested if they knew that I am an international student and would need their sponsorship to get a visa. There are so many qualified candidates out there…why would anyone go through all this extra trouble? And then, there’s never a guarantee that I will actually get the visa.
Our Associate Director of Residential Life has been extremely helpful and is trying to support me every step of the way. She has figured out the name of an attorney, who may be able to give me some advice. We’ll see how all that goes.

But this wasn’t what I meant to tell you about…
Friday, we had this Mock Placement Conference organized by Residential Life for all of our graduate students. It was absolutely phenomenal. During the morning, we had sessions on every aspect of job searching. And then in the afternoon, we actually did a lot of mock interviews. I had four.
It was a little strange doing these interviews with people from my institutions, since I had known all of them before. I was definitely anxious and didn’t want to look like an idiot in front of them. Isn’t it ridiculous how much pressure we put on ourselves?
But it went pretty well. I got a lot of good feedback. Most people told me to slow down. I know I start talking really fast when I get excited or nervous. Both things usually happen when I’m interviewing and talking about ResLife. I’ll have to make sure I don’t do that during any real interviews.
I definitely feel a lot more prepared now. And the best part: We got these absolutely gorgeous UConn portfolios as a Good Luck present.
We are so lucky to have such a generous Residential Life department. If you think about all the hours of work that were put into this event…it’s unbelievable.

I was definitely drained after that mock placement though. Talking for two hours straight (four 30-minute interviews) and having to pay close attention and concentrate all day took a lot more out of me than I had expected. I will have to make sure I don’t overdo it during the ACPA Placement. I don’t want to crash after the first day!

But instead of being able to sleep in on Saturday, I had to get up extra early for the All of the Above conference. That’s a one-day workshop for undergraduates, graduates and new professionals that sponsored by a variety of different professional organizations. I was on the planning committee for this event. So we had to be there bright and early. I got up at 4 a.m., after only 3 hours of sleep because I was still working on last minute preparations as well as some schoolwork until 1 a.m. that morning. The excitement of being at a conference kept me awake all day, but when we were coming back, I had a really hard time keeping my eyes open in the car (fortunately, one of my friends was driving me home).
The conference went really well. We had a good turnout and everything went very smoothly. If I’m still in this region next year, I would love to be on the committee again. But who knows I’ll be?

I’m starting to get tired of this not knowing where I’ll be and what I’ll be doing next year. I just went through this two years ago when I was a senior in college. It would be nice to settle down somewhere and now that I will stay in that area for a while. I don’t care so much about moving, even changing institutions. But it’s hard when you get involved in a community or region and then have to rip yourself away from it. I’ve met a lot of great people this year, at my institution and others in the region, and I’m going to miss them if or when I leave. It’d be nice to get really involved in an organization and now that you have more than one or two years to contribute to it.

Anyway, it’s time for bed because I’m still exhausted. And just so you know: I’m still humming the “Bare Necessities” while I’m typing this. I’m going to have this song stuck in my head all night!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Now Hiring?-Post 5

Post 5 from Now Hiring?

The Mood: Work on the weekend should be illegal...
Why the walls are shaking: Tony! Toni! Tone! "It Doesn't Rain in Southern California"

Ah, another week of "work" ends, and the weekend is upon me the vast amounts of work I have to do. It seems that job searching is now my "work" because that what takes up most of my time. It's about Eating, Sleeping, and Breathing. However, I've had to deal with some issues at "work". Some of my students are having difficulties with their living arrangements because of contractual agreements. So, they're in situations when they have to inconvenience themselves to get their schoolwork done. It's rather frustrating when someone comes for help and you're powerless to do anything. I'm not a lawyer, so I can't go sue-happy. I'm not a dirty cop, so I can't kick down doors and "persuade" someone to change their ways. Hence, I'm learning to be as supportive as possible.

As for the job search, I've got some decisions to make. I've been sending my resume for multicultural affairs and residence life jobs at the same time. Now, I have some interviews coming up, and I feel I'm in a bind. The main question in my head is, Which one do I choose? Since I've had experience in both areas, I really like both arenas. I could see myself running around at 3 in the morning chasing down inebriated freshmen trying to get into my building, and I can see myself doing diversity training seminars for administrative personnel who should already have the knowledge. I'm not concerned about the pay, though living rent-free sounds pretty good for a broke fool like myself. Now, if you're wondering why I'm having these thoughts, here's two reasons:

1. Everybody tells me that multicultural affairs is this sort of professional "black hole"...if you get in, you'll never get out. Now, I personally don't believe that, but the more I hear it, the more I get the thinkin'. I LOVE the work, but I'm trying not to believe the negative hype. I work with some good folks, and I'm making a difference.
2. Res life seems the most relaxed way to go. Yeah, there's policy enforcement, roommate squabbles, and the everpresent stupidity that is contained in a dorm. From my experience, working at multicultural affairs can get stressful, and res life was pretty easy-going. But note, this comes from relatively little experience working in both. If I was one of those theorists who's been around the block a couple of times (professionally speaking, of course), then my words can be taken a little more seriously.

So, I've got these thoughts in my mind. Hell, if I could do both, I'd be golden. that I'm thinking...everybody that says multicultural affairs work is a "black hole" has never done it...bunch of haters they are! But for now, if I get either one, I'll be happy. Remember, I've got to get my fix of Dunkin' Donuts...

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Candidate #0000 - Post 5

93 days until graduation.

Low point of my day:
I only slept for about two hours last night, so I am exhausted right now.

High point of my day:

Getting really great feedback on my cover letter and resume from a professor. I am about ready to seriously start applying for jobs.

Our Residential Life department is putting on a Mock Placement for all the graduate students in our Higher Education and Student Affairs program on Friday. In the morning, we will have sessions addressing various topics related to job searching. In the afternoon, we will be doing mock interviews with professionals from other institution in a setting very similar to a national placement.

I’m sure it will be a great event and very useful to all of us in our preparation for the conferences. I am so grateful to the people who organized this event; I truly am. I am still freaking out about it though. I almost feel worse about these mock interviews than if it was the real conference. I will be interviewing with people who know me, who know exactly what I have done. These are people that I look up to and respect. I don’t want to look like a fool in front of them. I don’t want to disappoint them.
Everyone here has been so supportive and helpful throughout this job-hunting hell. And everyone has such high expectations of us, the graduates of our newly revamped master’s program. I can’t fail them. I have to be amazing.

Well, I can barely keep my eyes open, so this will be short post. Wish me luck for Friday and I will definitely let you know how it goes.