Thursday, May 11, 2006

Candidate #0000 - Post 26

66 days until…. [I’ve started a new countdown. But what am I counting down to now? Wouldn’t you like to know?]

[Continued from Post 25]

Shout-out to my fellow grad students! Congrats on graduating! Congrats to those of you, who already have a job! Good Luck to those of you, who’re still searching…I know you can do it. I believe in you!
I’m going to miss all of you next year!

Let’s do a little timetravel again…
Remember, it’s two weeks ago and I’m about to start the on-campus interview craziness. Two interviews with just two days break in between, one school I’m not sold on, and one I’m already crazy about.

The pressure is on.

I went to the first interview. I spent the plane ride trying to convince myself that I would like that school. I kept going over things that I liked about the position, things that had positively stood out to me during the conference interviews. It really wasn’t a bad position either…it had a lot of the things I liked. There were definitely some exciting opportunities there. It just wasn’t what I had dreamed off.

I got there late and one of the staff members picked me up from the airport. We chatted on the way back to campus. He was very honest, extremely almost shockingly honest. I soon found out what he liked, but just as much what he didn’t like about the department. He didn’t seem to be “in love” with the job.

Was I expecting too much? Were my exceptions unrealistic? I mean, is there really “the perfect” institution? A school where people just LOVE working at? A department that has everything I’ve ever dreamed off?

I went to bed confused and exhausted. It had been a long week at work as well, so I was badly in need of some sleep. But who can sleep the night before an on-campus? I tossed and turned, trying to think over all those first impressions I had gotten on the ride and by looking through the materials they had left in the apartment.

What did I think? Did I like it or not? Would I be happy here?

The interview started early the next morning. Breakfast with one of the staff members. Then interviewing sessions back to back. Lunch with staff, followed by even more interview sessions.

I felt like the interview were going pretty well. I liked what I heard. The position became a little more attractive to me. I could imagine some great opportunities being made available to me…saw myself making big changes in a department that was looking for input and change agents.

I also liked the staff members I was meeting throughout the day. They seemed like a fun group. But I couldn’t help but worry how I would fit in with them. They just didn’t seem like “my people.” I know I’d enjoy working with them, but it didn’t know if they’d be more than colleagues.

The day came to an end. I was ready for it to be over. My whole body was aching…I was so exhausted that I felt like I was going to start crying any minute. The last thing of the day was a meeting with the director. We talked for a bit, then he offered to show me around campus and the town.

We were driving around, when his assistant director called him to ask a couple question…one was for me related to my visa. The two talked for a bit longer, then the director got off the phone, finished his tour and drove me back to campus. We pulled into the parking lot, and then…

He offered me a job. Right then and there. I totally hadn’t expected that. It turned out, I was their last candidate, so at this point, they were ready to make offers.
I had no idea what to say, other than “Oh wow.” I probably sounded like a total idiot…haha.

I couldn’t form a coherent thought. I felt like crying again, this time because I was so overwhelmed. What should I say? What should I do?
I’d been so worried about not getting a job; now that I had one, half of me was screaming “yes, take it,” the other half, “no, think about this first. Is this really what you want?”

I must have looked very confused, so the director finally asked me where I was at in my job search. I explained that I had another on-campus in a couple of days and that I just wanted to see how that would go. I got some of my brain power back and was able to thank him for the offer and explain that I was really excited and honored, and would let him know as soon as I could.

We left it at that. One of the staff members was taking me home, and I was asking questions along the way trying to figure out how I would fit in with the staff. When I got to the airport, taking this job was a definite possibility. I felt like a huge weight had been lifted. I wouldn’t be deported….

I called my friends from the airport. Talking to them got me even more excited about the job offer. Yes, I could definitely work there. It hadn’t been my top choice from the beginning, but it was a good school, an interesting job, a nice opportunity. Yes, I could definitely do this.

[To be continued….]


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm excited for you... I, too, just returned from an on-campus interview yesterday, and it was one of those interviews that I had to persuade myself into taking. I didn't get an on-the-spot job offer like you did, but nonetheless, all the feelings you described about being on that particular campus are feelings I experienced this week.

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um, counting down until the day you start your new job?

11:45 PM  

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