Showing posts from August, 2011

10,000 B.C.E. and The Tropics

10,000 B.C.E.: Ok, not really that long ago, more like the early 1990s. The computers went down at work during a lunch this week. It revealed a lot about what the past few years has taught me, mainly: don't panic. While going to graduate school, planning a wedding, and working 30 hours the main goal was to the get through the day/hour/course/reading/shift. It requires flexibility, multitasking, and leadership. Flexibility to change plans, schedules, meals, etc. At first I thought the whole experience taught me a lot about my coworkers, but then I reflected and realized it showed me a lot about myself.
If a shift runs long or a reading takes more time than set aside, other things need to move around. The computers were down, so we had to write down our orders, hand them to the kitchen, do our own calculations, and so on. Multitasking was a huge skill, because while driving home I had to figure out what was next, or days off required laundry, dinner, reading, and preparing for work. …

A Master's Degree vs. The Job Market

Some might wonder a few things about my Master's degree. Generally the first question is, what is my "major" or degree. I have an MS in Administration with a Concentration in Higher Education Student Affairs, or Higher Education Administration for short.
The next question, or statement, is about what I want to do. People hear the word "education" and assume I want to teach or work in administration in a secondary education institution. That's a tricky question to answer in Higher Ed terms, but I usually explain it that I want to work with college students. Technically I do want to teach, but not necessarily in a traditional classroom setting, I want to teach through advising, mentoring, and experiencing. I want to help students develop into better people, students, and community members, which is a form of teaching. But, I want to "teach" while sitting in a supportive office, not by standing in front of a class (with my current job, I've had en…

Ground rules

Well, I didn't get the job. So the Job Hunt continues! This post isn't going to be about disappointment or frustration, but about ground rules. I recently discovered that not having rules in place works only when the other party plays by similar rules. For example, if a personal rule is to not have raw meat on the bathroom counter, a living situation doesn't work out well when another party uses the bathroom to thaw meat.
During my job search I've placed a few rules upon myself. The following list isn't in any particular order, except for the first one. 1) Only apply to positions that I will enjoy doing. I went to school in order to do my job well and to do something I love. I will continue to search for a position that allows me to fulfill those criteria. 2) Apply to positions in certain locations. I started in the Rochester and Buffalo areas, and have now expanded to Florida and the Virginia/D.C. region. 3) Money. I will not work for less than $30,000 a year for a…

Optimism and Hope

I had the second interview with the community college this week. It was truly a great experience. I met a leader with whom I hope to truly work. He was the true "macromanager", as I read about in an article a few weeks ago. He has a creative (a.k.a. liberal arts) background, not administrative. He believes and trusts in his people, and the focus is both getting the job done as well as supporting the people who do that job. While it is only a part-time position, I would happily and gratefully accept the position if it is offered to me.
We talked about a lot of things, leadership style, learning style, as well as personal likes, dislikes and hobbies. I learned about him as a person and as a leader, and I hope he learned something as well. He asked about my long-term goals, and I was pretty frank with him, although that's not always something recommended. I told him right now I'm looking for just about anything that will help me get into the profession, part-time or full…

A week of new things

Two weeks ago this Monday (tomorrow) I had my second interview of the job search. It was with a small community college in the area for a part-time job.
The interview was an interesting experience. There were five professional staff members on the interview panel, most of who have worked at the college for about five years, and many of who have done the job the interview was for. I had to ask for some of the essential information, such as how many hours the position required and where the position would be located (as there is more than one location for the institution). Most of the people in the interview wore very casual clothing, such as Capri pants and flip-flops, which was surprising, but also shows a relaxed work culture. There were beverages available as well as a few food items, mostly muffins. During the interview they told me that they would forward their recommendations onto the position's supervisor and that he would call me if interested in a second interview. The pos…

Welcome to the frustration

I received my Master's Degree in December of 2010, and have been searching for a position since then. As of this posting I have applied to 30 different postings since January first, and have had only two interviews.

Back to the beginning: I want to work in Higher Education/Student Affairs. Meaning: I want to work with college students in some capacity. At first I wanted to work specifically with veterans (as that was the focus of my thesis), and then I expanded my search to adults, veterans, and first-year students. Now, I look for anything interesting for which I might be qualified.

I have applied to several local institutions, some of which post on national job search websites and other which only accept application materials through email. Since we are working on Month 8 of my job hunt, I figured I would start writing about it. I won't mention institution names or specific job postings, but I hope that the few people who will read this blog will find my insights and frustra…