04 August 2008

The Grad Student Job Search

So it's been well over a month since I last posted, and even then I'm not sure if there were any readers still left in these parts, but I figured I'd give this a shot anyways. I'm in need of some sage guidance, or at least some new ideas or funny stories, so if you've got anything at all to say, please pipe in.

Here I sit with under a month before the new semester kicks off, and I'm still not sure where I'm going to be working through the school year. Last year I was able to continue working with the company I'm currently employed by - where I've been for well over 2 years now - and this worked out with only a few kinks. They allowed me great flexibility in my schedule with the single requirement that I work at least 32 hours per week. This was fairly manageable with my course load of 6 credits first semester and a 10-ish hour per week research assistantship. Second semester proved more difficult as a was continuing the assistantship and 32 hours weeks with a 9 credit load. I managed to get by, but feel that I could have gotten much more out of my classes and research had I been able to devote more hours to them and not to the humdrum of daily work-related tasks.

Thus, my current position. I'm headed into another 9 credit semester, 3 of those being devoted to thesis research and writing, and 3 of them at another DC area institution where I really want to make a good impression (with hopes of applying to their PhD program). It's pretty clear to me that I won't be able to keep up a 32 hour a week work schedule, 10 hr RA, and 9 hours of course work throughout this coming year and achieve what I've set out to achieve in the academic realm. Beyond that, our little company has gone through a merger in the last year and corporate culture here is changing in ways that make it, for me at least, a less and less pleasant place to be.

Hence, I've been on the hunt for a new position. I've already been passed over for two 20hr GA positions in student life, which I may or may not have been well qualified for, and I've currently got applications in for 2 other university positions - one in the library at yet another DC school and one in an admin position in a human rights group associated with one of the area law schools - and a handful of part time non-profit jobs. At this point, however, I'm feeling that I'm down to the wire, and I'm just slightly freaked out by the prospect of either 1) remaining in my current position for the coming year or 2) being jobless as the semester starts (an option I don't think is really an option at all).

So, my remaining (if there are any) wise and worldly readers (to borrow from turn of phrase from Dean Dad), any advise or at least a story? What did you all do during grad school, if you went. How did those jobs work out? What types of jobs would you suggest looking for...keeping in mind that I have no retail or serving experience besides being a pro-shop attendant and bartender at a tiny golf club.

1 comment:

jeff.maynes said...

Perhaps something in a University office - like Academic Advising? I held a part time job in that department, and while that was only for a few hours a week there were others who worked longer hours to at least help get by on living expenses through grad school. Those kinds of offices don't seem to pay as well, but are more flexible about hours.