Gendered studies

A few weeks ago I went to an alumni event in my city (which is on the opposite side of the country from Grad U). While there, I chatted with a woman, MA, who works at the graduate student center. I mentioned that I had just finished my degree in Wallpaper Studies and she said with a knowing smirk, “And how was that?” Surprised, I answered cagily. “What do you mean?”

“Well, in my role at the grad student center, I see all the students who’ve had it with their programs and are just about to leave. And there are a disproportionate number of women coming to us from Wallpaper Studies.”

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My first interview

I finally got a response to one of my applications! An HR person emailed me today to set up a phone interview for later this week. I don’t want to jinx it, so that’s all I’m going to say for now. But I already feel like I’ve accomplished something just by getting a response. Yay!

Networking my head off

I got on a big networking kick last week. I’d been discouraged after a few early attempts didn’t come to much, and had been worrying a lot about the logistics of it all. I knew I was supposed to be “leveraging” my LinkedIn network, but what exactly did that mean? And how do I tell friends and acquaintances that I’m looking for a job without sounding like I’m selling myself? I don’t have all the answers, but I feel like I’ve come a long way in about a week. Here are some examples:

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Just sent off an application via Jobvite in which I attached the wrong cover letter file. The one that included a previous draft of the real cover letter, the copied-and-pasted job description, plus a generous sprinkling of bits and pieces from other cover letters. I spent far too long agonizing over this job application in the first place, and then I send it off and make a stupid, magnificently ironic mistake like that. After touting my brilliant eye for detail, killer proofreading abilities, and unmatched communication skills, I miss this. I guess it was bound to happen at some point. But is it better or worse that this is a job for which I got a contact through my ever-improving networking skills? If I were a nobody, then I could just scratch this one off the list: oops! But since I have an in, this person who doesn’t really know me is probably going to think I’m an idiot and regret recommending me.

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