The job hunt high

Similar to the goat holding high.

Similar to the giddiness felt when holding a small goat. Photo taken by Caitlin VanArsdale.

Sometimes, searching for jobs is grueling. Then you get leads. And interviews. And the number of people viewing your LinkedIn profile increases. And suddenly the job hunt can be, I dare say, fun. I hope this doesn’t jinx me.

Monday began with an unexpected call-back on an application for a Research Study Assistant position at UW Internal Medicine working on a bunch of breast cancer pathology and technology studies. This is the job that, a few days ago, I reported never hearing back about after applying at least a month ago. Thus, I was a bit surprised, answering the phone with a throat clear and hello?. I had to ask to continue the conversation in 20 minutes once I got somewhere with better cell phone service (my favorite Seattle Capitol Hill coffee shop/bookstore: Ada’s Technical Books). It was an interesting conversation, as it seemed like the woman (I’ll stick with some degree of anonymity for now) was trying to emphasize how the work can involve some more tedious tasks and juggling many priorities. The thing is, I enjoy multitasking. She also highlighted that people who do this job well – including the more tedious work – do it because they are helping people with cancer. She highlighted that the research group is very much a team. This is the kind of job I love – working with people who care about not only their work, but helping others – both the research population and fellow team members. My answers to her questions started off feeling a bit rehearsed, and I think she could tell. As our conversation progressed though, my responses came more naturally, and by the end it was more of a back-and-forth discussion with some laughter peppered between remarks. Needless to say, I am happy to be going in to interview with the team on Friday.

She asked for three professional references, and after sending out a few emails, I realized I actually have them. I have, less than a year after college, three professional references essentially in my field. One is from my latest boss at the UW Global Medicines Program. One is my supervisor from my WHO internship. I thought he may not want to be contacted directly to serve as a reference for his past intern, as I already have a recommendation letter from my internship, but I was wrong! Interestingly, I was most nervous about asking my Reed thesis advisor / boss from when I was his research assistant to be a reference, given my less-than-amazing finale to my thesis experience. However, I enjoyed my RA work for him, and my thesis experience was not entirely negative. I asked him outright if I should not include him as a reference, but he said that I should include him. Thus, three professional references! I also have some for tutoring and event organization, I think, but since none of the jobs I am currently applying for are in those areas, I’ll stick with the my research and program assistant references. Huzzah!

Feeling the joy, I also sent out an almost-cold call email to a Reed alumnus in disaster management who I only corresponded with once before during my junior year while working on my junior qualification exam. I haven’t heard back (yet?), but I’m still glad I sent the email.

In addition, I also have appointments with several Reed alumni this Saturday who work in emergency preparedness and response. I love that field, so I am excited to talk with them.

This week should be very interesting! Still, I just have to remind myself – if none of these opportunities lead to a job, at least I will have learned more about various fields and positions, made some new contacts, and practiced interviewing.

P.S. Want to visit goats in Portland? Check out the Belmont Goats.

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