December 06, 2011

Committee meetings, job prospects, and holidays

I had a committee meeting a couple weeks ago to update everyone on my research and dissertation-writing progress. Of the 5 research chapters, 4 have had all the experiments completed and 1 has already been published. It seemed to me that I was pretty much where I should be, but the committee refused to set a graduation timeline. I've been in the program more than 5 years and the funding for my stipend ends in a few months, so time is in short supply. I don't understand how the committee isn't pushing for me to finish! I mean, isn't the point of having graduate students to get them to graduate and get jobs? Aren't academic institutions in the business of flooding the market with over-educated but under-employed people?

Speaking of jobs, I had an interview recently. I thought it went really well. I was cool and collected, I had the skill set the employer was looking for, and I was willing to relocate. I didn't even bat an eye when the schedule had to be completely rearranged the day of the interview. But I received a rejection letter a few days later, stating that they had gone with someone else whose qualifications more closely aligned with the job. I found that rather odd, since I was told I was the only one interviewing for that particular position. Hmm .... It's too bad that most places are restricted legally on what they can and cannot share about one's interview, so I'll probably never know what I did wrong or why they decided not to hire me.

And with the holidays coming up, I've been busy Christmas shopping, lighting candles as mini offerings for a job, and hoping that I can tell my relatives that I'm finally finishing all this education.