The Academic Job Search

I want to share my academic job search and I hope that it helps others that are also looking for jobs in academia.

I had received several tips on how to organize the job advertisements to ensure I submitted all the required paperwork. I decided early that my brain works better in folders than spreadsheets so I created a very organized electronic folder system. Every position was a new folder. Every folder was numerically organized based on when the materials were due. I also contacted several professional references. I asked them if I could list them in my reference list, I also mentioned that I would have to ask for letters of recommendations at some point.

I wish I could say that the process was easy and stress-free but it was not. Compiling materials for my job applications took time away from my dissertation and it also took a toll on my emotions. One of the first decisions you will have to make is where you will apply. I received several pieces of advise (i.e., apply to research universities, apply to universities with known instructional design programs only, etc.). I decided that I was going to apply to all types of institutions (i..e research intensive, medium size, public, private).

Words of advise… Early in the process write your teaching philosophy, research philosophy, statement of research interest, update your curriculum vitae, and write a fairly detailed cover letter (that includes teaching, research, service and diversity). You will tailor your cover letter depending on the position you are applying to. A few aspects that I highlighted in my cover letter where my coursework and how it related to the position, my distance education experience, my instructional design practice, fellowship funding received, and the preference for the location of the university.

In total, I applied to 32 jobs in the United States, Canada and internationally. I was contacted by two universities for phone/video conferencing interviews and one on-campus interview. One interview was for a postdoc position in a research intensive university and the other was for an assistant professor position in a medium size private university. I think both interviews when well and I was fairly happy with the two universities, the positions and the location of the universities. I received a good offer from one of the two universities and I accepted it.

I hope that my post helps you in your academic job hunt. Here are some links that helped me as I was going through the academic job hunt:

Academic Job Hunt: Tips [Link]
Tips for a Massive Academic Job Search [Link]

Dissertation Successfully Defended!

Dissertation Defense Dissertation Defense

On June 7, 2013 I successfully defended my dissertation. I was happy to hear the feedback from my committee members. It was good to know that all the effort and energy had paid off. More importantly, I was happy to share my research with other academics that cared about it.

The dissertation defense was more than anything a discussion of the results, revisions that could enhance the document and questions about the process. It was hard to believe that I had actually conducted the research and written the document. I know at some point during the data collection process I thought…”I am never going to finish this thing!”

I must say that I am extremely grateful to all my participants. I cannot say that enough! Now I am working on final revisions to the document and once I get the “thumbs up” from my dissertation chair, I will be printing and delivering my dissertation. In my head, I imagine the sky will open and voice will say “Woooohooo!” but it is more likely that it will be a simple paper exchange.

Since it is 4th of July tomorrow, I would like to say to all: “Happy 4th! Be safe and enjoy some fireworks.”