Friday, September 11, 2009

The Quarantined Life: Day 5

The day really started after I had a two and a half hour facebook chat with my mom. We talked about everything from my potential marriage to Kayla, to my future as a government employee. After we said goodbye, I came to a few conclusions:

I. I wasted the majority of the week eating, sleeping, and watching re-runs of shows I didn't even like.

II. If I was going to find a job out of Korea, I really needed to look for one.

III. If I was going to get anything done, I needed to do it OUTSIDE of the four walls of my apartment.

With that being said- I took a shower, packed my backpack, and took the bus about thirty minutes to a part of Seoul called "Hapjeong". For those of you sandwich lovers, much like myself, I found my way to the local Au Bon Pan. I scoped the place out for a large table, as I would be setting up shop for the day and needed my space. Once found, I set up my laptop, my external hard drive, moleskin notebook, water, and ipod.

I opened my notebook and I made a "to-do" list. First on my list being restructuring my resume so that I can convince potential employers that my experience as a teacher in South Korea has been relevant to almost any job out there. Next, I wrote out some websites I knew could be useful to my job hunt. After a while of searching I found three potential jobs in Illinois that I might have a fighting chance for. I wrote down in my notebook some of the info- contact person, email addresses, requirements, and job qualifications.

At this point I was high in energy. I could feel the hairs standing up on my arms and I knew that I should apply for these jobs. So what if I don't get an interview, applying for these jobs is a step in the direction I need. I know that after two years of living and working abroad, I am a strong candidate for any job that I want to apply for.

Once I brought myself back down to reality, I worked on three separate cover letters. Let me tell you, writing a cover letter is such a tedious task. Not only do you have to sell yourself to your potential employer, you have to make sure that you highlight your skills as they are going to benefit them. After I sketched out what I wanted to highlight, I wrote three convincing cover letters. Before I sent them, however, I had a friend look over them via email and she gave me the green light to go ahead and send them.

I wrote a list of professional references, attached my cover letter and resume, and with the click of "send" applied for three jobs in the US. What a great feeling! I wanted to share the experience with you all because it's hard to take that step, especially when you already make decent money and live rent free.

As Friday, day five of my quarantine comes to a close, I really feel like I did get something accomplished. I still have the whole weekend ahead of me to even do more. For now, however, I have applied for:

I. Assistant Director- Student International Academic Affairs at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign - a job that works with students to organize study abroad opportunities while research and preparing materials for scholarships, grants, etc. to assist students in their semesters away.

II. International Services Coordinator at UIC- a job where I'd work with incoming international students as they prepare to move from abroad to the US to start their own studies.

III. Coordinator, Office of Study Abroad at Eastern Illinois University.

I think my Political Science background coupled with my experience abroad make these good job choices to focus on for now. I really can see myself back on a college campus working with students. The best part of these jobs is that I can also work on my Ph.D. at the same time, so that I can somewhere down the road teach at the University level.

How did you spend your Friday afternoon?

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