First Professional Interview!
I'm here... it's been a while. I've been a bit busy! Unfortunately absolutely NO knitting :( Mostly because my semester has been kicking my butt. Still working full-time, grad school full-time and part-time internship. I think the last time I checked in I was in isolation for my body scan. Unfortunately my cancer has come back -- so on top of everything I'm gearing up for another round of high dose of radiation. Luckily the doctors have been very supportive and have allowed me to continue with my crazy hectic schedule and we are squeezing radiation in at the end of April. And while I'm getting radiated I'll be writing my thesis.... So as you can see, I haven't had much time for fun stuff (well yoga and runs here and there, but no crafty-goodness!). The semester ends in a couple of weeks though, so I will be getting back into knitting within the next month or so!
Other than all that, I've been busy squeezing in some traveling for conferences and professional development. I was awarded a scholarship for leadership training so I've been fortunate to have to opportunity to travel to conferences and recently returned from a conference in Philly. I have another conference in May assuming radiation goes well!
Last week I went for an interview for a fellowship position. I have to admit, I was NERVOUS! This was for a pretty big institution and I hope that I represented my SLIS graduate program, institution and myself well!
Regardless if I get this position or not I think this was a valuable learning experience for me. After all, this was my first "Big Girl" interview. A day-long interview is VERY different from the other 1hr job interviews that I've had in the past. Additionally, instead of just one-on-one meetings, I had a tour, lunch, and panel interview. For me the most intimidating moment was the panel interview. I was being interviewed by a number of the Directors and Associate Directors of various departments! And during this panel session I had typical interview questions and I had scenario/situational questions. I think I did well on most questions and scenarios, except for one of the scenario questions. Grrr... Other than that one senario question, all of the questions that I was asked were things that I had previously thought of. So I felt pretty prepared and confident. Furthermore, most of the questions were about me, my leadership skills and abilities and my thoughts about my future aspirations. So really, as long as I was true to myself, I couldn't go wrong.
In addition to the program/institution interviewing me to see if I was the right fit, I also took the time to see if I thought they would fit for me. And honestly, going into this interview I was still in shock that they called me (!?!?!) and how was I ever going to fulfill the position. After all, others who went before me are THE movers and shakers in our field of health science librarianship. However, once I got there (and got over the shock of being at the Mecca of research!), I realized that I needed to try them out as well. And I found out some aspects of the program are changing and I'm not 100% sure I like everything that will be changed. I mean, I still think if I was offered I'd have an amazing opportunity. But these changes will make me think about things from a more logistic aspect. I mean, I will be relocating my family (i.e. my husband and two bunnies) half-way across the US. So I really need to make sure that everything that I heard, saw and felt will be right for not just me, but also my (albeit small) family. But it is good to know that I have choices, and yes the selection committee will dictate whether I'm offered, however I get to dictate my own professional career and I can decide if this will be the right next step.
As I mentioned, regardless if I get the position or not I'm proud of myself for making it to the interview portion. And as this was my first professional interview I think it was good practice (too bad this IMPORTANT interview was my practice!). But hey, we all have to start somewhere.
To end this post I have a couple of pictures from the institution. I flew in the day before my interview and that afternoon I took the Metro in to campus so I could figure out where I was going (so I wouldn't get lost, flustered and late the morning of the interview). After I figured out where I was going I took some time to walk around campus. This was an overwhelming and humbling moment. For me, as a research scientist, I have held this institution in high regards. To be there, walking around the campus, knowing that they had called me for an interview was just an amazing feeling of self-pride. So yes, I was dorky. I took pictures, sent them to my scientist friends and PI. I almost shed a tear when I walked by a bed of yellow daffodils that smelled heavenly, felt the sun shining warm and bright and walked by the National Library of Medicine. It was a surreal experience!