Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Personal Victory: New Job!

I have a new job!
This was the one picture I found of me that I felt came close to my joy at this news.
After one interview I was able to obtain my first job offer. I have accepted it (though I am waiting to hear about the possibility of a different job at the same institution) and I couldn't be happier!

My new place of work will be Korea University, one of the top three Universities in Korea (Seoul National University is the top, Korea University is perpetually tied with Yonsei University). I will be working in the Language Enrichment program. It is an English-intensive academy (a hagwon, for those of you ho know what that is) but I will be working (most likely, haven't gotten the final word) with adults. It's a pretty sweet gig. I am only teaching for 3-5 hours a day, have regular weekends, don't go in until the afternoon, have a set end-time (important for those of you familiar with hagwon horror stories), get 4 weeks of vacation, and will be paid more than I am now. 

The thing making me super happy about this is that Korea University just happens to be the institution where my significant other works (though he works in a completely different department). Things between us have been going amazingly, so much so that I am not hesitant about taking a position at his institution.

Now, for the more interesting bit, how I got the job.

The Interview
KU's Language Enrichment Program emailed me about three weeks after I had sent them all of my information and asked me to interview. The date they provided was when I was planning on being out of town, but they were very generous and allowed me to reschedule (something I was terrified of asking them to do). Since they were looking for teachers for both the elementary school and adult level they asked me to prepare two lesson plans. This was terrifying. I have never worked with elementary school children and have only worked with native speaking adults. I was seriously freaking out while writing these lesson plans. In the end it took me about three times as long as it normally does to prepare them (which is horrible for me because I can normally pump a lesson plan with powerpoint out in about an hour). I had print outs of the lessons and proposed materials with me for the four interviewers I was going to see. I went out and bought a fancy leather binder to keep all my papers in (like a boss) and hurried over to KU getting there, but for the grace of God, 5 minutes before my interview time. 

This was the single most intensive interview I have ever attended. They had already looked over my qualifications thoroughly so there were none of the fluff questions at the beginning that you would usually expect. We dove right in. They began asking me about how teaching in Korea has changed me as a teacher and what lessons I have learned. After about 20 minutes of that they asked me to present two sections from both lesson plans while they pretended to be students and created worst-case scenarios for me to react to. I am extremely proud of myself for how I took these obstacles on, I really don't know where all of that awesomeness came from, I'm going to say it came from my parents. The lesson presentations took about 40 minutes all together. Finally we got into the "why KU," "why Korea," "what are your weaknesses and how do you keep them from making you suck" questions, the ones that make you question yourself as a person of worth. At the end they walked me out while allowing me to ask them questions about the work environment. I also am not aware of where the amazing questions I was able to ask came from, again, I just had awesome parents.

In the email telling me about the interview they had asked for me to bring copies of a bunch of legal paperwork (degrees, ARC, passport, etc.). I had read this as being that the scanned copies from my computer would be enough. NOT TRUE! I freaked out when they asked for my E2 self-health check, ARC, passport, 2 passport photos, FBI background check, and diplomas and said they wanted the originals of all of them. I stuttered a lot and apologized and gave them the few things I had on me (ARC and 1 passport photo) and promised I'd bring the rest tomorrow. This is when I knew they really liked me because one of the interviewers chimed in and apologized, saying that she had realized that the way she had worded the email wasn't clear and had meant to send me another email but had forgotten (WHAT A RELIEF!). The next day I brought the rest of the items in. They accepted my original apostille diploma copies and a copy of my FBI background check. I had originals of everything else.

With all of this being said, the process of getting a job in a university turned out to be an easy, although at times painful and tedious, ordeal. I am still going to look over any interview offers I receive but, at the moment, I am just terribly happy that I will be working somewhere in the city I love, doing what I love, come September.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations. I am often jealous of your success but I know it is because you prepare and are an effective teacher. I know you will do great at Korea University. Good luck!