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The previous thread was nearly at 400 posts. Apologies for the unoriginal title.

 

What are the Board’s opinions on applying for a job I was previously rejected for? This was more than 1.5 years ago and I’m living in the same area. I had two interviews with the place but was rejected for unspecified reasons. Does it look good if I apply for the role again with more experience? Will I just look like I have low self esteem? Or is it more likely they Will have no recollection of who I am?

 

I like to think of myself as more employable now, but it’s hard to say because they didn’t tell me why I was rejected. I have improved overall but don’t know if I have improved on whatever I was lacking.

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12 hours ago, Stannis Eats No Peaches said:

The previous thread was nearly at 400 posts. Apologies for the unoriginal title.

 

What are the Board’s opinions on applying for a job I was previously rejected for? This was more than 1.5 years ago and I’m living in the same area. I had two interviews with the place but was rejected for unspecified reasons. Does it look good if I apply for the role again with more experience? Will I just look like I have low self esteem? Or is it more likely they Will have no recollection of who I am?

 

I like to think of myself as more employable now, but it’s hard to say because they didn’t tell me why I was rejected. I have improved overall but don’t know if I have improved on whatever I was lacking.

I have applied for numerous jobs on more than one ocassion. I would say that especially when you got as far as the interview, its worth trying again if it is something you really want to do. Your previous rejection may just have been that the candidate pool was very strong that year and just edged you out. If it crops up in interview that you applied before you can use that as a springboard to launch into what you did since and how it has made you a better candidate

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On 1/21/2020 at 3:45 AM, Stannis Eats No Peaches said:

What are the Board’s opinions on applying for a job I was previously rejected for? This was more than 1.5 years ago and I’m living in the same area. I had two interviews with the place but was rejected for unspecified reasons. Does it look good if I apply for the role again with more experience? Will I just look like I have low self esteem? Or is it more likely they Will have no recollection of who I am?

 

I like to think of myself as more employable now, but it’s hard to say because they didn’t tell me why I was rejected. I have improved overall but don’t know if I have improved on whatever I was lacking.

If I had previously been rejected for a specific position — and not just a generic role that is heavily over-subscribed (like analyst at Goldman or programmer at Google) — then I wouldn’t apply again, not unless they had been very complimentary the first time and asked to keep in touch.  I would expect the prior rejection to loom over the process, even if I thought I had developed since. 

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t, and there may not be a lot of downside to doing so.

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2 hours ago, DMC said:

I remember a few years ago when I was forced to take some "how to teach" course that all graduate students have to do at my school, a couple ESL guys I met said they're always in high demand all over the place.

Probably best to move this here. I dated someone who taught for two years in Korea, and have the connections to make it happen, but I’d rather go to Western Europe and haven’t found a ton of stuff (though I’ve only looked a few times). Most of what I find is about going to school in Europe, not teaching abroad. I would think I’d be a good candidate considering I can teach psychology, politics or English and I sorta kinda can speak broken French and Spanish.

Really I just need a shock to the system to get out of this rut, and I think teaching abroad would do exactly that. Plus, it would provide for a number of stories, which is something I value greatly. I have no interesting in living a safe, boring life. But then again that’s how you get guns drawn on you in a South American jungle. :P

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1 hour ago, Tywin et al. said:

I would think I’d be a good candidate considering I can teach psychology, politics or English and I sorta kinda can speak broken French and Spanish.

I was just throwing ESL out there because I'd think it'd be the easiest way to make some money while traveling Europe.  If you wanna teach psychology or poly sci overseas, you're probably gonna need to get at least an MA.  Of course I'm talking about at a university level - if you wanna teach kids under 18, then best of luck.

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13 hours ago, DMC said:

I was just throwing ESL out there because I'd think it'd be the easiest way to make some money while traveling Europe.  If you wanna teach psychology or poly sci overseas, you're probably gonna need to get at least an MA.  Of course I'm talking about at a university level - if you wanna teach kids under 18, then best of luck.

I wasn’t trying to compare myself to ESL students, just that I completed four levels of both languages and if you gave me a week to study either, I could survive in a country that speaks either language if you dropped me into one with a little bit of money.

That said yeah, I was thinking about teach kids, not at the university level. I could probably teach a college level intro to psych course though, and I feel confident I could teach a lot of mid-level poli sci courses. The best compliment I ever received academically was from the dean of my university’s poli sci department. He told me he would trust me more than any other student he taught in 20 years to fill in to teach a class for a day if need be. I did graduate summa cum laude with high distinction after all. ;)

Also, congrats on finishing your dissertation. Mind if I ask how long it is? I was shocked to learn that my undergrad honors thesis was close to as long as a lot of people’s.

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9 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

Also, congrats on finishing your dissertation. Mind if I ask how long it is?

Thanks man.  To be clear, I'm effectively done - which means I have satisfied all 4 committee members and finally can stop revising all three of the papers.  But I still got a lot of necessary bullshit to take care of, then defend in April, all of which is pro forma.  Gotta update/expand the intro and conclusion sections, which no one really cares about and will take, like, one night.  Then gotta finalize the codebook, maybe add a couple trivial/tangential things to the appendices (which are already pretty damn long), and of course deal with EDT (electronic dissertation and thesis) formatting - which can sometimes be a bitch.  I think that's it.

In terms of length, the body of my diss right now - meaning not counting appendices, codebook, and reference list - is at..214 pages.  That will change a bit, but yeah, basically 65 pages per paper and the intro and conclusion.  Obviously, I have condensed versions of each paper that have been put out for publication.

Edited by DMC

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So question: if I submit my letter of resignation with my specified day of departure listed in order to wrap up current projects, etc., and I'm offered a severance package by my employer to leave early, am I obligated to take the severance and leave, or can I refuse severance to stay on until the date I specified?

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On 1/24/2020 at 6:09 PM, DMC said:

Thanks man.  To be clear, I'm effectively done - which means I have satisfied all 4 committee members and finally can stop revising all three of the papers.  But I still got a lot of necessary bullshit to take care of, then defend in April, all of which is pro forma.  Gotta update/expand the intro and conclusion sections, which no one really cares about and will take, like, one night.  Then gotta finalize the codebook, maybe add a couple trivial/tangential things to the appendices (which are already pretty damn long), and of course deal with EDT (electronic dissertation and thesis) formatting - which can sometimes be a bitch.  I think that's it.

In terms of length, the body of my diss right now - meaning not counting appendices, codebook, and reference list - is at..214 pages.  That will change a bit, but yeah, basically 65 pages per paper and the intro and conclusion.  Obviously, I have condensed versions of each paper that have been put out for publication.

Damn dude, why are you writing three different papers? Those are each the same length as my honors thesis, and my friends' dissertations were all under 80 pages.

Impressive either way though. Not writing in a long time is the one thing that worries me we regards to going to law or grad school. Oh well,  I'm going to force myself to study for 2 hours today for the GRE. I have to stop this pattern of studying really hard for a week or two then not studying at all for a month. Blah!!

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1 hour ago, Tywin et al. said:

Damn dude, why are you writing three different papers? Those are each the same length as my honors thesis, and my friends' dissertations were all under 80 pages.

This is gonna be a long answer (appropriately, I guess).  Generally in poly sci (I don't have any detailed knowledge on any other discipline), you have two options for how to write a dissertation:  a book format, where obviously the idea is the diss will get published into a book; or what's referred to as a "stapler dissertation," where you write three papers/articles then put them together with very brief intro and conclusion sections (that again, can be written in a night or two, a week at the most).  The benefit of the stapler dissertation is you're not putting all your eggs in one basket.  Ideally, by the time you go on the market, all three papers will be out for publication so you can articulate a much more diverse and hopefully well-grounded future research agenda for potential employers.  One of my committee members has an adage - all books could be articles; all articles could be research notes; and all research notes don't need to exist.  The point there is most poly sci books are quite bloated anyway - you can thoroughly demonstrate your argument in an article instead (and, if in the future you want to expand it into a book, there's of course still that option).

In terms of length, that's not something to really show off about, or be proud about.  In terms of the near-dozen friends or colleagues that have completed their diss over the past 4-5 years, almost all are around 200 pages.  Mine is considerably longer in large part due to my first chair (he got another job and left my school 2 and 1/2 years ago, so I had to eventually switch chairs based on university policy).  He is very prolific in his field - and the only real expert on the bureaucracy on my committee - but he's also very intense, socially awkward, and has a reputation of being hard to work with.  Despite having a career as a tenured professor that spans nearly 25 years now, he only had one student who successfully completed his dissertation with him as a chair before me.  That student's (now professor) dissertation was 369 pages.  That's counting all the extra stuff (appendices, reference list, etc.), but still, I'm comparatively getting off light. 

Gotta say, and again length isn't really special in any way, but even my first master's thesis - which was at a pretty low-ranked school and now when I read it I'm thoroughly embarrassed - was about 120 pages.  IIRC, the one guy I was close to there that finished alongside me had a thesis of similar length.  So, it's not that uncommon in poly sci to have considerably long papers I guess (at least compared to your under 80 example). 

Finally, a personal reason my shit's always going to be long is because I do have a tendency to be comprehensive.  Throughout my academic career, I'm either all in or don't do anything - the latter is partly why (along with the partying and laziness) I got the boot from my first undergraduate university - all the classes were just like (or even easier) than my high school courses so I just had a tendency not to show up.  It's also why it's taken me so long to finish - at the end of my third year here I had a really good (and long) overview, and by the end of my fourth year I was pretty much 90% done with the whole damn thing.  It's just in the fifth - and now half of my sixth year - I've been slowly dealing with random little tweaks/running different models/etc. that my committee has requested.  And my progress has been slow because I'm just so damn sick of my diss so I've gotten lazy.  To the point this academic year the poly sci department didn't offer me funding which is why I had to go downstairs two floors and am teaching sociology courses I'm hardly an expert in (but their department is much much more chill, hippy-ish, hell even kinda Marxist).

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3 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

Not writing in a long time is the one thing that worries me we regards to going to law or grad school. Oh well,  I'm going to force myself to study for 2 hours today for the GRE. I have to stop this pattern of studying really hard for a week or two then not studying at all for a month. Blah!!

I wouldn't worry too much about the writing.  If you go into a social science grad program, they're going to train you (another word would be indoctrinate) on how they want you to write papers anyway.  As for the GRE, I'd offer to help but pretty sure they've changed it significantly since I took it - which was now over 10 years ago.  Anyway, I don't think I studied for it at all and still did fine.

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13 hours ago, The Great Unwashed said:

So question: if I submit my letter of resignation with my specified day of departure listed in order to wrap up current projects, etc., and I'm offered a severance package by my employer to leave early, am I obligated to take the severance and leave, or can I refuse severance to stay on until the date I specified?

You should check with a lawyer if it’s of high importance to you.  My understanding is that if you are American and working in an at-will employment state, then your employer can terminate your employment at any point provided it’s not because of a protected class (age, race, sex, disability, etc).

So if you gave them six months notice (say), and they countered with one month’s notice plus a severance of two months pay, you are now locked into their timeframe or less.  They’ve decided to transition your role and knowledge in the shorter notice period, and they’re offering you the severance so that you’ll stick around for that long to train your replacement.  You can leave now if you don’t like that arrangement, but you won’t be getting the original six month (say) period that you wanted.

This is a reason why employees are averse to giving very long notice.  They have no protection if the employer decides to make a faster break.  I‘ve seen people manage an exit with very long notice periods before, but they must have felt very assured of their standing with their boss before proposing it. 

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8 hours ago, Iskaral Pust said:

This is a reason why employees are averse to giving very long notice.  They have no protection if the employer decides to make a faster break.  I‘ve seen people manage an exit with very long notice periods before, but they must have felt very assured of their standing with their boss before proposing it. 

The bolded does apply in this instance. Thank you for the advice.

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12 hours ago, The Great Unwashed said:

The bolded does apply in this instance. Thank you for the advice.

Is that security because of the projects you mentioned previously?

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On 1/26/2020 at 3:03 PM, DMC said:

  Despite having a career as a tenured professor that spans nearly 25 years now, he only had one student who successfully completed his dissertation with him as a chair before me.  That student's (now professor) dissertation was 369 pages.  That's counting all the extra stuff (appendices, reference list, etc.), but still, I'm comparatively getting off light.

Okay WHAT is going on there? Inquiring minds...does he take on students and never graduate them until they become cautionary tales? Not take people on to start with? Does everyone end up shuffling him off their committees? Does he not notice that his students never file?

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1 hour ago, Datepalm said:

Okay WHAT is going on there? Inquiring minds...does he take on students and never graduate them until they become cautionary tales? Not take people on to start with? Does everyone end up shuffling him off their committees? Does he not notice that his students never file?

LOL, good questions.  My understanding is he (for anonymity's sake let's call him..Stan, in honor of Stanley Kubrick who was famously difficult to work with and socially awkward) rarely took on students, for starters.  I became fast friends with that one student that successfully completed his diss once I chose Stan as my chair (in my third year), but even he finished fairly recently - 2015.  I didn't know the student at the time, but that was my first year in my current program.  In between me and that student, there was another student that tried to take on Stan as a chair, but he rather quickly changed course.

I only switched chairs when I had to - since Stan left at the end of my third year, my university only would've permitted him to stay on as chair by the end of the next AY, or my fourth year.  I was almost done - and in hindsight I should have switched chairs earlier and the other three committee members may have let me defend by the end of my fourth year, but alas, it was not to be.

Anyway, so Stan did take on three students in about a 5-7 year interval.  That's actually not a horrible rate.  Why did he never have a successful student before that?  I honestly have no idea.  One would think the university would frown upon his either unwillingness or inability to successfully shepherd students to their phd.  And, that may be part of why he left - he was always looking for my university to offer him an endowed chair (to avoid confusion, in terms of an endowed faculty position), and they never did.  So when he finally got such an offer at a university that is top ranked in his subfield of bureaucracy, he took it.  Which at the time I was surprised about - he has two relatively young kids (I think they were about 14 and 10 when he left), I did not expect him to make such a move.

Another probable reason, again, is how open even the faculty is about how hard Stan is to work with.  My current chair was recruited and hired by Stan, and Stan co-authored her first book that helped get her tenure so she's always appreciative.  But me and her commiserate all the time - even before I made the switch - about how difficult Stan is to deal with.  When my switch of chairs officially went through administratively, the rest of the committee was notified.  The next time I met with my committee was during the bi-weekly meetings the Americanist (American politics field) faculty started with us ABD students to check on our progress.  One of my committee members actively celebrated that Stan was off my committee and therefore his association with our university had entirely ended.  My current chair and I kind of looked at each other like "that ain't right," especially to do so in front of the other ABD students, but that emphasizes how disliked Stan was in my program.

Finally, to be clear, Stan is a very nice person and tries to be as helpful as possible.  Moreover, his contributions to developing the theories of my diss are invaluable - I wouldn't be nearly in the position I am without his guidance and I owe him a lot.  It's just Stan is insanely intense, doesn't respond to basic social cues, places unrealistic expectations on anyone he works with, and has a tendency to demand everything is done his way.

Edited by DMC

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@DMC So at least you're assembling your committees over time, not on entering the program? I guess that's a bit better, at least...academic personalities though, argh.

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39 minutes ago, Datepalm said:

@DMC So at least you're assembling your committees over time, not on entering the program? I guess that's a bit better, at least...academic personalities though, argh.

Yeah the way my program is set up is you get your MA after the second year - and all you have to do is write a pretty basic paper demonstrating you know how to properly execute a research paper -- and then present it in front of (potentially) the entire department, which is the kicker.  I had to work my way up to get to my current program, so I have two MAs.  Doesn't help me in any way, but can help fill up the wall space!  Anyway, after that, you build your diss committee starting during the third year.  In my experience talking to students from other universities during conferences, that's pretty much how it works in the poly sci discipline.

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