In light of discussions between Trillwing and Articulate Dad, I thought I would mention recent job related developments. I got my most recent campus job because last summer I went to a summer institute run by the office I’m now working for. I guess I made a good impression, despite my self esteem problems. I at least know these people a little and can make some good guesses about the office culture.

My phone interview for an internship with a consulting firm is a different matter. I replied to an add in a way. I keep job feeds on my bloglines, but rarely see entry level jobs advertised. Last week, I saw a job advertised through a recruiting firm and looked up the consulting company and contacted their HR person. My letter didn’t mention that I knew they were advertising for someone, I just told them about myself and that I was looking an internship to allow me to get some experience in their field. I emphasized what skills I thought I could bring to the company.

Frankly I was amazed that someone called me back, because I have been sending out a lot of letters and resumes. Now my problem is that they are going to know a lot more about me than I will about them. All I know is what their website says and whatever information I can glean from them on the phone. As much as I want to find my first job, I also know that to make it worth my while I will need to work there at least six months, preferably a year. That is a lot of time to spend if the office culture is dysfunctional.

Sometimes I question the need to continue in graduate school and get a PhD. I would like to do some consulting work in any case, but the problem is how to get started. The opportunity to attend conferences and network is one thing that makes me want to stay in grad school. Unless you get into a very progressive firm, spending 40+ hours a week in an office leaves little time for networking (outside of meetings with firm clients.)