The Race for The Cure

Posted by Lady Mel On Monday, May 16, 2011 0 comments

Omg Christina. Where have you been? Funny that you have asked...

I've decided to take a year off and apply to graduate school in the Fall of 2012. My lack of HCI/ UX Design experience. My lack of research experience in the field. All the information recruiters and professionals need to ignore me or just say no. I have contacted several professors in my area about potential research assistant/volunteer opportunities, only to get rejected and I do not know why. I was estimable in my emails. No harsh words. No rudeness. But I was persistent with my responses. Since when has persistence become the new n-word? Take persistence and your drive to succeed out of the equation and what would you have left? Absolutely nothing. All I hear right now is dead silence on the other end of the line.

Also, I think social media is not a good outlet for job hunting. Social networking is good for "finding" pages and pages of job listings, but it limits the way people go about looking for work. Yes, I can tweet or use InMail to track down a employer about a career opportunity or job inquiry, but will that person contact me back?

Ok, I am having a hard time finding a research position. What is the closest thing I can do to get my top schools to look at me as a future M.S. candidate? I'll take an user experience internship for 500 points Alex Trebek. So I paid $30.00 (as an experiment) for the LinkedIn Job Expert account. I read that with this account, unemployed job seekers are placed at the top of the online applicant pool and job search results. So far, fewer people have checked my LinkedIn profile than before the upgrade. My summary and marketing pinch are sweet and concise to the point. I participate in several LinkedIn groups. I even posted this blog's url link and published work. If I could get my money back, I would. What are you recruiters waiting for?! Are you anxiously waiting for the perfect candidate to appear at your online doorstep?

Next stop: online job postings. BIG mistake. No one likes my applications. No one reads my applications. No one wants to interview me. I am just an inexperienced pawn in a recruiter's game of chess. Yet recruiters do not know that I am ten steps (pun attended) ahead of them. Is hope all lost? Not quite. 

I promise to attend more networking events this summer. Last week, I attended my first job fair; the 2011 Essex County College Job Fair Expo in Newark, NJ. I met future employers and landed some job training and job leads. I plan to attend another job fair next week. Drawbacks? I do not know the names of the employers and companies that will participate beforehand. It must be a Newark thing. Benefits? I pushed my boundaries and got my name and brand out there.

So I am not getting a job anytime soon. How can I or anyone in my situation improve his/her skills? UX Designers are in high demand. So during this summer, I plan to self-teach myself Adobe Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Flash, and Illustrator so that by the fall, I am more marketable. I am going to continue reading about HCI and possible look into vlogging and open-source projects to keep me busy and awesome. If I can walk a three mile race for breast cancer without any prior experience, I can do anything long as I am not stopping myself short.

And so my life after Smith College continues... what are your summer plans?
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