International Educator - May/June 2015 - 43

JOB
SEARCH
It would have been nice to start my career in Washington, D.C., but I was flexible and willing to relocate. I then
started to look at job postings through NAFSA, higheredujobs.com, and The Chronicle for Higher Education. In
addition to these resources, I also explored the "career" link
on the websites of numerous study abroad program providers. I did not have a particular deadline, which made things
a lot easier for me. Nevertheless, I was eager to start the
next chapter of my life as an education abroad professional.

Why the Formality?
In late October 2011, I applied for an education abroad
adviser position at a large public university in the MidAtlantic. I thought this place would be a good fit for me.
The majority of the students at this institution are firstgeneration students and racial minorities. I also fit into
these demographics and believed in my ability to relate,
inform, and encourage diverse students to view overseas
academic study as an attainable and important part of the
undergraduate experience.

During an incredibly challenging nine months,
I applied to roughly 65 jobs that focused on overseas
educational exchanges, had three interviews a month,
and was overlooked for nearly all of the positions.
My first, 30-minute Skype interview with this university
went well; afterward I was invited to an all-day, on-campus
interview. I would meet everyone in the education abroad
office and was required to make an hour-long PowerPoint
presentation that focused on debunking myths about study
abroad for students, faculty, and staff.
Finally, I thought my time had arrived. This was exactly
what I needed to showcase myself and I started to work
on my PowerPoint presentation. I sent the presentation
to friends for feedback and constantly bounced ideas off
of them. I also practiced five, sometimes ten, times a day
in front of a mirror, in front of my roommates, and in
front of my 86-year-old landlady and her two cats. I was
incredibly focused.
My big day arrived. I took a deep breath, exhaled, doublechecked my neck tie, and walked into the education abroad
office. After an hour-long conversation with the director
and assistant director, I was led to the room where I would
present. It went well and the question-and-answer session
allowed the audience to get to know me a little more. I was
treated to a nice lunch and given a tour of the campus.
42  

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR M AY + J U N E .15

The amount of time that I had prepared for this oncampus interview, I thought, clearly had paid off because
I felt good at the end. I went home thinking success is
inevitable when preparation meets opportunity.
Ten days later, I received a rejection notice by email indicating that they had selected a more qualified candidate.
I was devastated! I learned that the person I was overlooked
for was an internal candidate. I immediately requested an
event debrief. The director of study abroad replied and
explained that the other candidate "had more office experience." She also forwarded me several networking and
volunteering opportunities to help get my "foot in the door."
This was nice of her because she did not even have to reply.
I was grateful for the input and she is now a great contact
with whom I continue to share study abroad resources.
In my current situation, I have been involved in the
candidate selection process and now have a better understanding of why internal candidates are favored from the
institution's perspective.

Why Aren't the Dots Connecting?
I was now getting frustrated and doubt was creeping in.
My daily routine involved looking at NAFSA's job registry.
I checked it right after waking up and right before going
to bed. In between these times, I worked retail to pay the
bills. Before 2012 arrived, however, I applied to roughly
five education abroad positions a week, made notes of
when I submitted each application, and noted when
I would follow up.
I could not believe my situation. I thought my educational and professional experiences overseas would make
me really competitive for most entry-level study abroad
adviser jobs. I was an overseas study participant, lived
and worked in other countries for several years, earned
a master's degree, and acquired foreign language skills.
The transition into an administrative role that facilitates
study abroad for college students was going to be natural,
I thought; so I wondered, why am I not getting offers?
Is anyone even reading my cover letter and résumé and
connecting it to the announced job description? Why are
people missing the obvious? I never had these questions
answered, but giving up was not an option.

Was It Worth It?
During an incredibly challenging nine months, I applied
to roughly 65 jobs that focused on overseas educational
exchanges, had three interviews a month, and was overlooked for nearly all of the positions. This experience was
especially tumultuous for me because I was also undergo-



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - May/June 2015

Pathfinders
Job Search: An American Tale
On the Rise
Frontlines
In Brief
Voices
Education Abroad
Foreign Student Affairs
International Enrollment
Forum
In Focus
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Cover1
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Cover2
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 1
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 2
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 3
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Frontlines
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 5
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 6
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 7
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 8
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 9
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 10
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 11
International Educator - May/June 2015 - In Brief
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 13
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 14
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 15
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 16
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 17
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 18
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 19
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 20
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 21
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Voices
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 23
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 24
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 25
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Pathfinders
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 27
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 28
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 29
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 30
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 31
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 32
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 33
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 34
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 35
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 36
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 37
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 38
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 39
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Job Search: An American Tale
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 41
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 42
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 43
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 44
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 45
International Educator - May/June 2015 - On the Rise
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 47
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 48
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 49
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 50
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 51
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 52
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 53
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 54
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 55
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 56
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 57
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Education Abroad
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 59
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 60
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 61
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 62
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 63
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 64
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 65
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Foreign Student Affairs
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 67
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 68
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 69
International Educator - May/June 2015 - International Enrollment
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 71
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 72
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 73
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Forum
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 75
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 76
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 77
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 78
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 79
International Educator - May/June 2015 - In Focus
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 81
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 82
International Educator - May/June 2015 - 83
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Cover3
International Educator - May/June 2015 - Cover4
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