Saturday, May 11, 2013

final stretch

This is my second-to-last weekend in Korea. What do I have to show for my efforts?

Alas, the most honest answer is: not a lot. I've worked very hard to draw up and send off plenty of job applications, but no universities have contacted me since my last status update; even the Bank of Korea—which, according to my buddy Tom, wants to interview me—hasn't bothered to contact me. Not that I'm expecting instantaneous action from any of these institutions, but it would have been nice for at least one school to get back to me with a breathless phone call to say, "Yes! We desperately want to interview you before you go!" Realistically speaking, I don't see that happening. That's why, early next week, I'll be visiting four or five of the university departments that I most want to join:

1. Hansung University. I'll hit this uni early on Monday. It's located just two subway stops from where I'm currently living. The idea will be simply to drop in, say "hi," and leave the office folks with a good impression of my personality and, I hope, my Korean ability. I'll also want to make sure that, if an in-person interview isn't possible by the end of the week, that a Skype interview will be possible.

2. Hanyang University in Ansan. This university sits just outside of Seoul, in the satellite city of Ansan. It's a straight shot along the Light Blue Line from my place to the university's entrance. I'll be hitting this uni on Monday afternoon, around 2PM. Same deal: say "hi," leave a good impression, and get a hint about whether an interview is possible.

3. HUFS in Yongin. This is going to be something of a day trip. I have a 10:30AM sit-down on Tuesday morning in Yeouido with a contact given to me by Tom; after that, I'll take a bus to Yongin, then cab over to HUFS, drop in, and make my existence known to the HUFS staffers. In an ideal fantasy scenario, they'll want to interview me right then and there, but I know I shouldn't keep my hopes up. At best, I aim to extort a promise from the HUFS people that they'll either interview me later in the week or hit me by Skype when I'm back in the States. Of course, I don't know whether I can really extract that sort of promise from them; they're likely to say that they'll contact me if they like my application: "Don't call us; we'll call you." That's probably the best I can hope for. In the meantime, it would be nice if they considered my initiative in coming to the campus to meet the staffers.

4. Daegu Haany University. An online contact is working on setting up an interview for me this coming week. I'm not sure when it might happen, but it can't happen on Monday or Tuesday. Assuming the interview does happen, I'll already be in Daegu, so I plan to skip across town and visit...

5. Daegu University. DU was my #2 preference; it would be a shame not to visit that campus while I was down in Daegu—again, just to say "hi." Ideally, all this will happen on Wednesday, and should only be a day trip.

So that's the plan. I'll do what I can to market my big, fat self to the various colleges, and I hope either to snag an interview before I leave, or to get some sort of indication as to the likelihood of a Skype interview once I'm back in the States. Next week is going to be a bit crazy. What I really want to be able to report to you, Dear Reader, is that, on at least one of my visits to these five universities, the staff will have taken it upon themselves to interview me right then and there. Wouldn't that be nice?


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