Sunday, October 16, 2005

Back in the Saddle

Ah well, back from the conference. All in all, I'd say it was a success.

As for the "business" end of things, I ended up with two interviews and the possibility of a third at one of my target schools that's about a two hour drive from my home (I'll drive there and probably do an informal interview over lunch, since I know about half the faculty there already). Of the four schools I sent information out to, I ended up with interviews at the ones I ranked 1 and 3, and will likely get one at #2.

It was pretty interesting interviewing when I didn't NEED a job (while it's far from ideal, my current school treats me fairly well - it just doesn't meet my long-term goals). Since I didn't need a job, I was able to be relaxed and be myself. I figure that whatever you put yourself forth as, someone won't like it. At least this way I avoid the chance of being rejected for something that's not even me.

Even more important, I know who I am, what I'm good at, and what I enjoy far better than when I first started this professor gig. When you first get out of grad school, unless you went to a top school, you are usually happy to have any job. In most cases, you don't know much about the different possibilities, so you inherit your advisors' preferences (get a job at the best, most prestigious research school you can). For most of us, it's not the best fit. So, the second or third job is usually much better. I'm fortunate to have a wife that supports me in the search (of course, the fact that #1 school is an hour's drive from the Unknown Mother In Law doesn't hurt either).

My presentation went well - the session was sparsely attended, but I did get two good suggestions to add to the paper. So, I came out ahead of the game there. If only it wasn't at 8:30 on a Saturday morning...

The best part of the conference was catching up with old friends, and making a few new ones. My discipline is small enough that it's possible to have at least a nodding acquaintance with a pretty high percentage of the active, conference-going members. In addition, I'm unusual in the finance field because I'm very extroverted (even for a non-academic - in the nerd community I'm off the charts). So, I probably made small talk with at least 50 people over the three days. That's one of the things I like about academia - at times it actually has a "small town" feel to it.

So, it's back to everyday life - two exams to give this week, solutions to a quiz and problem set to post by tomorrow, and a court case to give a deposition at (I do a bit of consulting & expert witness work here and there). In addition, there are two papers that really need my attention.

And last, but most important, I haven't seen the Unknown Wife, Son, and Daughter since Wednesday. I expect to be thoroughly carpet-burned from extreme wrestling with the kids by bed time tonight.

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