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postdocs

Heather Masonjones hmasonjones at amherst.edu
Thu Aug 14 08:32:56 EST 1997


I can't help but reply to this post.  I know that feeling of pessimism
that comes with
the last stages of graduate school (I defended the first week of June),
but there are 
jobs out there.  In the last three months of grad school I applied for
over 60 jobs.  
I made the decision to apply for everything I might be able to sink my
teeth into, from 
Fish $ Game jobs, to tenure track, to postdocs, to non-tenure track
teaching, etc.  I 
got two offers.  It may be a difference in field, or it may be the way
that I marketed 
myself (my graduate work was in physiological ecology, with extensive
training in 
statistics and computer skills).  On my C.V., I put the standard things,
but I also 
included a skills section (emphasizing the most appropriate skills for
the specific 
job in the cover letter) which really emphasized my breadth as a
scientist and as a 
teacher.  I knew that ultimately I wanted a job at a small liberal arts
college teaching 
and doing research, and I was lucky enough to get a great starter job in
that direction 
(a job at the visiting asst. prof. rank, but renewable indefinately). 
The great thing 
about the job was that I was given my own lab and access to some money
to set it up, and 
I'm paid more than a traditional post-doc.   

I love to do research and I love teaching, and I could have gone happily
into a postdoc 
or a teaching position.  The great thing about this job is that I get to
do both, and 
have a small enough teaching load to do both well.  You may have to look
hard for these
jobs (I spent 4 hours every week for 6 months on the Internet looking
for jobs), but 
there are quite a few out there.  I think postdocs are really important
if you plan to
go into a research institution, but if your passion is teaching, it is
important to find
a position where you can continue research but get some additional
post-grad teaching 
experience.

Just my $0.02.

-- 
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   |____    |       Heather Masonjones
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