I went to dinner with my dad and some of his work buddies a week or two ago. I was worried about it being awkward and was especially worried about someone (or everyone) asking me about my job search and what I was doing now that I have graduated from Michigan State. But I went (for the food).
I wasn’t feeling particularly hungry, probably because of the intense heat Southeast Michigan has been getting lately, but I tried to stay chipper. A man that my dad works with brought his wife as well and she was the first to ask me about my job search. She was intense and supportive but intense. I got really emotional and didn’t know what to say or how to feel about my current standing. I didn’t know what I wanted because working a full time job, behind a computer, doing something repetitive and boring didn’t seem fun. I wasn’t very motivated to look but I had so much else to do.
I was reorganizing my room and getting rid of everything I could in order to make space for my apartment furniture from school. My room is small and there’s not much space and I was stressed. I had so many things to do to prepare for my job search and felt like I was drowning in this adult world that wasn’t warm or friendly or fun. But it was just a rough patch. I was feeling hopeless being one of the many graduates looking for a job. And my job search wasn’t specific. I’m in communications, not nursing. But I tried to shake it off and let it go. Take her advice and try to apply it in a way that I could.
Later in the evening, her husband asked me about my search. He was much less intense and because this was the second time around with the same questions, I felt more comfortable (and less emotional). He told me that he had an uncle that was the CEO of a company and there may be an opening there. He told me to send him my resume and he’d pass it along.
Within the week I got emails from that organization stating that they wanted to schedule an interview with me.
I hadn’t applied for a single job. I hadn’t done any work yet to network and job search. This job found me.
I scheduled the interview for mid August and the next day I received another email asking if I was available next week (pushing the interview back one month). I was pleasantly surprised and a bit anxious about this news. Of course, I said I was available and we scheduled the interview for today.
I just got back home and felt overwhelmed with this feeling that I was exactly where I was supposed to be. No, it wasn’t in my plan. I didn’t apply for the position. But honestly, this job sounds like a complete dream. The people are lovely, the facility is incredible, they all seemed happy to meet me and spoke highly of me. This job is right up my alley in terms of what I want out of a company and out of a job and with what I’m good at.
I swear, God gave me this opportunity on a silver platter. He knew I was ready for this interview even though I didn’t. He knew what I wanted when I had absolutely no idea. My entire life seems like it has prepared me for this job at this company and I couldn’t be happier (unless I got the job!) And I didn’t even have to apply. It’s the craziest thing. Sometimes, God really does throw curveballs and you have to be flexible and open to things that He gives you because they could be exactly what you need and what you were born to do.
And, of course, this may not work out. I may not get the job and I would be heart broken. But God has brought me to an interview that has helped me figure out what I want to do with my life and my degree. He has opened my eyes to things I wasn’t sure I could ever do or accomplish. So, even if this particular job doesn’t work out, I am much better off than I was before it all began.
Back when Disney Channel actually had guts to put something as real as this In one of their shows! this was why the old shows were better, because they actually had REAL legitimate values and lessons such as the one taught in this episode that we could relate to! now I can’t take new Disney seriously anymore. all it teaches you now is how to be an annoying stuck up teen
I just had my first interview for a full time position! For anyone who has interviewed for anything, you know how stressful it can be. It’s a time when everything is uncertain and you need to be flexible and be you but you also need to be everything they need you to be. In this case, everything I am, seems to be exactly what they need.
Nothing is certain, I do not have any answers back, but they really liked me. I will have to interview with one more person before any decisions are made, but they will be recommending that this person speaks with me. It could be any time between now and August 15 all the way to September but I am happy to say that I was not rejected. I made it through my first real interview for a full-time position that I didn’t even apply for. And it’s a perfect fit. If you want to read more about how I came upon this job (or how God gave me this opportunity (shoved it right in my face, actually), read my next blog post:)
“ugh look at the tortoise it’s so depressed. All it does is lay there. It doesn’t even have the motivation to move.”
I want to address that. First of all, this is anthropomorphism and it is dangerous. Animals do not have the same kind of thought process, patterns, or emotions as we do. You are applying your feelings to an animal that doesn’t think the way we do.
No, the tortoise is not laying there because he is depressed or bored… He is laying there because THAT IS HIS NATURAL BEHAVIOR. In fact, if he were up and moving around excessively we would all be VERY concerned that something was wrong. He’s a 500 pound tortoise. His legs get tired. He is laying there because all of his needs have been met NOT because he is “sad” or “has given up on life.” That’s just what he does. If you went to their natural habitat, they would be doing THE SAME EXACT THING AS IN THE ZOO. That’s a good tortoise life!!
Same with the sleeping lions. They are not understimulated, THEY NATURALLY SLEEP FOR 16+ HOURS A DAY. that is what they do. That is their existence. Our experiences tell us that it means the animals are sick or bored, but it’s untrue! That is the way they have adapted. It’s what they naturally do!!
A lot of this misinformation stems from the human idea of “the wild.” Just because humans associate the wild with nature and freedom DOES NOT MEAN THE WILD IS ANY FRIENDLIER.
Predators, disease, resource competition, all those are VERY REAL concerns an animal must deal with in the wild (in addition to human caused threats such as climate change, poaching, and habitat loss).
So next time you want to say “that animal is sad/depressed/pissed that it’s in a cage” you need to ask yourself if you are qualified to make a judgement on that animal’s behavior. Have you spent countless hours watching and studying the natural behavior of the animal in question? Have you spoken with other professionals about how to properly keep or improve upon keeping the species? Have you spent days/weeks/months out in the wild observing these creatures?
We don’t just toss animals in a fence and call it good, folks. Every single aspect of their care is painstakingly thought out and managed.
I can guarantee that your average person’s pet dogs and cats are more bored with their life than our animals are at our zoo.
An out of this world career or internship might not be as far out of reach as you think. Check out all the ways you can get involved!
If you’re a student…
Our internships are the perfect place to start! We offer paid internships for spring, summer, and fall semesters to U.S. citizens currently attending an accredited university full time. Learn more at: https://intern.nasa.gov
If you’re a U.S. citizen who has graduated from an accredited college or university within the past 2 years (or 6 if you have served in the military), then the our Recent Graduates program is just for you. Accepted applicants are placed in a 1 year career development program with the possibility of an additional year, or even granted term or permanent jobs within the agency. Learn more at: http://nasajobs.nasa.gov/studentopps/employment/rgp.htm.
If you’re a professional…
You can search for our job openings any time at USAJobs.com. Create an account, then use the USAJobs resume builder. Want to make sure your resume maximizes your opportunity for a job at NASA? Check out our Applicant Guide: https://applyonline.nasa.gov/applicant_guide.html.
Astronomers lead interesting and quite exciting, lives.
I frequently get questions regarding the work environments, job prospects and pay. If there’s any part of you that yearns for the night sky and if you want to know what’s out there… perhaps this post can help you figure out if this is the path for you.
Astronomers, as you may know, use science and mathematics to unwrap the mysteries of the cosmos.
Do we live in a multiverse?
Are we alone?
Where do we come from?
These are examples of some of the large problems astronomers slowly chip away at. The work is philosophically and intellectually rewarding.
So what exactly does this work entail? Where do astronomers actually work?
(Image credit: Department of Energy)
Lectures are a regular part of the job description for many astronomers.
It’s a constant battle to ensure that the next generation is educated in STEM fields to ensure a vibrant world.
Many astronomers teach things from basic physics classes (often to a diverse student body of engineering, physics and biology students as an example) to astrophysics classes. Being able to communicate and present to large groups of people is important.
Not everything these folk do is lecture though. Astronomers do research too though and this research can be quite involved:
(Image credit: Keith Vinderlande)
(Image credit: W.M. Keck Observatory)
The above two images show the South Pole Telescope and the Keck Observatory respectively.
If you want a job that involves travel and adventure, you’ll almost certainly get both in this field. You may find yourself living in Arctic conditions for months in a night that never ends (seemingly). Whenever you go outside you might look up to the Southern Lights or the Milky Way.
Perhaps you’ll find yourself climbing the largest volcano on Earth, Mauna Kea, on your way to the famous Keck observatory. When you’re not observing you’d be spending your days below in Hawaii (and who wouldn’t like that?).
Some lucky astronomers find jobs at places like research laboratories (like NASA Ames or ESTEC in the Netherlands for example) where they get to spend the vast majority of their time on research.
Sometimes these sorts of jobs can involve working on projects that ultimately forward the work of astronomy without directly being astronomy itself:
(Image credit: NASA)
Plenty of people get their education in astronomy but end up helping groups like NASA, ESA or SpaceX build future robots and spacecraft to explore the universe.
Excitingly, we now live in a time where small startups are being founded to further private enterprise in space: companies are looking into mining asteroids, building tourist spacecrafts and inflatable space stations. Anyone with the right knowledge and motivation can be a part of this amazing new space race.
So what exactly does this workload usually entail? Well typically astronomy work involves lots of math. This is our tool to unravel the mechanics of space and time.
You’ll be using calculus pretty regularly and your education will need to prepare you for it. Usually astronomers get their Bachelor’s degree in physics and then their PhD in astronomy. Some go slightly different routes but that’s the norm.
In addition to math, astronomers learn how to program so that they can send certain complicated problems to be crunched by the massively powerful capabilities of modern computers.
In fact, astronomers get so well-practiced in computer programming that if they were to ever get tired of the world of academia and research, it’s quite easy for an astronomer to get a relatively cushy position as a programmer (I love repping that some even get jobs as Disney animators).
Over all, if you want to be an astronomer expect to spend lots of time at a computer and working out math problems. Expect to stand in front of groups every now and then to present research or teach a class and lastly… be willing to get your hands dirty. You will almost certainly do some traveling. As you saw above, many observatories are located in exciting and exotic places.
When it comes to working from your computer (which you’ll be doing often as an astronomer) there’s the cushy fact that this can often be done wherever you get an internet signal.
If you decide to go for the (often better paying) work as a software engineer, the same often applies.
You’ll be able to make your own schedule more often than other jobs and you’ll see and learn more about the world and universe than almost any other job there is. Astronomy is a rewarding profession that demands quite a lot from you, but gives back in spades.
Good luck on your path to the stars!
(Top image credit: Alan L, Eric Hill and NASA respectively)