He’s Hired!

After a mid-May interview at Framingham State College, your Blogmaster General was hired as new full-time temporary faculty in the Department of Economics and Business Administration. I had a nice long chat and lunch with Bob Wallace, the department chair, and after a pleasant walk around the typically leafy New England campus I met with Dr Robert Martin, the Vice President of Academic Affairs.

These meetings were followed by email salary negotiations, and after all parties were satisfied, I signed a contract to teach three courses for the first semester of the 2008-2009 academic year. Subsequent discussions led to my decision to teach an additional course one night a week, which will bring in a little supplementary income to what will be in late October a new family. The contract provides for my employment at the College for one year, and Bob gave me assurances that this foot-in-the-door could lead to long-term employment.

I had sent out dozens of email applications to colleges and universities in the Boston area, aiming at deans and department chairs at schools that offered business degrees. Since I could not find Bob Wallace’s email address on the Framingham website, I sent him a résumé and cover letter through snail mail. When I write a cover letter for a job application, I try to put a little zing into it. The résumé should be dry and just the facts; the introductory letter should contain some of the writer’s personality. My introductory letter included not only a summary of my teaching experience and an assertion that I would make a great fit at Framingham, but also told a little of my Scotland adventure, of how I hoped to study golf history at the University of St Andrews and then how I planned to marry a nice Boston girl when I returned to the USA this summer. It also noted that I had discovered how Bob, an economist, had published a paper on the economics of tipping, and as a former bartender and wine steward, I looked forward to comparing notes with him. Bob sent back a letter saying, “I loved your letter!” And yes, Virginia, he included that enthusiastic punctuation mark.

He also told me that he had been to Scotland a few times and had played golf at St Andrews and other Scottish courses — there was no doubt a bond had already formed. Further emails enhanced our new relationship, and it was clear he was close to hiring me, except for the tiny detail of not having yet met me in person. My decision to travel to Massachusetts for an interview unquestionably helped to seal the deal. Amazing to think that of all the applications I sent to colleges and universities in the Boston area, most sent back a tepid ‘thank you’ accompanied by assurances that my credentials would be “kept on file,” while Framingham’s response was so positive that it led to a job offer.

I have really good feelings about working with Bob at Framingham State College, and I can’t tell you how much weight it takes off my shoulders to know that I have a good job waiting for me back in Boston.


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