On Figuring Out a Career While Being Married to an Academic

@Pete Alfred best comment ever

Posted on March 13, 2014 at 7:10 pm 0

On The Privilege of Doing What You Love

As someone dating a self-employed graphic designer with a nice apartment in a coastal metropolis I can tell you that all that even people with these great-sounding jobs still think there's something better and that their current jobs are a compromise and why aren't they just creating REAL ART instead of a stylish poster for health insurance, etc. I always thought the thing to do is to shoot for the middle. At the end of college I wrote down dream jobs and found that I really wanted to be a location scout and field advisor for PBS Nature, but there is like maybe one actual full-time job in the world doing that and if you really insist on shooting for that job you will most likely end up working at Starbucks or Walgreens instead after your parents make you move out of the basement. Instead I got a job at a consulting firm where I got to do fieldwork about half the time. Good 'nuff.

Posted on January 14, 2014 at 8:50 pm 1

On How My State's Health Exchange Website Problems Have Affected Me

Bummer. My girlfriend just got insurance through the Washington site and it worked fine, which I know is not comforting or helpful in your case, but just to say that the exchange does work sometimes (also we qualify for hella subsidies, which is pretty nice). My understanding is that the ID verification for determining eligibility for subsidies under the ACA was contracted out to Experian. Anyone who has ever tried to deal with an error on their credit report will be familiar with the level of customer service and responsiveness they offer. Good luck. Just keep thinking of those sweet sweet subsidies.

Posted on December 17, 2013 at 2:47 pm 0

On The Rental History Of An Academic Nomad

Agreed: moving is terrible. But getting paid to produce esoteric research and critical essays of no discernible economic value is also pretty nice, and having everyone take like four days for Thanksgiving and two weeks for Christmas without batting an eye is really nice. As a first-year grad student I kind of have to tell myself that though, just to stave off despair. Also those were pretty good deals on the Seattle group houses: well done.

Posted on December 10, 2013 at 12:13 pm 0

On What Got You Out of Bed Today?

My girlfriend makes me bring her bathrobe back to bed before she will get up if it's less than like 75 degrees in the house.

Posted on October 10, 2013 at 4:01 pm 0

On Are You Paid What You're Worth?

I was kind of into the pilot initially but stopped about 45 minutes in during a long scene of mid-masturbation boob closeups intercut with Lizzie Caplan explaining what an orgasm feels like. Maybe I'm a prude? Seemed gratuitous though. Also what is up with Master's wife calling him "daddy" as a pet name? I spent the first twenty minutes thinking there was some unadvertised incest subplot.

Posted on September 25, 2013 at 7:15 pm 0

On The Burger Joint with Excellent Pay and Benefits

@stuffisthings Maximizing shareholder value (especially on a quarterly basis) is a talking-point convention that arose in the mid-20th century, not a legal requirement of public firms. Good to keep in mind. The problem of course for large companies is that if their stock price drops they may risk a hostile takeover, usually by private equity or activist investors, which incentivizes short-term profits over long-term stability.

Posted on September 19, 2013 at 10:41 am 1

On Getting a Job With a Liberal Arts Degree

While I think the whole career center program at Wake Forest sounds great in terms of helping find students jobs, it's also a classic example of the administrative bloat that hikes up tuition and forces students to take out more debt in order to graduate. Average starting salary out of Wake Forest is about 50k. Assuming they pay career center staff on average at least that much, those 30 career center staff cost the university a minimum of $1.5 million per year, and likely a whole lot more counting benefits, some higher salaries, and facilities costs. Tuition (not housing/food/transportation/living) at Wake Forest is $43,000. If you're trying to get students to think seriously about the financial realities they will experience after graduation, the first thing you would tell them is to not spend $169,000 on an education that leaves you so bereft of hard skills that you need a 30-person career center to come into classrooms and prod students to consider how they might be employable.

Posted on September 16, 2013 at 4:46 pm 0

On How Long Did It Take You to Earn the Average Starting Salary of Graduates from Your College?

@apples and oranges Check the payscale site - they do have subject area rankings too. It turns out math and programming are lucrative skills. Who knew!

Posted on September 16, 2013 at 4:24 pm 0

On How Long Did It Take You to Earn the Average Starting Salary of Graduates from Your College?

Two years out of college I was still about 10k short of the average starting salary for my school : ( . Maybe 4k if you count benefits. That being said, I had no direct supervisor, left the office at like 330 every day, worked outside at least twice a week, and was paid to go birding most of the summer, so all in all I think that was about fair. Now I'm doing a PhD which is basically just throwing in the towel on the whole "making money" thing for the foreseeable future. Hella benefits though. And THE LIFE OF THE MIND: Priceless.

Posted on September 16, 2013 at 4:22 pm 0