University of Southern California (Emily)



Aug '08 - Jul '09

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    3.14 :: Back to Earth

    Emily Kemper
    Nov 10, '08 4:18 PM EST

    Although I don't think I'll recover from the euphoria of Obama's victory probably for as long as he is in the White House, I did come back to Earth rather quickly this morning as I logged into Archinect and read story after story of people who had been laid off recently from their jobs in the construction industry. WOW. What a crappy time to start looking for jobs, right? One of the reasons I applied to grad school when I did is because I anticipated a slow down - we were, after all, in the waning years of W.'s failed policies and I figured it would catch up with us somehow. I doubt that anyone could have imagined it being this bad though. So, as I approach what should be my final semester of graduate school, I have a few things on my mind:

    1. Should I apply for PhD programs? Ultimately I had thought that I would hold off for a few years, get back into practice, and try to get some things done. But should I apply for PhD programs just in case I can't find a job? This doesn't seem like a practical or very authentic solution to me, nevermind the politics of thrusting myself even deeper into academia, but I am curious as to everyone's opinions....

    2. Do I have enough skillz? It seems improbable that after 7+ years of experience in multiple markets, finishing IDP, and 8 years of school that I would somehow not have enough of a skill set to find a job ... but if it's really really bad, even the most flexible workers might run out of options. Good thing there's still time to sign up for another computer class.

    3. OMG the construction industry is collapsing and I haven't started looking for jobs yet. One thing that has struck me since I got here was how early students in other disciplines started job hunting. My friends in the Law and Business schools have already started their search - literally, they are already interviewing. In fact, many have expressed disbelief when I told them that the School of Architecture's job fair doesn't happen until late Spring semester. Why do we procrastinate so much? Well I'm not waiting around to find out ... I'm going to start searching early and all over.

    Well enough panic, I have work to do. Until next time, here's to all of you looking for jobs - I hope you don't end up like this guy:


    • You will be fine...

      Nov 10, 08 5:36 pm  · 

      go ahead and apply for phd programs... it can't hurt... i actually just read an article yesterday about people that are using grad school as "insurance" against the economy... unfortunately i can't find it... i'll post it back here if i can manage to run across it... plus, it is a lot of fun to get paid to go to school!

      Nov 10, 08 10:58 pm  · 

      I'm personally too terrified about my debt load to ever take on another degree. As much as I want to teach, I want to someday own (or build myself???) a house even more.

      However you seem to like architecture schooling a lot more than I ever did!

      Nov 11, 08 12:19 am  · 

      manta, that's the great thing about a phd program... for the most part, if you actually get accepted you also get full funding which includes tuition, health insurance, and a decent stipend... thus, no more additional debt... at least that's the way it works at a lot of the programs...

      Nov 11, 08 8:47 am  · 
      i found it...
      Nov 11, 08 4:31 pm  · 

      Wonder K go for it, ride the down time whilst in school since it will be paying for itself (and you) and who knows I've been thinking of the same and USC looks very (very, very) attractive.

      Nov 11, 08 7:36 pm  · 

      Thank you architphil.

      There is a lot of irony in this discussion for me. One, because I have been doing research on all of the PhD programs in Architecture for a project at school. So I know a lot about them already, though if I did apply, I would probably pursue something more along the lines of urbanism / infrastructure / policy / planning. Another thing is that I am wondering if my dream job might actually be here. But I guess I can't count on that ... yet. I'm just saying.

      Nov 11, 08 11:51 pm  · 

      yeah, i am wondering the same thing about a position within the white house... i might apply, although there are many more people that are more qualified than me... i could have a shot if i was already done with my phd, but probably not after just one semester. :( plus, i'd have a hard time leaving the program after only a semester... but i may apply anyways, just to see what happens...

      "I would probably pursue something more along the lines of urbanism / infrastructure / policy / planning"

      you should come to penn and we can be study buddies... :)

      Nov 12, 08 12:44 pm  · 

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