Winter 2003
Riff Ram Bah Zoo! How the Frogs brought the fans back
Never Forget
A view from within
Alma Matters
Memīries Sweet
Riff Ram
Class Notes
Back Cover
Back Issues

TCU Magazine "Purpectives"


How I Spent my Summer

Getting that first job in an elusive economy can certainly test the tenacity.

By Amanda Jewel Hosey '03

It wasn't supposed to be this way. I am an educated woman with a college degree. But the transition from carefree college student to working grown-up took a little -- OK, a lot -- longer than I expected.

I started looking early enough, near the beginning of my senior year. I was sure that a perfectly perfect position would be there when I was ready. I perused dozens of job-posting sites on the Internet. I had a weekly date with the Sunday Star-Telegram classifieds. I placed carefully crafted letters and resumes, along with my fervent hopes, in the hands of the U.S. Postal Service many times every week.

Soon, I realized that maybe the material wasn't as carefully crafted as I thought. Responses were few. But I was determined not to get as depressed as this drooping economy that I'd heard so much about.

Finally, I landed an interview. By now it was mid-April, but I was certain that all was going according to plan. I packaged myself in a fabulous new outfit, ready to wow these people.

I must have over-wowed. I never heard from them again.

That was just the first interview, though. This is normal. No one gets the first job she interviews for, right? It was this company's loss -- it just couldn't handle all of my brains and personality.

Next I interviewed for a job optimizing search engine keywords. Yawn. The job description must have obscured the actual responsibilities, as I'm sure I would not have applied otherwise.

I never heard from those folks, either. No problem. I didn't want that one anyway.

By now, the lack of interest in my stellar self was starting to hurt. What was wrong? Bad cover letter? Ugly resume? And the worst fear: Something wrong with me?

The panic subsided when a call from the perfect job came in. It was at a museum (very cool) and complemented my goals and experience. Hurray!

Armed with glowing letters of recommendation and my best writing samples, I marched into that meeting, again ready to impress. Turns out that of 275 applications, only nine people were asked to interview. My heart soared. I was so in.

Oops. No, I wasn't. After two weeks of planning my future around this job, the "call" came. "Thank you for interviewing. We've selected someone else."

I panicked. I was a failure. I would never get a job. I would be living on the streets, using my grand IQ and high-dollar education to sell fruit at intersections. My support system -- family, boyfriend, roommate, friends, co-workers at The TCU Magazine -- assured me that the right job was out there, waiting just for me. "Don't worry," first one, then another, would coo, and I'd get a warm pat on the back.

I worried.

At the height of this emotional turbulence, a local news station contacted the school for a student caught in the bad economy. It wanted a qualified graduate who was having trouble finding a job. Guess who the school suggested? Me.

Groan. Not only could I not get hired, now my failure was broadcast across Fort Worth-Dallas. There I was, Amanda Hosey. Unemployed. Strangers in the grocery store who recognized me from TV encouraged me to "hang in there!" Great. Then a statewide cable news network picked up the broadcast, so people in my hometown, Kerrville, also saw what a loser I was.

At my next interview, I really did wow them. They laughed at all my jokes, and I was sure my traits were finally working in my favor. Then one of the interviewers asked, "Do you consider yourself a creative person?"

"Definitely," I replied.

"Well, we recommend that you find an alternate outlet for your creativity if you get this position. You'll be doing proofreading primarily, and it can be pretty É boring."

At least that was honest. And despite a less-than-rousing endorsement, I maintained interest in the job. I actually got a second interview, after which the human resources guy told me I was a lock. Whew. Finally!

A few days later, that same guy phoned. "Sorry."

This time I couldn't console myself with "I didn't need that one anyway," because I needed that one. Living on a part-time salary stinks. And the bites I had been getting using my resume as bait were dwindling.

Following a few more days of wearying self-pity, an unsolicited e-mail appeared in my mailbox. The writer had found my resume at TCU Career Services. I didn't even know Career Services had my resume. Suddenly I was very glad it did. She wanted me to apply as an assistant editor at her small publishing company.

I grabbed the phone to accept the interview. "That was quick," said the friendly voice that answered. In excited spurts and stutters, I explained that I was interested in talking with her and her partner about the job. They invited me to lunch, and I accepted. I believe my exact words were, "That'd be super!"

I had a week to contemplate the lunch date. Just what would my perfectly perfect position be? I wanted to be paid for things I already like to do. I wanted to think, organize, edit, write and problem solve, all at the same time. I wanted to learn everything I could about my field, and quickly. And I wanted to do it in casual clothing (pantyhose being the scourge of womandom).

Imagine my delight when I discovered this job met all those criteria. And no pantyhose in sight. Jeans (jeans!) were the dress code.

It started out as a fairly typical job interview, but when they asked which celebrities I would run over with my car if given the chance, I knew I belonged. They agreed that they wouldn't miss Celine Dion, either. It's good to have mutual interests with your co-workers.

By Labor Day (appropriately), I had the offer. The perfectly perfect one. We're expected to take lessons from everything we do. So what did I learn from this? Be patient and listen to your loved ones. They're probably right.

And don't forget to send your resume to Career Services.

Amanda Jewel Hosey '03 is now employed but still buys her purses and scarves at thrift shops. Contact her at