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Thread: My little story about interviewing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    1,709

    Default My little story about interviewing

    So, as I've mentioned on some other threads, I an academic on the job market. I have now been on 3 interviews for faculty positions at research institutions, one while my son was 5 weeks old, and the other two more recently (I'm on my way back from the third) - he's currently 12 months.

    I have been very pleasantly surprised with how accommodating all three places have been about my being a nursing mother. The first two, I brought him and a caregiver, and they were extremely supportive of this. All three places gave me special considerations for pumping breaks (these interviews are two-day affairs, usually starting with breakfast and ending with latish dinner meetings), and a private location to do so - either a vacant office or a pumping area in the ladies' room.

    I have been really worried about how much I have needed to disclose about myself in order to obtain these extra breaks, etc., but do not have any evidence that there has been any negative effect. Some of the male faculty look a little askance at my "breaks", and there have been a couple awkward conversations where I have needed to communicate that I needed to go to a particular location for my "breaks". But these have been minor inconveniences. There have also been some people assuming that my infant was a "newborn", but no-one has so far batted an eye at learning that he's over a year old.

    On the other hand, this trip did not go nearly as well as the previous. I did not bring my son this time - it was our first separation of more than 10 or so hours. I thought it was short enough, just about 48 hours, but as I posted on another thread, I misread just how much he drinks at night, and I have big lumps in both breasts that won't clear, and I fear I'm getting mastitis. But that was my own mis-planning, not the fault of the interviewers. I have teaching obligations tomorrow morning, and I'm still a flight away from home, so I sure hope I am well enough to get up and teach tomorrow.

    Anyway, just wanted to share that with people. I think it's really nice that I've so far been able to navigate the very formal faculty interview process while being a nursing mother. Now, if I can just survive the discomfort of this little miscalculation...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    796

    Default Re: My little story about interviewing

    Can you get in a hot bath and relieve some milk? Make sure you drink water keep pumping and sleep.

  3. #3
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    Feb 2007
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    Default Re: My little story about interviewing

    I would, but I'm still in the airport, so taking a bath is hard. I tried pumping in the bathroom, but it didn't help. My flight is just now boarding, so hopefully in a couple hours I'll be home and can nurse and do all those other things. Thanks for the support!!

    Quote Originally Posted by mcat View Post
    Can you get in a hot bath and relieve some milk? Make sure you drink water keep pumping and sleep.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    399

    Default Re: My little story about interviewing

    I'm glad to hear that you have had positive experiences!!! That is very encouraging. You would think that academics would be enlightened, but with some of those "old boys" you never know....
    Keep us posted!!!! I am sure you will hear some good news soon! And nurse that lo like crazy when you get home and then take a hot shower or bath!

    Clara Ann from 6/27/07 to 7/2/09

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    77

    Default Re: My little story about interviewing

    You know what's funny?? I have had a harder time with women in the academic arena than the men. Maybe it's just my situation being an elementary teacher. ???

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    1,134

    Default Re: My little story about interviewing

    Quote Originally Posted by eelme View Post
    You know what's funny?? I have had a harder time with women in the academic arena than the men. Maybe it's just my situation being an elementary teacher. ???
    most definitely! the men at work i know are either matter-of-fact about things or very interested (not in a creepy way)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    252

    Default Re: My little story about interviewing

    I've done two academic interviews since DS was born and both were fairly nice about my pumping breaks. In one, I even used the fridge in the staff lounge to store the milk. Alas, I did not get either job. Now that DS is 22 mo and I've pump-weaned, I look forward to an interview where I do not have to disclose that I am a nursing mother. Somehow, I hope it will put me on a more level playing field.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Default Re: My little story about interviewing

    Oops - sorry. Forgot to give an update. After missing my connection, I managed to get the last flight home, and was very happy to see my son! He nursed all night and by morning my plugged ducts were cured!!!! I'm off to my next one tomorrow afternoon...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    522

    Default Re: My little story about interviewing

    Good luck with the interview!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    25

    Default Re: My little story about interviewing

    I was glad to see your post since I am going on an academic interview next week. My baby is 5 months, and I won't be able to bring her with me. She is exclusively breastfed, and I've introduced the bottle as soon as I found out about the interview. She is taking it, not happily though, and my husband will be taking care of her for the two days I am gone. I also have enough milk for her while I am gone. I was upfront with the dept. about my need to pump every 3 hours, and they were nice about accomodating me.

    Now, I guess I don't have a real question, maybe just some need for reassurance - I am pretty nervous about leaving her, she is pretty attached to me, and I've just gone back to teaching 3 weeks ago. I would be interested in how you dealt with the breaks - did you tell people why you had to take a break?

    Also, I realize I probably won't be able to pump as often as the baby eats during the day, but I am ok with waking up at night and also am guessing I could pump more often in the mornings and evenings.
    Anyway, good luck on the market, it is good to know that others have done it!
    Last edited by Ursula; January 30th, 2008 at 06:40 PM. Reason: typo

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