On the Job Episode 2: Dr. Jack Labriola


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Show Notes

Welcome to the second episode of On the Job w/ The Sweetland Digital Rhetoric Collaborative. In this interview, hosts Nupoor Ranade and Wilfredo Flores talk with Dr. Jack Labriola, Assistant Professor of Technical Communication in the Technical Communication & Interactive Design Department at Kennesaw State University, about his recent experiences on the job market and what came after. Jack also talks about the value of setting a work schedule and dealing with workloads, the balancing act of the first year as a tenure-track professor, and the ins and outs of social media during the job market season. You can find Jack on LinkedIn or Twitter, and please stay tuned for more!

Transcript of “Episode 2: Dr. Jack Labriola”

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Nupoor Ranade: Hi, Dr. Jack Labriola. Thanks for being here. Welcome to our podcase “On the job, with the Digital Rhetoric collaborative”.

Wil Flores: So today we, your hosts – myself Wil Flores and…

NR: Me Nupoor Ranade.

WF: … are talking with Dr. Jack Labriola about what insights he has about navigating the end of student life, transitioning to the job market and eventually a job. So here’s Jack. Welcome!

Jack Labriola: Yeah, thank you both for having me, as you all mentioned, I’m Dr. Jack Labriola. I’m Assistant Professor of Technical Communication, in the Technical Communication and Interactive Design department at Kennesaw State Sniversity, where my research primarily focuses on user experience and content strategy.

WF: Awesome. Thanks for being here.

Jack: Yeah. Happy to be here and provide any kind of insight that I possibly have.

NR: Great. Wonderful to have you here. We have a few questions for you and we’re going to get started right now. The first question is about, how has the transition been for you from being a grad student to a tenure track faculty? How, how does that feel? And do you want to talk a little bit about your organization and about your experiences?

JL: Yeah, absolutely. So, I mean, the transition is definitely very different than being a grad student. But I’ve been in a very fortunate position where, not only when I was on-boarded, did we have university wide orientation to sort of prep us for what it means to be a tenure track faculty, but my department itself, whether it’s been the staff members, the faculty members, my chair have been incredibly supportive in helping sort of smoothing that transition, answering any questions I have helping me, get started with my classes. They helped, lessen my workload, my teaching load for the first semester by one class, which was really helpful. So to sort of ease me into it, to teaching. And they also gave me two, sections of the introduction class. So the first semester wasn’t anything too crazy. That intro class at Kennesaw here has a standardized syllabus with a standard shell. So really easy to sort of just step right in, get started teaching without having to worry about building a whole syllabus or course from scratch, or anything like that. So that’s been really great. The toughest thing, honestly, I would say was, the transition to a different, learning management system. Back when I was a grad student, we were primarily using Blackboard. And here at Kennesaw, we are using D2L, which I had never heard of before I had never used. And even though we had, you know, sort of the standardized shell to get started, I felt like I was also learning the tool, with my students. And so sometimes they’d have, they’d ask me a question and be like, I don’t know. Let’s, let’s find out. Can we do that in D2L. (let’s find out together), right? Absolutely. And so I was very upfront with them about that being new to the software and sort of taking these steps along with them, especially in an intro level class where many of them are new to the university. So, honestly, the technology was the most difficult or most different between being a grad student and tenure track faculty. I feel like my grad program allowing me and allowing many of us to teach in the classroom. helped prepare me for that first semester where I wasn’t having to scramble, you know, what does being a teacher look like? I’ve never done that before. They’ve they really helped prepare me to, to step right into the classroom, teach a class that I was pretty familiar with in teaching an introductory level technical writing class, and sort of hit the ground running in that first semester.

NR: I think that’s a great find. We sometimes don’t talk about our, think about technology so much, but really we don’t get the extra time to prepare for that when there is a learning curve involved. Do you want to talk about how did you navigate through those challenges or whom did you sort out for help that, you know, our audiences might also think about or consider when they are in a similar situation? What are, what are the resources that the. the other faculty or your mentors at the new institution, what did they provide and how did any of that help you?

JL: Absolutely. So, I mean, I think you’re exactly right. The, the time that it would take to sort of dive in there and really become familiar really isn’t there when the semester is about to start. And, for many of us who, who get jobs that start in the fall, when you become a new faculty member, a new staff member. I mean, you aren’t really employed by the university until maybe two weeks before the semester starts. So my contract started August 1st, classes started August 18th. So I had 18 days to finally get my login to go in there and see what the heck was going on. So yeah, the, the learning curve was definitely steep right before the semester started. In terms of resources though, not only were the other faculty members in my department really helpful. And, even just sitting down with me, they had offered, “Hey, you want like a quick little 30 minutes, 45 minutes crash course in our learning management system”, especially because we do have a standardized shell of a course, they were very familiar with the way it was laid out. So they were very, you know, helpful and willing to take the time to sit down with me. what was also really helpful. You know, just for more of a look at the, at the technology from a sort of broad perspective was I went to two different new faculty orientation like training sessions that were offered by the university’s IT department. And like the, sort of new faculty orientation committee, was putting on a bunch of different events, almost conference style, where they had different panels at different hours that you could, you know, pop into that you think would be helpful. And, I really took the time to, to seek out any ones that were talking about technology, whether it was D2L or even just like, how do we access or set up our emails? How do we, you know, how do we onboard, students that are new? There was a couple panels that talked about the student population and sort of their backgrounds that could then help me set up a classroom to be successful. So. Definitely seeking out that first week or two before the semester starts, what events are being put on at your institution to, to support new faculty? Specifically the new faculty orientation stuff. But also just seeing throughout the semester, what other events are going on on campus. We have a lot of, faculty specific events that happen once a week. Then you can sign up to go to they’re free for faculty to sort of pop in and see what’s going on. Whether it’s things about the technology, or there was recently one about how to write a grant proposal, and really just seeking out what resources they have at the university level. Even if it’s not specific to our department or the, or the major or my, you know, other faculty getting that broad overview from the university perspective has been really helpful.

WF: I didn’t think about as graduate students. I know from my experience, once I started this PhD program, we’ve got a lot of workshops and like here’s an introduction to everything that you’ll need. I hadn’t even thought about the same thing needed for faculty who are new. So yeah, that’s a good point.

JL: And I think that was something that I did when I was a grad student too. I recognized that it is really helpful to go and just do a one hour workshop, even if you don’t have the sort of depth into whatever tool or, or theme or topic, just to get your feet wet a little bit so that you have a better understanding, you know, doing that as a grad student, I’ve found really helpful.

So once I got here and I saw that they were offering it at the faculty level, I was like absolutely to capitalize on that, especially. At the start of the semester where things are sort of still slow, you know, how can I get a, you know, ahead, as, as fast as I can.

WF: Right? I’m noticing that’s kind of a common thing. Like the experiences that you’ve had as a graduate student will translate in certain ways to that faculty position. So you talked about like teaching and then translating that to, okay, well, I’m just teaching, like I I’ve done this before, so very cool.

NR: Are you teaching any graduate level classes?

JL: So here in our department, we don’t currently have a graduate program. this, this semester I am teaching, three sections of senior level classes. And so that, that first semester was just two intro level classes. And then, moving into the spring, I went back to my full, you know, three-three course load, but all senior level classes. So, currently I’m teaching one section of technical editing and then two sections of our usability testing courses.

WF: So with a three-three load, I imagine it’s a lot of not work, but managing different courses. I mean, it’s a process. so I guess my next question would be, how did you translate your work life balance from a graduate student to this new position where you’re going from teaching maybe one or two classes to however many?

JL: I think again, it’s, it’s taking that experience of being a grad student and translating it in some way. I find that it’s very easy to become overwhelmed. As a new faculty member with the different responsibilities. If you think about them as being more high stakes or something like that, because you’re not sort of shielded from some things like you may feel, or you may be as a graduate student, but many of it is the same. It takes up a lot of the same time. It’s just putting that time into a different area. So for example, I mean, as a grad student, you know, I was teaching two classes. But also taking classes on top of that, or once I was done with coursework, I was teaching two classes and writing a dissertation, you know, I mean, replace taking classes with, you know, one extra class to teach and, you know, maybe a committee to be on or faculty meetings you have to go to. Similar with how I approached writing the dissertation. If I was a grad student and I was teaching on Tuesday and Thursday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday were dissertation days. It’s the very similar to the way I approach sort of the work I do here when I’m looking to do, you know, research or my publication work, or even grading my students’ assignments. If I’m teaching Tuesday, Thursday, same thing Monday, Wednesday, Friday is going to be work on my own stuff. so I think again, if we just think about the way that we approached grad school and applied to the way that we are, you know, as a faculty member, a lot of that time is still taken up just doing different things. And I think it’s easier said than done, of course, but I think if we take that mindset and that approach, it’s a little bit easier to not get as overwhelmed and to still make time to do the things that you need to do. When I do work on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday on my publication or research or writing conference proposals, whatever it may be, I try to maintain just like sort of a regular work day. I’ll usually drive up to campus, you know, maybe nine o’clock try and leave there around 4 pm. So I try to spend a majority of a regular workday on campus, getting things done. I’ll usually set some sort of goal for myself. So whether that is, you know, write three pages of this proposal and grade five things. Sometimes it doesn’t take me from nine to four to do that. If I get done early, I say, “Hey, you did a good job. Take this time and go home early. You know, you have work again tomorrow”. So, you know, go home and relax. So it’s a different sort of pacing because again, some of that is a little bit more high stakes working on research projects or having to attend committee meetings. But if you, as a grad student sort of create this nice workflow, this schedule where you dedicated work times, I think it’s easier to slot in that work time with new faculty stuff.

WF: Yeah. And I’m noticing that hard cutoff at the weekend. It’s just Monday through Friday. Could you talk to us a little bit more about how you see the weekend?

JL: Yeah, absolutely. So as a grad student, I felt like my weekends, especially during coursework were nonexistent. It was. Oh, my God. It’s finally the weekend. I can write that paper that’s due on Monday, you know, or I can finally go and, you know, grade the things I didn’t grade, because I was too busy taking my own classes during the week. And then when writing a dissertation, those were, you know, go to the coffee shop days and, and work, you know, at the coffee shop. And so without some of that extra stuff to do for a class or a dissertation, I felt like you don’t add anything into those days. There’s no reason to take that work home with you on the weekend. If you can get most of it done working a regular sort of nine to five during the week. Plus I think that many of us just need the time to decompress. it’s not to say that I won’t answer student emails over the weekend or look at any of my email or something like that. I still will, you know, do that, but I’m not going to set up dedicated work time. Weekend is to get life stuff done, do whatever it is you need to do. Hang out with some friends, you know, go get, you know, brunch at my favorite diner nearby. Really to be sort of me-time. If you are constantly working seven days a week, and I know that some people that’s how, you know, they work maybe shorter chunks, but they’ll do it seven days a week. Sometimes that works for them. I find that I can be really productive in those five days between teaching and doing all my other things that there’s no need to take that work home with me and I can relax, get ready for that next week. That way I can come into the office on Monday, ready to work for those five, six hours.

NR: That’s great. it looks like you’re doing a great job at balancing, and you’ve been doing this for a while. It seems like that that’s a great accomplishment already because that’s, that’s just so hard, especially even for grad students or even during the transition and you being so new and you’re, you have a hang of that and that. That’s just great. I was, I was listening to all the different tasks that you were talking about, and there are definitely these three streams that we, keep talking about the service teaching part and research. So as a grad student, you’re doing those things, but, but I’m assuming that as a faculty, that ratio kind of shifts a little bit. Are you feeling that and when you’re chunking your time, I’m sure the, part, which has the maximum weight is taking the bigger chunk of your time? Do you want to talk about whether it has changed or how are you distributing that kind of work?

JL: Yeah, absolutely. So the way that sort of its designated here, when I got hired, Kennesaw was designated as an R3, but since the sort of reclassification, with Carnegie and everything like that, we have now become an R2. So even though that is our designation, we still operate much like an R3 where teaching is sort of taking the biggest percentage of that time or that’s what it’s supposed to be. That’s why we teach, on a three, three load rather than something like a two, two. so I find that most of my time is spent, especially across three classes, making up my lesson plan or whatever activity we’re going to be doing. Answering student emails or providing feedback. A lot of the time I encourage my students to send me multiple rough drafts before they actually submit something. So a lot of the time in my office, if I’m not grading, I’m usually giving feedback to students on things like that. So I would say we’re going to think of like a hundred percent of my work time. I’d say probably 60% is probably all teaching related, in, in some way. I’ve also had, something that’s been different, being a faculty member versus a grad student. I’ve had a lot more students come to my office hours than I think ever did when I was a graduate student. and so even just, some of that 60% is just talking face to face with some students that come to my office hours. In terms of that other 40%, I would say it’s probably. 25% research. And then the other 15% is probably service. yeah, as a first year faculty member. I haven’t been asked to be on a lot of committees yet, and that was on purpose by my chair. That was to, again, sort of ease this transition. But we’ve already begun discussing when year 2 starts, you know how that, that balance is going to shift, whether I’m going to be asked to do a little bit more service work for the department and university-wide. Right now that 15% of service is a lot more meetings than I’ve ever had to go to as a graduate student, you know, “go meet with this person for an hour on the other side of campus”, or, “Hey, we have a faculty meeting over here, you know, for an hour”. So there’s a lot, lot more meetings as a faculty member than there was as a graduate student. And then in terms of my research time, that, that 25%, it’s really, been, sort of split whether it’s been working on projects that I already had in progress when I was a grad student. I had a sort of put it on the back burner and focus on the dissertation. Finally getting to go back to some of those projects. Part of it is also new articles that I’m trying to take out of the dissertation itself. And then the third part of that 25% has been, me actually going out and making connections with faculty members and other departments that, that have been doing some really cool research that I’ve partnered up with. I co-wrote a grant with a faculty member in Psychology. And so we’re working on a project together. I just got asked to be on a project with some computer science faculty members. So part of that time was me, sort of just going through the faculty directory on the Kennesaw website, and really looking to see what some of the faculty members in our, like pseudo adjacent majors and departments are doing. And honestly, I just sort of reached out, introduced myself, said, Hey, I’m a new faculty member here. This is the kind of research I do. I see that you. Do some really cool research to, you know, perhaps we can maybe collaborate some time and I set up those meetings and it’s been pretty, pretty fruitful so far. Even just reaching out to make those connections. Even if they’re not in your department, I’ve found that the faculty members here are especially other assistant professors who are still looking to publish and do research have been very receptive to wanting to meet and collaborate and get to know each other. So that’s, that’s been how I’ve been doing my, my sort of publication work time.

NR: That’s really awesome. I think that also dies up with the part of figuring out the unknown at a new institution, you know, just going through the faculty directory. I really like that. And. We are in a field where, you know, we can collaborate with people from various industries and the interdisciplinary is, is such a great thing these days. And it’s useful. We get great collaborations, great research projects out of that. I think that’s awesome.

JL: Yeah, it’s actually it’s, it was, easier than I thought it was going to be. I mean, I literally just went to the faculty directory and just typed in things like ‘user experience’. To see if any other faculty members somewhere, you know, maybe had that in their little bio and I honestly, that’s how I found the, the psychology professor and they found me sort of the same way. When I reached out to him, he was like, “Oh my God, like I just was talking to someone who said, there’s a new person that does UX research. And he’s like, I was coming by your office to say hello”. And it was, good to see that that was how other, other faculty members were sort of seeking, you know, some collaborative help. I think it’s, a really easy thing that you can do in your downtime in your office, just to see what’s going on, especially if you’re brand new, that I found to be really helpful.

NR: Okay. That’s really great. Wil, did you want to add to that?

WF: Yep. Yeah. I mean, it sounds great. That sounds like excellent advice to me of just not be afraid to reach out to people. I know, especially as a graduate student coming to like a completely different school part of the country, reaching out was like, not the first thing on my mind. I was like, terrified. So it’s good to know that if you just kind of push yourself outside your comfort zone, you’ll be rewarding in that way.

JL: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that was also sort of the benefit of already having some ideas of projects I wanted to work on that I just didn’t have at the time to earlier on or. You know, sort of planning out how I want it to turn the dissertation to publication. I wasn’t sitting there trying to come up with like a million new ideas. So some of that time was sort of saved by being like, let me, let me dig up some of these old projects and just sort of tackle those. so that was pretty easy to sort of dig up some of those projects without having to come up with something completely brand new. That way I could focus some of that other time that would have been spent, maybe brainstorming ideas, to reach out to some people and maybe start up some new projects. I think it’s also helpful, especially in our field, when we do collaborative projects, as a new faculty member to lessen some of that burden of, you need to do all of this by yourself and do all of your research alone. Maybe some of the stuff that comes out of your dissertation is going to be solo authored. And so you already sort of have that work that you have to do by yourself, but if you can reach out and lessen the load a little bit by collaborating with some other people, I think that’s also a helpful way to still get publications or even conferences out there. Without having to take all of the burden of the work just to do yourself. Yeah.

NR: That’s, that’s really great. I would love to read more about your work and the interdisciplinary collaborative trajectory. We should maybe schedule another podcast for that. But moving onto the next questioNR: it seems like the all this information is what students would want to know once they’re on the job, but even before that, as they’re preparing to be on the job market, what advice do you have for students, even bringing off from the same thread about networking, the, like before going on the job market or just, what are the other things that you think are going to be useful for them?

JL: I think part of. You know, I spoke about my, you know, the, the service work and the things that I was doing as a grad student that sort of helped me transition to faculty member. Those were all things that I did while I was still in coursework, or I was sort of in the beginning, parts of writing the dissertation, that job market year, where I was getting ready to apply to those jobs. I tried to distance myself from any of those extra, extra things. I mean, those were great CV builders, you know, for those first couple of years, but. Now I already know they’re on the CV. I don’t need that extra meeting to go to, or that extra committee that I have to be on or that extra, you know, TA thing that I was doing with a professor that last year, I really tried to make it – This is about me. This is about finishing my dissertation. First and foremost, making sure that was done, preparing for the defense, but using all that extra time that I would have been doing whatever other kinds of service work using all that extra time to just work on my job materials. And that’s tough as a grad student, especially if a faculty member comes to you as a grad student, it’s like, “Hey, you want to work on this project?” Or, “Hey, would you mind being a part of this committee?” it’s hard to say no. Because those are things that I was still interested in doing. I still wanted to be a part of a lot of those projects, but for my own sake, I’m very thankful that I sort of said no and distanced myself from a lot of that extra stuff. The job market year is tough. I mean, there’s no way to sort of sugar coat it. Obviously I’m very thankful that I did, you know, get a job and everything like that when everything was said and done, but that doesn’t make it any less stressful or, or tough or time-consuming. So not over extending yourself, I think is the first thing to think about what are, you know, if you’re going up to go on the job market in year four or you’re five when you’re in that previous year and that semester is coming to a close in May, I think it was, or it is very helpful to sort of take a step back when you’re in that summer and think what are some things I can get off my plate? What are some things that I don’t have to do right now? So that when the fall semester comes, I can just hit the ground running. When that first job ad comes out. I can just sit there and focus my time on making those materials as great as possible. Okay. Part of what I also did during that summertime was start to prep. Some of those materials, a lot of my time was spent doing dissertation related things, collecting my data, and writing some of my chapters. But. Before the semester started in, I had to do dissertation plus teaching. I said, when was the last time I revisited my CV? You know, when was the last time I really had to write a cover letter or something like that. And just getting even some boiler plate template stuff out of the way so that when the first ad came out, I can tailor it to that job’s needs. So I think that’s sort of the, the first thing don’t overextend yourself. I think the second thing, going into that, that job market is, it’s okay if you don’t do well on that first interview. I was so stressed out.

I was so happy. I finally got a first interview and did all the practice things I could potentially do. And then sometimes you just can’t be prepared, prepared for that curve ball question. They’re going to ask you or just the format that is sort of going to be, you’ve never been interviewed in that particular way before. And so I don’t think I did a very good job on my first interview. And, that’s okay. Like get that one, if that first one out of the way, be more comfortable with the things that they may ask you, and sort of move forward from there. I was very thankful that some of my fellow grad students and I were keeping in contact throughout the job market. We did practice interviews with each other. I did practice interviews with some of the faculty members that offered to help me, so that definitely helped prepare me. But there’s just something about those first time nerves that, that still get to you sometimes. And that’s okay. I think it’s okay to sort of fail that first time or multiple times. It happens. It’s also okay to get that that rejection letter. I went into the job market being like, I’ll apply to my favorite jobs. I’ll apply to the top ones that I think would be a really great fit. I don’t want to apply anywhere else. And then I had that first interview and that first, that second interview, that third interview of these places that I thought were really great and thought the interviews went well and still got that email that was like, thank you. But. But no thank you. And that first one or two was, was pretty devastating. You know, especially if you really get attached to a job that you think was tailor-written for you to like, “Oh my God, they couldn’t have written a better job ad for me”. And then it just didn’t work out. I think it was, it was tough to sort of get that first or second rejection letter and be like, am I going to get a job? Like, what is this going to look like? And I think it’s taking a step back and understanding that you’re going to have to apply to a lot more jobs than I think you, originally think you’re going to, you can’t really cherry pick. It’s OK to cast that wide net and just hope something sticks. but I think the best piece of advice that I got from a faculty member when I got that first rejection, where again, I thought that this job was tailor made and I was really getting down on myself. They told me that if that’s, that rejection does not mean that you’re not qualified for that job or any job, it does not mean that you’re not good enough does not mean that you aren’t doing the right things. Every department is different. Every job committee is different. You can say all the right things, you could answer all the things that you thought that they wanted to hear. Your CV looked good and matched up. But at the end of the day, they are people. That have their own thoughts and their own opinions. And, you know, at the end of the day, they, they are the ones that make the decision, not the job ad itself, not all the things that you thought your CV, you know, checked off all the boxes they’re there, they’re human and they have their own feelings and opinions with what they are looking for. And so it’s okay. It does not mean that you’re not good enough that, that one job that where you are the perfect fit, where that faculty member and that committee sees in you, that value, you know, that will happen. Yeah, it may take, it may take some time. It may go further into the job market timeline than you had anticipated, but you know, you have to stay the course and you know, don’t let it get to you. I think is really tough thing to say. But it’s a grueling process. There are a lot of job ads that come out. You’re probably going to write a million cover letters to a million places. And that, you know, in, in towns that you never even thought you’d maybe consider moving to. But yeah, take that time to really tailor those materials and stay the course power through.

You know, even if it’s a job at the end of the year or something like that, I mean, that’s still your job, right. That you still found your match, you still found your perfect fit, so, okay. Don’t get discouraged and sort of keep on. Yeah. doing everything that you, that you can do that at least that you can control.

NR: Great. I think those were really good advices and I liked that you’ve marked them like one, two and three. And thanks for talking about the rejection part because, it’s hard to, face rejection and it is just inevitable. It is going to happen to all of us, but we’re not always prepared for it. So thanks for spending that bit of time in explaining. Especially with social media, I think sometimes we can get so hung up on peoples’, successes and, you know, people sharing it constantly, and that can be stressful as well. And it could add to the stress that the rejection can cause you. So, yeah, so, so thank you. I’m really glad that you took the time to talk about it.

WF: Yeah, I’m really happy that you talked about that human aspect of it too, because sometimes I feel like I’m just a, a piece of the machinery just like moving along the assembly line, but there’s people behind the levers managing everything, I guess. So, yeah. It’s good to just emphasize that part of it, I guess.

JL: Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely. and, and to bring up the social media aspect too, I mean, that is. It is very easy to get overwhelmed or discouraged. As you mentioned, looking at things like the, the Wiki that I used for a lot of the information to find what job ads were out there. You know, when people would go and update it and say, “Oh, campus visits got announced”. And, you know, you’re sort of looking around and being like, well, I don’t have one of those in my inbox. You know, it’s, it’s tough, especially if you thought the interview went great. Same thing with people announcing their jobs on Twitter or Facebook. I think what I really tried to do, and Wil like, you just mentioned that this sort of human aspect is, “Hey, they were the perfect fit. The faculty members saw something in them that perhaps I didn’t bring to the table or whatever it was. And that’s okay. Perhaps I wasn’t going to be. The best fit there anyways, maybe it wouldn’t have worked out for me”. And so, I really tried to focus on being happy for those people. You know, they are in the same boat that we are, they’re just as stressed out; they are, you know, out there filling out the same job as that. We are our field isn’t that big, many of us are applying to many of the same jobs. It’s tough to sort of be supportive at the same time being like – I wish that was me. But I don’t think that there, it doesn’t do any good to, to attack those people or be angry at those people when, Hey, they, they got their shot, they got that opportunity. And you should be happy for them, because you hope that, you know, that’s going to be you next. And, and of course you would probably want to do the same. You’d want to share with the world that, Hey, my hard work has paid off. I got this job here. I got accepted here. Just as many of us did when we got into our grad programs probably announced on social media, Hey, you know, going to Texas tech, going to, you know, NC state going to Michigan state, wherever it is. Right. I mean, the three of us were probably also super excited that we got into a grad program. and the same thing could be said for anyone who applied to those grad programs, but didn’t get it and sees you post on social media, right. That, “Oh man, why couldn’t that be me?” I think it’s still happy to be, you know, supportive of each other, through these tough times and try to build some kind of support network. I was very fortunate that, even though me and several other people from my grad program all went on the job market at the same time, all of us were going on the same interviews, to still be supportive of them. Even if we were all eyeing for that same one, you know, tenure track line, I mean, I knew people that, would tell me, Hey, just had an interview with these people. I know you have one tomorrow. Here’s the kinds of questions they asked me. I hope that maybe this will help you be a little more prepared than I was. I think there are some people that just want to keep that information to themselves and that’s totally fine. But I don’t think that, you know, if you have that nice support network and you want to help each other out. Even if you don’t tell them exactly what the questions are, because many times they may differ a little bit, but just to give them sort of a, even advice on how it’s going to be set up. “Hey, so there’s going to be on Zoom. There’s going to be five people in the room, just be prepared. You know, everyone’s going to be sharing one computer”, you know, whatever it could be to at least give them a, you know, A little bit of help, I think is again, important to be supportive and help each other out.

WF: Great. Well, thanks for speaking with us. This has all been super helpful. I feel much better than I did before the interview. So that’s good. Hopefully our listeners feeling good too. Yeah, absolutely.

JL: Yeah. And I mean, and I’ll say, I mean, obviously this is my own unique experience. Not everybody goes through the same thing. So I hope that, you know, just like you said, some of it was helpful. I hope that at least maybe there’s one little grain of sand, one little nugget that someone can take out that, that helps. again, understanding that everyone’s process is going to be different everyone’s experience is going to be different.

WF: Thanks for your time, Jack. We really appreciate it. Do you want to let people know where they can find you if you want Twitter, email, website?

JL: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. so, I always try and find as many people in our fields that I can on LinkedIn. But if you are in a connection with me on LinkedIn, you can find me ‘Jack T Labriola’ on there. I’m always happy to connect with other like-minded people in the field. feel free to reach out to me. I’m on LinkedIn if we get connected, you can also email me, it’s jlabrio1@kennesaw.edu. Don’t be fooled. That one is not an ‘l’ it’s the number one. And then you can, you can find me on Twitter at JT_LaBY feel free to reach out there. I, even if I’m not commenting on everybody’s posts or liking everyone’s posts, I’m sort of silently watching everyone what they’re doing. And I love seeing updates on what people are doing, whether it’s they got into a grad program, got a job, got something published. I’m like, this is awesome. I, I love, you know, sending my congrats and my support to everyone. I think again, it’s pretty unique to be in a field that’s pretty, pretty big, but still feels really small at the same time where everyone sort of gets to know each other. So I’m happy to always chat. We can always set up a Zoom call and chat about something, you know, we can tweet back and forth. We can message on LinkedIn. I’m always happy to chat.

WF: Nice. Well, we’ll have links to all that stuff in the show notes and in the blog post that goes with this episode. And again, Jack, thank you so much. Have a good day.

JL: Yeah. Thank you both for having me and, Stay healthy out there.

WF: Yeah. Everyone stay healthy please. Yes, please. Okay.


About Author

Wilfredo Flores

Wilfredo Flores is a fourth-year PhD candidate at Michigan State University in the Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures Department. His research interests include digital material rhetorics, online queer and trans communities, sexual health communication, digital research methods, and cultural rhetorics.

Nupoor Ranade

Nupoor is a PhD Candidate in the Communication, Rhetoric and Digital Media at the North Carolina State University. Her research focuses on audience analysis, digital rhetoric, user experience and information design primarily in the field of technical communication and artificial intelligence. Her research experience and partnerships with the industry help her bridge gaps of knowledge that she then brings to her pedagogical practices.

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