Archive for March, 2012

France: Take 2

This has been a busy week. After having a phone conversation with my dad and receiving input from a friend via Facebook, I decided to call Radio-Canada Windsor on Monday to get a straight answer regarding my job application. Then I would decide whether to call the internship agency in Quebec and let them know if I am in for France this summer.

So after calling Windsor and reaching an answering machine, calling again and being told the person I wanted to reach was gone for the week, I finally spoke to someone in charge and explained the situation. I told her I had had an interview on February 22 for the position of videographer and was told someone would call me about technical tests I had to take, but I needed an answer now because I had been given another offer. They finally called back that afternoon and told me that no, I did not have the job. Two reasons: number one, not enough experience. Number two, not enough knowledge of local news.

I actually thought I had done a good job regarding local news, but clearly they wanted me to know every single event that took place in Windsor and tell them why I had chosen that particular news. You always have to say why.

As for the lack of experience, it seems pretty clear now I need to get more. I don’t regret participating in the ieiMedia program last July, but in this job market one month studying abroad is not enough to get you a job. Hopefully three months interning at a university radio in northern France should do the trick. So I emailed both the radio station and the internship agency to let them know I was accepting the internship if the offer was still on the table. They are a lot faster than Radio-Canada: by Tuesday they had said yes and were already sending forms for me to fill out.

This sort of reminds of that scene in “Forrest Gump” when Tom Hanks is telling someone how he went to the White House “again” and met the president “again.” It was great the first time, but after the second and third time it kind of loses its zing. Don’t get me wrong, I am stoked I am going to France, but I would have preferred getting a full-time job. This will be my second trip in two years and I was really hoping the first time around would at least get me an assistant’s job somewhere.

At least it has helped get my foot through the door. Since I started my job search last August I’ve had a good six interviews with different news agencies. I even flew to Toronto for an interview with SunNews. In retrospect I should have probably asked if we could have done it over Skype and saved a plane ticket, but at least they were interested.

Come next August I am hoping they will be interested enough to actually give me a shot once I nail that ever so challenging interview. I would hate to find myself in the exact same situation I was in last December: stuck at home, sending resumes for a full-time job, and having to get a part-time job in order to pay for Christmas presents.

At least now with the part-time job I know I will have enough money for the trip to France. The internship agency and the radio station cover some of the costs so I should be fine.

Also on the plus side I’ve never been to the region of Rouen in France. I could probably blog about it on the same tumblr account I used for the Perpignan project last year. That’s something else I can talk about in interviews: I am getting really busy with social media. I have a twitter account, two Facebook pages, an account on Blogger, and my own website. I also recently started writing movie reviews on Examiner.com. Of course the problem with the internet is that it is very difficult to actually make any money with it.

Hopefully by the end of this year, I will not only have experience, enough money to buy season 2 of “The Wire,” but also my first real job. Fingers crossed.

 

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Stuck between France and Windsor

As the week ends I am forced to make a tough decision. This Tuesday I had a Skype interview with the directors of a radio station in Rouen, France. They have offered me a three month-internship from May till July. They, along with the Quebec agency that referred me the internship, cover most of the travel costs. It would give additional work experience, which is something currently missing from my resume. On paper it sounds like a great opportunity, if it wasn’t for the fact that I may get a job with CBC Radio-Canada in Windsor, Ontario.

To recap, on February 22 I had a Skype interview with Radio-Canada for the job of videographer in Windsor. I wouldn’t say I gave the world’s best interview, but I did a good job of highlighting my education, experience, and language skills. As usual, I ended the interview by asking when I could expect an answer. They told me I first had to take a series of tests to determine my skills. Someone was going to call me soon to set up a date when I could go to the Radio-Canada offices in Quebec City to take my tests.

The next day I sent an e-mail to thank the entire team for the interview and to express my interest for the job. Then the Monday after I sent an e-mail asking when I could expect to be contacted for the tests. By Friday I had no answer so I sent another e-mail. Then Monday of this week I called and the person who answered told me she would ask around. The next day she sent me an e-mail to tell a member of the interview team would have to contact me first. That was the same day I had my interview with the French radio station.

It is now Friday and I haven’t had any more information from Windsor. On the other hand, the radio station e-mailed me this morning and they await my answer. While I was at my part-time job I also got a call from the internship agency. I was working, so I let it go to voicemail. Unfortunately, the person made the call at around 11:30 and said she wanted me to call back before noon to give an answer regarding whether or not I wanted the internship. I got the message at 01:20pm, so I quickly called back to ask if I could have until Monday to make my decision. She was out, so I had to leave a message.

So, if I haven’t already lost the internship to any of the other candidates, I have until Monday to come up with my answer. I can decide one of two things:

First, I can say I take the internship, go to France in May, gain some experience, and come back to Quebec City in July. Then hopefully employers will be impressed by my work experience and I will finally get a full-time job in journalism. Or, they will not care and I will have to go back to the job office, and once again work part-time from Thursday to Sunday.

Second, I can decide not to take the internship and hope that Radio-Canada Windsor, or any of the other many news agencies to whom I have sent my resume, will finally call me back with the glorious news that I now have a job. Or maybe nobody calls and two months from now I am still sending out resumes, working part-time, and wondering why on Earth I am not gaining work experience in France.

I am trying to explore the consequences of both decisions and as you can see I have a tendency of focusing on the negative. Seven months of unemployment will do that to you.

What I need to do between now and Monday, if the internship is still on the table, is thoroughly think this through. Then by Monday afternoon at the latest I have to do the polite thing and give the people in France my answer. My hope is that by the end of the afternoon Radio-Canada will have contacted me to give me an update on my application. At least I would know where I stand with them.

This reminds of that show on Fox, Fringe, where you have two different universes co-existing. In one universe John Doe took option A so his life is great. But in the other universe John took option B so his life is completely different. Is it better? Worse? Or down the line is there an overlap?

Either way, I have to make up my mind. I hope that whatever decision I make helps me reach my ultimate goal of one day doing coverage of the Toronto International Film Festival. I would be overcome with happiness with that end result in any universe.

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Job Hunt: Seven Months Later

Job Hunt: Seven Months Later.

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