Bioethics Blogs

“How Are You Diverse?:” How the Academic Job Market Aggravated my Racial Insecurities

by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

Last year on the academic job market I had 59 interviews (skype and telephone interviews). That means that 59 times I had to fit a 30-60 minute interview into my insanely busy adjunct teaching schedule. Fifty-nine times I had to prepare for an interview: know the school’s and the department’s mission statement, research the department’s faculty and their areas of specialization, prepare answers to questions that the search committee would likely ask me and make many other preparations. Fifty-nine times I donned my interview attire, set up my computer, made sure that I had proper lighting (when the interviews were not telephone interviews), and prepared to tell a committee of 3-7 people why they should hire me. Fifty-nine times I had to be prepared to convince a committee to hire me despite the multiple technological difficulties that I often encountered (in one interview, one person was shown on my computer screen, but there were the voices of 5 interviewers, each asking multiple questions and because they could not hear each other, I was often asked a question multiple times and on top of that the system was walkie-talkie style, complete with a button that functioned similar to the walkie-talkie vernacular “over”). The academic job market is tedious and at times absurd, but manageable. No matter what curve ball came my way I was able to handle it gracefully and with ease. This is in part because I love what I do and partly because my mentors and others in the fields of philosophy and bioethics prepared me for what I would face while searching for a job.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.