Post CRDM posts: Dr. Dickerson

2013-02-26_10-39-00_141As we’ve mentioned before, we are incredibly proud of the excellent students–now representing the program all over the world–who have come before us in the CRDM program. For the next few weeks,  we’ll be interviewing a handful of recent graduates for thoughts about life, the universe, and everything. We’ve talked with Dr. Kati Fargo Ahern and Dr. Dawn Shepherd, and now we’re interviewing Dr. Jacob Dickerson, a 2012 CRDM graduate.

Can you tell us a bit about where you are now and what you’re doing?

I am an assistant professor at Georgetown College near Lexington, KY. The position is tenure-track. I teach classes mostly in media studies, including one on media history and one on media theory. I have also taught a course in social media and am currently teaching on media and American Identity.

What is the biggest difference between the last year of CRDM and the first year with a job?

For me, the biggest difference has been the opportunity for research. As a student, research was what I spent almost all of my time on. I was writing a dissertation, after all. But at Georgetown I am teaching 4 classes and advising student organizations. This means that I just don’t have the time to conduct research. I don’t really love research, so that’s alright, but it’s been kind of a culture shock to have it become so difficult.

What is one thing you wish you’d known when you were a CRDM student preparing for the job market?

I wish I had known how much work being on the job market would be. I know everyone tells you it’s a lot of work…but that didn’t do justice to the amount of work that I put in. It was only for 2 or 3 months, though, so that was good.

What is one piece of advice you’d give CRDM students in preparation for their first year out?

 Don’t be afraid to embrace the culture of your institution. You may not get a job at your top choice or you may not plan on spending your entire career there. And it’s likely to be a very different environment than CRDM. But that doesn’t mean that isn’t worthwhile. There are challenges at all institutions, but there are always redeeming qualities as well. Maybe your students or your colleagues are particularly good for you. Find those redeeming qualities and you might find a place you want to stay. Be open to the quirks and enjoy the experience for what it is. Don’t go into it already thinking about what’s next.
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