Jenny Marshall, Math & Science Education ILP, shares her success
Name: Jenny Marshall
Licensure program: Math and Science
Completed the ILP program: June 2012
Employer: Internationella Engelska Skolan
Position: 6th grade science and 7th grade math
What interested in you teaching abroad? How did you learn about your current position?
Previously, I interned and studied abroad in New Zealand and Finland. I really enjoyed these experiences because I got to interact with people from different cultures, and learn about the education systems of other countries. So, when the opportunity arose to teach abroad, I was quite interested because it was another chance for me to experience something different and learn new things.
I first learned about this school from an e-mail that was forwarded to me by my professor. The e-mail informed me that the school was conducting on-campus interviews.
Describe the application and interview process.
In order to apply for the position, I submitted a résumé and cover letter via GoldPass. The first round of interviews took place at the U of M with the Head of Academics for the schools. This person brought my information back to his principals in Sweden. After several weeks, I heard back from one of the principals who had a math and science opening at her school. I had a second interview with her over the phone. This interview seemed to be more informal, and the principal spent quite a bit of time telling me about her school and surrounding town. After the interview, the principal sent me contact information for several teachers at her school. I was encouraged to ask these individuals any questions I had about teaching abroad and working at the school.
How did you make yourself stand out during the job search?
In my résumé and cover letter, I tried to highlight past experiences I have had living abroad. The year-long study program I did in Finland seemed especially relevant because Finland is a Nordic country like Sweden.
Looking back, what did you find to be the most helpful during job search process?
I am very appreciative that the initial interviews for this position were on-campus. It was nice to be able to meet some people from the school in person so I could get a better sense of the culture of the school. Furthermore, after the interviews, the school held an information session so applicants could learn more about the school and ask questions.
Did you utilize career services? If so, what was your experience like?
I used career services on several occasions during my job search process. Initially, I asked Sarah to read my résumé and cover letter, and offer suggestions on how to improve it. At this time, I also asked her several questions about interviewing and teaching abroad. I found this initial meeting to be very helpful because I learned what to expect from the job search process. Career services was also responsible for setting up the on-campus interviews and information session. I would likely not have applied for this position if the interviews had not been on-campus, so I am thankful that career services arranged for the school to come.
What advice would you like to share with others about your experience finding a teaching position?
I think any experience aspiring teachers can get with kids prior to the job search process is invaluable. I found that my experiences prior to entering the field not only helped me when I was teaching, but it also gave me a better idea of what type of setting I ultimately wanted to be teaching in. Furthermore, I was able to reflect on these experiences when applying for jobs so I could give specific examples when answering questions posed during the interview.