Can DA Job be foot in the door?

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    Hi Guys,
    I just got offered a DA job. I’m hoping that it is a good “foot in the door” for other positons on the Ice. Is this a realistic thing? I’ve heard it is, but does anyone have any advice about this?



    That’s the way it worked for me!  As a retired nurse practitioner, I accepted a DA position in 2000-01.  I really wanted to be a shuttle driver.  After a season as a “galley slave”, I’ve been able to return each season as a shuttle driver!!  Got my contract in hand for this coming season!!
    Good luck!


    A DA job can be a great foot in the door.  It is one of the hardest working positioins, and the bosses down there know that.  I interviewed with one person on the Ice who said that he secretly watches DA’s at work, as part of his hiring processes.  I knew a lot of DA’s who volunteered in different work centers toward the end of the season, to get a foot in the door there.  I wish I had done more volunteering, it would have been easier for me to get a job this year.  Good luck!


    Hey, Running Girl –

    A week ago I accepted a DA position at McMurdo. I’ve never been down to the Ice before, but from everything I’ve heard, yeah, it’s a great “foot in the door” opportunity. Also, from everyone I’ve spoken to, it sounds like working as a DA is a lot of fun. (Hard work, too, of course – but it seems there’s a lot of “team spirit” with the dining crew.)

    Anyway, if you accept, let me know – I’d love to talk w/ a fellow newbie before we get down there.

    All the best,



    I’ve seen many people start off as a DA and move on in later years to ‘dream jobs’. Sharon is just one of them. Also, what Zondra said is probably true. As a DA you are in the “public eye” and everyone can see your work ethic. So if you are looking to move up you had best keep your image looking sharp.
    Going in be forewarned that being a DA can be one of the most thankless jobs in McM. However, it’s all what you make of it. There can be a lot of comraderie and many people return again to the same job. Like most jobs, if you concentrate on what’s good you’ll be happy: if you concentrate on what’s bad then you are likely to be unhappy.
    So what is the bad? Nothing serious just the normal things you would experience in the food service industry. Primarily, you have to work when your friends are off. Meals go on 24 hours a day and the chances are good that you will be on a different shift than your friends. My boss once told me that the perfect Antarctica person is one who can go to a movie or restaurant alone and be perfectly happy. Be prepared that you will possibly miss many of the big social parties and instead will socialize with small groups that are off on the same shift as you. It’s not a problem in the summer as the sun is up all the time and there will be plenty to do if you are inventive.
    That’s the key. Be inventive. McM recreation spends most of it’s energy on day workers. For off shift workers there is the day bar and maybe some bowling but not much else. It will be up to you and your same shift friends to come up with your own fun. Well enough rambling. Good luck to all of you and remember to get your pq’s done as soon as you can.

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