job hiring process

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  • #278
    Tommy boy

    I just started looking into working at McMurdo and im a cook and was applying for a position as a prep cook. I’m working on college, but this is an inbetween and i think its gonna be a great oppertunity to meet some amzing people. My problem is that when i was filing the resume, they wanted to know what my salary requirements were…….now, i was baffled by this, cooks dont get paid much. I wasnt sure though, it is antarctica… are the pay rates, are they average, above nominal……what in the world do you tell them when you make 8 bucks an hour in the states and now your wanting to go to antarctica…..whats 8 bucks an hour there?


    Tommy, Most of the jobs have rather standard pay scales. Less if you are there for the first time, more as you are experienced. I would be honest and put down a little more than you make now. One think for sure, experienced cooks that can feed a thousand people are hard to come by. As a result there are several categories of cooks down in McM. You may not be an executive chef, but you might make a great prep cook. Give it a shot and see what happens.
    Most of the hiring has been done by now for the coming year, but people always drop out at the last minute so don’t let that discourage you. Read back in some of the old posts here to see how many people have been hired that thought they never had a chance.
    If you don’t make it this year, plan on attending the Denver Job Fair in April of every year. It seems to me a much greater percentage of people who attend the fair get hired. You get to meet the recruiters personally and you get their emails to keep in touch with them.
    good luck

    Tommy boy

    I’ve found that its not so much the experience in the kitchen, its enjoying the work. I didnt have any experience with my first cooking job and was immediatly moved up to prep, did rather well for my first time especially for fine dining……….
    I appreciate the info here. The good news, or so i hope, is that they still have some job openings on the website…..the prep cook position for instance i imagine is abit hard to fill on a giant slab of ice.
    The other thing i was wondering, how are the living conditioins, are there computers availble, could you bring one with you, is there internet…..i konw phone calls dont work out to well…..
    the other thing…….now this may sound odd, or just childish, or drunkish…..but whats the possability of getting to the south pole and getting a picture with a budwieser in my hand……………
    oh, thay brings to mind…..i know they have smokes down there, but do they sell beer , not that you’d want some one wandering around drunk in -40 weather, just a casual thing?


    They still have kitchen jobs open? I’d call them right away. You may or may not get through to anyone but it’s worth a try.
    You are right about the experience. Depending on your point of view, kitchen jobs are either the best or worst jobs in McM. The downside is that you are working when everyone else is off, which means you have to get real inventive with your social life. If you can make your own entertainment you will do ok. In general if you are already in the food business then you will be accustommed to different hours.
    The good side is that in a summer town that is packed with people to the point that it’s hard to find space to breathe. The kitchen staff has days off when everyone else is working. The trails are yours as well as the entire base.
    Living conditions are ok. There is a satlink phone system to the states. It’s limited and only so many people can use it at a time, but again if you are kitchen help then you will have plenty of time for the computers and phones when lines are empty.
    Computers are provided, but are busy during breaks and mealtimes. The link is basically equivilent to a dsl line that  all thousand people share at the same time. Very slow if you get my point, but ok for sending emails home.  You get space on the company harddrive for your photos.
    Getting to the south pole is a possibility. Years ago they regularly held a lottery to send McM residents to the pole on turn around flights. Long enough to get your photo taken at the pole. During construction of the new SP station. All space on the planes were full of cargo, hence no boondoggle flights. I understand that last summer they started letting people go again. Can the kitchen spare you long enough to go if the lottery gets you a slot? Who knows. Maybe the lottery will slot you on your day off.
    As far as smokes, drinks etc. It’s all available. You are expected to behave yourself. Break the rules and you will be on the next flight out with no bonus.Beer, Wine and hard liquor are sold in the store at reasonable prices. There are two bars, One for smokers and the other for non-smokers. There is also a coffeehouse that serves cappachino style coffee along with wine. It has card tables and a big screen tv for movies. It’s a favorite spot for acoustic guitar nights.
    hope you make it down. get pushing hard for the job now.

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