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February 6, 2005 at 8:17 am #339
I applied for the summer positions last year, but was not in the states, so I had to do it by e-mail. This year it is my highest priority to find myself in Mcmurdo in October.
I have read many of your previous postings and, rest assured, I will be attending the job fair in Denver. At this time I’d like to give you all the opportunity to mold me into the ideal interviewee. Obviously the human connection is a huge part to the process, but there are other aspects to consider. For example, is there a specific type of resume that they are looking for? How important is that year of previous experience that they require for certain jobs? How does one go about convincing Raytheon that they are perfect for the job? Would falling on your knees begging be considered going just a tad too far?
In my case, I have no trade skills so those jobs are out of the question — or are they? I can be trained to do just about anything. I do have a fair amount of professional experience, so I could do clerical jobs. Quite honestly, I’m willing to do any job!!!
Basically, I know someone who is over there this year and her advice was to come to you and do everything that you suggest (that was her strategy last year), so here I am. Mold me, shape me, and if you and I are there together next year I’ll buy you a drink.
Thanks in advance,
Michael 🙂February 11, 2005 at 1:19 am #2349
Hi Michael. Sorry about being a bit late getting back. We’ve just had our annual supply ship come in and we’ve all been on 12 hour shifts. This is also the transition from summer to winter. Both summer and winter crews are here and it seems everyone is on the internet. When that happens it takes forever to answer one of these letters. After next week things should improve.
As for molding, Most of what you read will apply to you. I’ve said often that it’s not really necessary to go to the job fair, However, the advantage is that you get to meet the recruiting people personally. IF you are lucky, they will give you a contact address to keep in touch. Some jobs get hundreds of applicants, so anything you can do to stand above the rest of the crowd helps. If you get an alternate position take it. There is a fair chance that you will be moved up.
Got to go to work.
mikeFebruary 12, 2005 at 6:18 am #2350
A little more about experience.
Is the years experience important? Yes, However, it is often the case that not enough experienced people apply for a specific job. Would they hire you as a journeyman electrician to rewire the power plant if you had no experience? No , but if you’ve helped your dad rewire your house, maybe someone would hire you as a helper. You know, someone tells you to pull on the wire and you do it. The bottom line is that the people doing the hiring want experienced people at all levels, but if no one applies it leaves the door open to you.
There are a number of clerical jobs, but they are mostly tied into the different workcenters. Apply for everything you think you might be able to do. Knowing Excell backwards and forewards would be a big help. To a lesser extent a knowledge of Access helps. Most everything down here though is done with Excel.
The proprietary program is Mapcon and you will learn it here. Most of the workcenters use it for inventory control, cargo tracking, work order scheduling, and service orders. There is nothing I know of that will prepare you in advance. McMurdo computer trainers hold lots of free classes on how to use the program.
When applying, keep one thing in mind. The people doing the hiring are looking for people who want to come down and work. If they think the only reason you want to come here is to see the penguins, then be prepared not to be hired. It’s a six day a week 9 hour a day job. There is time in the evenings and on Sundays to see Antarctica, but the rest of the time you need to focus on work and the people who do the hiring need to see that in you.
Write back more about what you have done in the past and we’ll see if we can steer you in a couple of directions.
mikeFebruary 13, 2005 at 5:52 am #2351MN-SparkyMember
Hey Mike, Is Raytheon in the process of now building the new power plant or
what ever the arrangement is?February 13, 2005 at 8:09 am #2352brendanstamp05Member
Turn up drunk for the interview and they know they can shanghai you, best way as I found out.
We are building a new section to teh power and water plant over the next 2 seasons, they are splitting the plants up into 2 similar units so we have backup if something fails badly in one. Each plant shall end up with 2 generators and 2 reverse osmosis units each and a connecting corridor shall be built between them, which kind of defeats teh purpose of seperating them, but thats MacTown.
Michael, they also have laboring (G.A.) positions available, some are less than most want to do but some have gotten helper and apprentice jobs that way.
Hope to catch you down in Gallaghers Michael.
Lucky.February 17, 2005 at 1:38 am #2353
Sorry for the delay. Been working like crazy to get my thesis proposal in before its deadline.
Ok, me in a nutshell: 35 years old. Bachelor’s in Spanish from Gonzaga Univ. One step away from a Master’s in Sustainable Development from School for International Training. Three years working as a Program Asst. with Int’l Students at G.U. Three years teaching English in Japan. Three years as a Peace Corps volunteer, working at a youth center in Cape Verde. Short time teaching Spanish at a charter school in Austin. And currently running my own Spanish Interpreting business in Boise.
I have visited over fifty countries; lived in four continental regions; experienced and enjoyed living with next-to-nothing; and thrive in a small community setting.
While I’m not a computer programmer by any means, I consider myself above average in MS Office applications — including Excel. In fact, I taught Word and Excel courses in the Peace Corps.
My plan is to apply for every job that’s available and that doesn’t require certain liscenses or certificates. I may not have the experience they are looking for, but I’m a fairly sharp guy and am easily trained. If you have any suggestions of what I might be best qualified for, I’d enjoy getting your insight.
I will be going to the job fair in April. Do you recommend applying for jobs over the internet before attending the fair; or should I wait until that day to apply? Also, do you know if they are looking for a specific type of resume? Any guidence that you — or anyone else! — could offer would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for all the help. It’s great to see that you enjoy the experience so much that you’re willing to help others in their efforts to join you.
Michael R.February 17, 2005 at 11:34 am #2354PrairieDogMember
Mike, You sound like a great candidate for working on the Ice. One common denominator for people there is being well traveled. I would apply early and show your enthusiasm for the job. There isn’t much call for spanish/american translators but if you can understand Kiwi you could translate or teach them American…:) Seriously though there are many jobs you could do. Cargo, Fuelie (Summer) GA, DA, construction coordinator, to name a few. I agree with you that the best way would be to apply for any job that you think you could do and try to stay in touch with the hiring managers.
When I applied, I wrote an essay on why I wanted to work in Antarctica as well as a resume etc. Reading it again after spending a year at Pole I couldn’t believe how naive I sounded but I got the job so something worked. I believe it was that like you, I was very excited about working there and was able to communicate that to the hiring manager. I work in the trades so that was a big help too. If you have any experience at all in construction you could try out for a helper position.
Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2005 11:39 AM
To: Antarctic memories
Subject: Re: Please mold me!
New Message on Antarctic memories
Message 6 in Discussion
Hi Mike, Sorry for the delay. Been working like crazy to get my thesis proposal in before its deadline. Ok, me in a nutshell: 35 years old. Bachelor’s in Spanish from Gonzaga Univ. One step away from a Master’s in Sustainable Development from School for International Training. Three years working as a Program Asst. with Int’l Students at G.U. Three years teaching English in Japan. Three years as a Peace Corps volunteer, working at a youth center in Cape Verde. Short time teaching Spanish at a charter school in Austin. And currently running my own Spanish Interpreting business in Boise. I have visited over fifty countries; lived in four continental regions; experienced and enjoyed living with next-to-nothing; and thrive in a small community setting. While I’m not a computer programmer by any means, I consider myself above average in MS Office applications — including Excel. In fact, I taught Word and Excel courses in the Peace Corps. My plan is to apply for every job that’s available and that doesn’t require certain liscenses or certificates. I may not have the experience they are looking for, but I’m a fairly sharp guy and am easily trained. If you have any suggestions of what I might be best qualified for, I’d enjoy getting your insight. I will be going to the job fair in April. Do you recommend applying for jobs over the internet before attending the fair; or should I wait until that day to apply? Also, do you know if they are looking for a specific type of resume? Any guidence that you — or anyone else! — could offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for all the help. It’s great to see that you enjoy the experience so much that you’re willing to help others in their efforts to join you. Thanks again, Michael R.
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mailto:email@example.comFebruary 18, 2005 at 1:20 am #2355
I’ll echo Kevins response. I’d say the bottom line is that everyone wants highly experienced people to apply for their depts. The reality is that even if they do apply, they often don’t pass the medical exam or they flunk the drug test. So often it seems that at the last minute the managers are scrambling to fill positions. I might add that if none of the hiring managers pick you up right away, let them know that you are well traveled and can up and leave at a moments notice if a vacancy comes up.
From your previous jobs, I can’t think of anything you would be a shoe-in for. However, you appear to be a very adaptable person. There are a large number of reasonably unskilled jobs that you could probably hit with a running start.
Also, when talking to the hiring folks, remember that we work a six day a week 9 hour a day work week. You will be expected to work. If in your enthusiasm you give the impression that all you want to do is wander around the continent and look at penguins, it’s not likely anyone will hire you. Keep the work focused. How to do the fun stuff we’ll do later.
mikeFebruary 19, 2005 at 3:30 am #2356
Thanks for the comments, guys. I appreciate the tips. I’m feeling pretty hopeful because, if nothing else, I do have a strong work ethic (I blame Catholic grade school for it) and should be able to get my references to write letters that will reflect that part of my character. And I love to learn; so if someone will be willing to hire and train me, we’ll all benifit.
I’ve purchased my bus ticket to Denver; so now I’ll start preparing myself. If you think of any tips on interviewing, please pass them on.
Thanks for all the help,
Michael R. 🙂February 21, 2005 at 8:54 am #2357TzcMcMurdoMember
If you have above average MS Office knowledge, you may want to consider the helpdesk as well. I don’t know whether they are full for next year, but it can never hurt to apply.
Best of luck, maybe we’ll see you on the ice next season.
TizocFebruary 22, 2005 at 6:40 am #2358
There is a summer position in IT that teaches basic computer skills to the public at large. Word, Excel, Access to lesser degree, are taught to anyone who wants to learn.Then there is Mapcon. It’s an old Dos program that is the basis for everything down here. You probably won’t find any way to prepare in advance for our proprietary programs. However, if you are adept at computer skills. Mapcon will come easy. The job seems interesting. It wouldn’t hurt to apply for that job.
mikeFebruary 22, 2005 at 9:49 pm #2359brendanstamp05Member
Something you may wish to consider is to write a few versions of your resume to highlight different aspects of your training and skills, that way you can give a short and concise version to the appropriate hiring manager, you can look up the skills they are looking for before you go and that should aid you in shaping your resume for that paticular area, more on the I.T. side for one and more on the outdoors for the like of fuelies or such. I would apply online and then go to the job fair as a follow-up, put a face to the paperwork, they may even call you back before you go, no telling with RPSC and now the new hiring system.
All the best to you.
Lucky.March 5, 2005 at 10:17 am #2360
Sorry for the delay. Been away from the computer for a couple of weeks. (Life in the non-technical world!)
I just want to thank all of you for your responses. Very, very helpful! I’m going to crank out some decent resumes this week and get my references to tailor their letters, as well.
Looking forward to speaking with the friend of my friend who just got back from your neck of the ice; she’ll be able to give me lots of pointers, I’m sure.
Thanks again. Any advice is good advice in my book.
Mike R. 🙂March 6, 2005 at 11:58 pm #2361
If your friend is M
, then she’ll give you some good advice. McMurdo is a funny place. Lots of good a little bit of bad. It’s interesting being crammed in here with so many people in your face. M
saw both sides and came out shining. Her enthusiasm enlightened almost everyone she came in contact with. Tell her to get on the message board here and say hi.
mikeMarch 10, 2005 at 9:17 am #2362ElBobo123Member
Hi all, I’ve been faithully reading this forum with the same aspirations as Mike. My background is in computer software testing (QA), and I thought it might help me in finding a help desk or IT job, but really I’d do anything. I’d love to be at Amundsen Scott but not sure that’s attainable.
My question is, if I go to the job fair, what can I do to prepare for it ahead of time? Is there a way to contact the hiring managers beforehand to let them know how interested I am and that I’ll be at the job fair? I’m also a world traveller, having lived some time in Spain and Mexico, and probably been to about 50 countries too.
I would love to hear other people’s stories about how they got jobs on the ice.
And as an aside to others going to the job fair, wanted to see if anyone would be interested in splitting a hotel room to save on costs.
Thanks, and hope to meet you all on the ice.
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