Special Assistant to the Director Interview

I interviewed Monday morning for the Special Assistant to the Director position for the Writing Center, a yearlong position open only to graduating tutors. The job is to essentially take on administrative responsibilities for the Center – the job description is as follows:

Special Assistant to the Director
The position of Special Assistant is a five-quarter-long commitment available to graduating Writing Center tutors the year following their graduation. This position provides both managerial and administrative experience.

Duties include:

  • Creating, compiling, and maintaining a weekly schedule;
  • Planning and implementing the fall tutor retreat;
  • Coordinating open and in-program workshops;
  • Meeting regularly with the Director of the Writing Center;
  • Planning and facilitating staff meetings;
  • Fielding questions/addressing tutors’ concerns re: WC operation;
  • Hiring tutors and receptionists for the upcoming year;
  • Hiring replacement Special Assistants;
  • Participating in collective decision-making with the Director and other assistants;
  • Developing and implementing innovative projects to improve the WC;
  • Revising and enforcing the policies in the handbook;
  • and, most important, tutoring students.

After working very closely with some awesome Special Assistants (four sets of them now – including singer/songwriter Devin Brewer all the way back in 2002), and because of my personal connection to the job, I decided to apply. Admittedly, it’s low pay with no benefit, but it’s not about the money for me, it’s about the experience and the chance to work with an absolutely stellar group of people.

The interview itself consisted of the two current Special Assistants and the Director herself. They asked a series of very probing and good questions to ask in any job interview, asking me about such things as conflict resolution, collaboration, communication skills, and what assets I would bring to the job. They also asked me to speak about one of my obsessions (“which one”, I replied, “I have so many!”) – I chose to talk about sustainability and talked a little bit about how I was thinking about the connections between sustainability and my other work. I then had the chance to ask questions, and I asked two that I felt were very hard and contemplative questions: Where do you see the Center going in the next year? What is missing from our efforts to support the campus in writing endeavors?

I think I did quite well, though I’m still looking around for other employment opportunities. The Special Assistant job is roughly 20 hours a week, so I still need to find something to cover the other part of the time. If anyone knows of any opportunities, feel free to contact me.

I should know whether I have the job or not by Monday or Tuesday next week.