By: Sydney DeFranco
Over the past couple of weeks, I have been exploring the career options that Focus 2 suggested. One of the careers that I have taken particular interest in is being a professor of some sort. That is why when I was given the assignment of interviewing a professional, I chose to interview a professor. More specifically, I chose to interview my economics professor, Professor Balaban.
In order to get a better idea of what goes into being a professor to see if it is something I really want to pursue, I asked Professor Balaban about what she majored in, if that was the only possible major to become an economics professor, how many years she spent in school, and how hard it is to get a job as a professor. Professor Balaban told me that she majored in economics for undergrad, but that it was not the only major available to people wanting to be an economics professor. In fact, she told me that several of her peers had majored in things such as engineering. She told me that she spent 7.5 years in graduate school since in her last couple of years she was also teaching, however she told me that it takes most people 5-6 years to complete graduate school. I also learned that it can be difficult to find a job in this field because you have to be willing to move around some. In addition, it takes time to find the institution that is right for you.
After discussing all of this, I asked what a typical day at work entailed for an economics professor. Professor Balaban told me that she typically works from 8-6, with one of the benefits being that she gets summers off. She said that she generally teaches for about 4.5 hours a day (on Tuesdays and Thursdays), however this is more than some because Professor Balaban is a teaching faculty as opposed to being a research faculty (who spends less time teaching, and more time researching). I did not know that it was a possibility to not do as much research, and this is something that really grabbed my interest. Professor Balaban said that when she is not teaching, she is often working with students, answering emails, planning lessons, or participating on committees.
I asked Professor Balaban if she had any advice for someone considering being an economics professor and she told me to know what I am getting myself into, and if/when I start to persevere. She explained that graduate school is extremely hard, but that it is worth it. Lastly, I asked Professor Balaban about what her favorite part of the job was; she told me that it was working with the students. I think that this answer showed how this could be a good profession for me since I like working with others (as reflected by my results on Focus 2).
In conclusion, the interview with Professor Balaban did clear many things up for me, however I am still not sure if I want to become a professor or not. I think that I need to do some more research on the path leading up to being a professor to see if it is something that I really am interested in doing. Overall, my biggest takeaway is that a professor does a lot more than just teach and plan for their class.
EDUC 131 Career Exploration