Posts Tagged ‘recruiting’

Recruiter Kate Upton has probably been to Korea. If she hasn’t, she would at least have the decency to lie to me. NO, this picture is the right size. My blog is just small.

Let me preface this entry by saying “These blogs are my opinion. Everyone has one these days. And like so many others I make mistakes by assuming when all of the facts are not present. And I jump to conclusions erroneously occasionally if a particular subject makes me angry, sad or joyous.” Such has been the case when I have personally (through Skype and international phone calls) spoken with recruiters. I like so many others before me, who have entered this journey to “Teach Abroad”, walked into the jungle without a guidebook. But once you get into the jungle, you begin to find your way. Not a ‘GPS get you right to the spot’ kinda navigation, but the simple navigation that allows you to avoid danger and know where to look for food. The reason I’m getting all Rudyard Kipling on you is this realization: If you are applying to EPIK, you don’t need a recruiter. If you want to teach in the Korean Public School System, you don’t need to go through a recruiter. After speaking to a few recruiters last week, I realized I had done all the legwork in my OWN journey. And like I prefaced, I may have come to this conclusion from assumptions about the recruiters that I spoke with last week. In my last post, I mentioned working with a particular agency and how helpful they had been with my application to the EPIK program. The recruiter had me expand on my lesson plan and recommended I lengthen one of my letters of recommendation. AND it was really helpful. I assumed recruiters, all recruiters, either had experience as a teacher OR had experience dealing with the school system that would prove to be valuable as the process moved along. I also erroneously thought the recruiter did a little bit of the legwork as far as getting a work visa and reviewing contracts. Let me put this into context by paraphrasing the conversation I had with a recruiter via Skype. Young 20-something, sexy in a librarian kinda way, doe eyed recruiter: Well, tell me why you want to teach in Korea? Me: I blah blah rewarding blah blah experiencing blah blah beautiful culture and history. Doe Eyed Recruiter looks down at her cheat sheet and fires off about four to five “typical job interview questions” and asks “Do you have any questions for me?” Me: Well, what can you tell me about the process? What are my next steps? Before she could answer, I explained to her the status of the required documents (passport, apostille bachelors degree, apostilled FBI background check, letters of rec and my EPIK application) and asked what her experience had been. Doe Eyed Recruiter: Oh, I’ve never been to Korea. Me: Um, I didn’t hear you. Can you say that again?Needless to say, I concluded my “interview” and began to rethink my need for a recruiter. Well, that’s not exactly when I ended it. I did manage to ask if their service would assist with my work visa and was told they would not be assisting. So I asked myself, what exactly are these companies doing for me? Here’s my assumption. The recruiter identifies a prospective teaching candidate (not really, they email them photos and resumes daily) and walks them through the paperwork process prior to an actual interview. The recruiter conducts their own interview, determines how flaky the candidate is and attaches their company name to that teacher’s application to the EPIK program. A recruiting agency gets “gold stars” for teachers who excel and some kinda monetary compensation per head from schools or the government. The recruiter may prove useful once a teacher reaches Korea. I have seen plenty of recruiter sponsored get togethers on their websites, proving the familial atmosphere that awaits a potential prospect. I mean, I get it. But I’m not a young person looking to find myself overseas. I’m almost 36 years old and kind of chewed up. I don’t have to meet new people to feel comfortable around foreign language speakers. I lived in Germany for two years and my college roommate was Japanese. My junior and senior year was spent hanging (mostly getting drunk) with international students from Brazil, Korea, China, Mexico, Guatemala and Canada. I’ve been to sake parties and Quienceneras. But I digress. Here’s what I learned over the past two weeks. I as a teaching candidate have specific needs. For instance,  I want to teach at a school that offers prepaid airfare. Hagwons or Korean private schools seem to be the only schools that offer this kind of accommodation. I was told by an EPIK school teacher, currently teaching in Korea that EPIK usually doesn’t prepay airfare, but reimburses within thirty days in their case. EPIK is gearing up for a school year and hiring process that begins in February. Bottomline, I can submit my documents to EPIK and foot the bill for a flight to the school. OR I can find a recruiter (In this case, use of a recruiter is essential because they are in contact with the private schools) and always be upfront about my financial need for a plane ticket. Also, this personal prerequisite, makes other countries that offer prepaid airfare a selling point an option in my search. These journal entries might become Teaching in the Middle East, if they pay for my flight. Here’s where I stand in the journey to teach in Asia: I received another letter of recommendation from a college source over the weekend. (Letter of Recommendation count stands at five, now.) I am waiting on my FBI records check. I have apostilled bachelors degrees, a passport, extra passport pictures for the visa, TESOL certificate that came with a letter of recommendation verifying it’s over 100 hours of coursework, and a completed EPIK application. I’m only missing a job offer, contract, plane ticket and a useless doe eyed 20-something librarian like recruiter to hold my hand and tell me that I’m going to make it after all.

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