Burned Out By the PIRG

The PIRG application process

So after reading all the aforementioned job descriptions, I was stoked and ready to apply for a PIRG job.  The one that seemed like a good fit for me was one of the fellowship positions – I’d already had some campaign experience at the state and federal levels, and working as an intern under a US Congressman in DC a couple summers back.  I was ready to devote two years to a job I knew I’d be excited by.

PIRG does a lot of recruiting on college campuses through information sessions and first round interviews conducted by current PIRG organizers or fellows.  Unfortunately due to previous commitments, I missed those on campus opportunities, so I just went ahead and sent my cover letter and resume to the “jobs@uspirg.org” email address.  I tried to see if I could send my cover letter and resume to the local state office where I hoped to work, but like I mentioned before – the PIRG does all of their hiring centrally, not through the individual states.  I brushed it off, and anticipated hearing back from someone.

It took a long time.  I actually emailed the address about a week or so later, checking to see if they had actually received my cover letter and resume.  Soon enough, I received an invitation for a first round interview – over the phone.  I found this a little strange – why were they interviewing me over the phone when there was a state PIRG office about eight miles from campus? No matter – I happily obliged and was just excited to get the process rolling.

I scheduled my telephone interview via some database website, and had a good conversation with a PIRG employee a few days later.  They asked some basic stock questions about my experience, my interests, and personality.  About thirty minutes later, my interviewer invited me to take part in an in-person second round interview in the nearby office with a staff member – but three weeks later.  three weeks?!  I wanted some kind of decision, but whatever.  I was glad I hadn’t screwed it up.  Woo job.

Three weeks later, I finally arrived at my interview date.  The person with whom I had been scheduled to talk to was not actually in, and I ended up speaking with a different member of the staff, who ended up being 45 minutes late.  Really?  I wasn’t going to get mad, but needless to say it was frustrating.  I had to reschedule a meeting with my major adviser because of it, as I was just finishing up my thesis.  The interview, however, went really well, and I was told I would have a decision in two weeks.