Monday, August 10, 2009

Attending the AoM meeting in Chicago 2009

Another big conference that I had the chance to attend: Academy of Management meeting. Despite the last minute decision which yielded significant logistic complication, and even a bit of desperation in terms of finding some decent accommodation in Chicago in less than a week, again, I am perfectly at peace with my decision. Going on your own buck is always tough, and usually these expenses add up close to $ 1,000, but everybody makes the rational choice of attending, hoping that one of the interviews you got there will eventually become a good job that will be amortized in the years to come. For me was more a choice of the present, since I don't usually like much discounting. However, having 10 interviews took care of the incentive part, so the rest was just struggle to catch-up with the other participants that have probably reserved their hotel spots this Spring or earlier. Needless to say, Chicago is not the cheapest city that I have been in.:) However, I managed to find decent accommodation at the International House adjacent to the campus of U Chicago, and while this obviously was better than an hostel (there aren't that many anyways in Chicago) had two major disadvantages: a rather lengthy commute (40-45 minutes) to downtown (Wacker St.) and secondly, dormitory style accommodation (no air-conditioning, noisy, etc.). Both of these significantly contributed to my 3-4 hrs sleep per night during my stay. However, I was very surprised to see how well adrenaline kicked in, and basically saved my morning interviews. Then coffee took over the hostilities and, before you know it, another day passed by.
Don't get me wrong: 90 percent of the interview went really well, the interviewers very great and we had some nice chats both in terms of my research and my teaching capabilities. The atmosphere is also a bit intimidating in the beginning: rather small interview rooms with 15-20 tables crammed in there, usually 2+ interviewers and the candidates, all making a terrible uproar. But once you get in there, everything blurs, it's just you and your audience, and you just go on, confident, charming and in charge.
Great stuff & a nice feeling after all the troubles to get here.

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