WIAW…In to the lions den

by Jemma Andrew-Adiamah on January 25, 2012

in EATS!, WIAW

Hey guys!  I can’t believe that it’s Wednesday already!  Thank you all for your kind congratulations on my new job.  I had my first day yesterday and it went really well.  I really enjoyed my first day as a branch administrator and the people are wonderful.

For this weeks WIAW I’m going to rewind to Monday this week.  Bare with me because first I have to rewind even further to the previous Monday to set the scene…

If you remember I was teaching in an undergraduate hematology lab last week Monday, which meant I had no access to a computer to check my uni email account.  During the day I got the phone call offering me my new job role, which I was chuffed about all day.  After the lab I finally checked my email when I got home to find that I had been invited to an interview for a research position at the University of Oxford!

I almost choked on my dinner!

Being considered for a research position was overwhelming enough, but Oxford uni was just too much.  They interview was in exactly a weeks time and they wanted me to give a 10 minutes presentation, which I did yesterday.

After a week of prepping for the interview the day had finally arrived and the first thing I did was went to the gym for a 30 minute hill climb on the cross trainer, strength workout 1 and 5 minutes on the bike.

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When I got home I refueled with a delicious green smoothie made from a banana, spinach, kiwis, vanilla stevia, midori greens, acai berry juice and water.  This had such a fresh and vibrant taste because of the kiwis and I felt like I really needed the extra boost considering what was ahead of me.

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My interview wasn’t until the afternoon so I spent all morning going over my notes and rehearsing my presentation until it was virtually tattooed on to my brain.   To settle my nerves I made a mega bowl of gingerbread oats made with 1/2 cup of oats, honey, 1/2 cup of soya milk, 2 cups of water, 1 tsp of ginger, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/2 tsp of nutmeg, a chopped apple and topped with Sunbutter and dried cranberries.

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Interview chic: dress and belt, Mango, thick black tights, Therapy @ House of Fraser, shoe boots, Office, necklace, Swarovski.

All dressed and ready to go I was time to hit the road and walk in to the lions den…

There were 3 lions in fact: two of my potential employees and a lady from HR.  I gave my 10 minute presentation, which went quite well despite the 10 minute delay between each slide because of their old computer.  After which came the grilling.  Lots and lots of questions about my project and the position that I had applied for.  To be fair it could have been a lot worse, but I managed to answer all of their questions (some better than others) and I didn’t make a complete fool of myself.  I gave it my best shot- what more could I do?

In all fairness I’m not very confident that I will get the research job.  I got the feeling that they wanted someone with more research experience in their field and for someone who was “more like them”.  I’m not sure if I would even fit in there as they didn’t even crack a smile. But, it did give me a confidence boost that I am perhaps capable of a career in scientific research.  If I’m to take anything from that interview if nothing at all it would be the experience of being in that kind of setting and an experience of that type of interview.  I left not feeling deflated or vulnerable, but rather inspired and determined.

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After getting home I was starving and wanted nothing but comfort food so I made myself a huge vegetarian cottage pie using green lentils, leeks, carrots, onion and mushrooms for the filling in a tomato sauce with swede and parsnip mash on top.  I ate half of this on it’s own as it was very filling.  It also meant that I had some left over for when I finished work the following day.

I may be doing a PhD, but I’m not the most brightest tool in the tool box.  I know that and have never commented otherwise.  Sometimes I feel inferior, stupid and undeserving of my role because those around me are on a totally different level of intelligence.  I’m doing what I do because I love it, simple as that.  I guess at the end of the day that’s all that counts.

Have you ever felt inferior or like you didn’t belong somewhere?  How did you overcome this?

Has a challenging experience ever given you a confidence boost?

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

thisfitchick January 25, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Cute shoes! they give such a nice pop!

leashieloo January 25, 2012 at 1:10 PM

I feel that way all of the time! A good pep talk always helps, remind yourself that others probably feel the same way and of all of your accomplishments. You deserve to be there as much as anyone else!

Honeybunchesoflove January 25, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Congratulations on being asked to an Interview, let us know the outcome :D
I love your outfit, the shoes give it a wonderful break up on the black :)

Mattie @ Comfy and Confident January 25, 2012 at 1:49 PM

cute outfit! that oatmeal looks delicious!

Alissa - Not Just Apples January 25, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Love the interview outfit! It’s important to make sure you’re doing something you love, no matter what other people think or what you feel people expect… :)

Laura Agar Wilson January 25, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Love those red shoe boots! I think your attitude to the whole interview is great, as you say even if you don’t get it what a great interview experience it was. I’m sure your being far too modest about yourself! I’m all for faking it till you make it though ;-)

Maria January 25, 2012 at 3:31 PM

I think that is such a great attitude to have. As a teacher we often get observed by the head or people from county etc (not even mentioning Ofsted which is just awful as they are just there to be critical), and it can be hard to hear the less positive parts of the feedback, because it is so personal. I try to have that attitude of learning from them, but it can be hard to take when you put your all into the planning and teaching. But then even when they go well I think I tend to dwell on the parts that were not so good and forget all the good comments! But it all adds to your experiences and will help in the end I am sure.

~Jessica~ January 25, 2012 at 3:49 PM

Aww, Jemma – I know exactly how you feel about not ‘fitting in.’ I am nowhere near the level of intelligence of my fellow PhD students, and I can’t stand the assumption that some people in my life make that just because I’m struggling to complete a PhD, I must be some kind of genius (or know everything there is to know about every book ever printed and every play ever performed…hello,people, I specialize in the Early Modern period in England, not the entire literary history of every country!). Equally, others believe that English is not a ‘real’ PhD.

Everyone else seems to eat, sleep and breathe their work and, unlike you, I’m afraid I’m in it for the money rather than the love – I’d rather be doing art! But I will say that when I met you, you carried yourself with just as much dignity and grace, and intelligence as the other PhD students I look up to. Oxford people are a bit ‘funny’ about showing any kind of favour or praise, so I really wouldn’t write yourself off just yet.

I’d have been sitting there spitting feathers with jealousy if you’d walked in to an interview I was conducting in that outfit, looking so incredibly fabulous!

xxx

Sarah(everydaysapicnic) January 25, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Congratulations on getting that interview – it’s awesome! If nothing else, it’s great practice for other interviews that you will have. I know what you mean about not feeling intelligent. Peter is extremely clever and that can make me feel inferior. I’ve come to relaise that I am clever in a different way.

Rachel @ Eat, Learn, Discover! January 25, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Congrats on getting the interview! That’s still amazing in and of itself. I know how it feels to fall short in this way. I’m studying physics, and I work like crazy only to get mediocre grades – when there are people who goof off and understand everything perfectly. But, those people won’t know how great it feels to worked hard for something and accomplish it!

Tamizn January 25, 2012 at 7:53 PM

Bit out of date, yay to the new job! x x x

eatinglikeahorse January 25, 2012 at 9:13 PM

Wow, being asked for an interview is such an amazing achievement and one which shows just how intelligent you are… don’t ever underestimate yourself or feel inferior, you’re doing your PhD because of how bright you are and the interview invite proves that even more! I bet they were impressed but they’ll have been old hands and wouldn’t have shown any reaction whichever way, I reckon.
You looked fab too and congratulations :-) x

eatingforexcellence January 26, 2012 at 12:09 AM

hi i love your blog! and celery and cupcakes of course. your recipes look great too! definitely some im gonna have to try out. im new to the blogging community so if you could check out my blog i’d really appreciate it! keep posting xo lily

LilyLipstick January 26, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Congratulations on getting the interview! I love your interview outfit, wearing something that you look and feel great in is such a confidence boost. x

Love Live and Learn January 26, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Congratulations on getting the interview – what a brilliant experience! Your attitude towards it is brilliant, this way even if you don’t get the position you will have taken something positive from it. I love your interview outfit, the dress is lovely :-)
I felt inferior all the way through sixth form as I went to a highly selective state sixth form and many of my classmates seemed to feel as though the world owed them something. I still struggle with a very low self confidence but I’m working on it!

lucie January 26, 2012 at 11:32 AM

I love your outfit girlie – congrats on the interview!

Jessica January 26, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Love the outfit! :)

Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 26, 2012 at 7:06 PM

Thanks!

Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 26, 2012 at 7:06 PM

Thank you! :D

Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 26, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Thanks! :D I’m the same, being self-confident can be really hard, but I think it’s something that can come with experience! :D

Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 26, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Thank you! x

Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 26, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Thanks hun! :D

Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 26, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Thank you lovely! I’m going right on over to check out your blog! :D

Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 26, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Thank you hun! I hope you are right! :D

Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 26, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Thank you! :D This is so true, people like that have no appreciation of hard work.

Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 26, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Thank you! I think you are super intelligent with all of this revision that you have been doing recently. I’m definitely going to be using the interview as a learning curve. :D

Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 26, 2012 at 7:13 PM

Thanks hun! :D I hope your theory is correct.;P

Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 26, 2012 at 7:31 PM

Thanks! :)

Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 26, 2012 at 7:32 PM

I think having a good pep talk with yourself is a great idea to boost your confidence. :D

Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 26, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Awww thanks!

Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 26, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Thank you!

Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 26, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Thanks. I totally agree! :D

Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 26, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Thank you Jess! It’s horrible to feel inferior to others in your research field. You have nothing to worry about though. I can see from how well written your posts are that you are intelligent and articulate and I also figured that out instantly when I met you. xx

Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes January 26, 2012 at 7:42 PM

I think you are right. It’s always best to turn criticism into a positive thing and learn and grow from it. :D

IHeartVegetables January 27, 2012 at 4:10 AM

Oh my gosh, congrats girl! That is SO exciting! And I love the interview outfit ;) I’m sure you did great!

caloricandcrazy January 28, 2012 at 4:16 AM

I love the gingerbread oats! Cranberries add a nice touch!

Nada (One Arab Vegan) January 28, 2012 at 8:58 PM

Ah that sounds so nerve wracking! I’ve been in a situation like that before for a job interview – and as gutting as it was I realised I wouldn’t want to work with people I couldn’t relate/to feel comfortable around anyways (I realise a research position is slightly different in that regard though). Also that cottage pie sounds insane! Recipe please??

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