08/18/2006: "ain't gonna happen - which might be OK"
So today I finally had my interview at NRC. Going in to it I wasn't feeling as keyed-up about it as I'd been feeling leading up to the event. It turns out there was reason for my trepidation - I wasn't as prepared as I'd liked to have been. In turn, there was good reason for that - I simply don't think I'm qualified enough.
It boils down to this: NRC is looking for someone that has electronics industry experience and a significant, well-developed professional network. Obviously they thought that I at least have the potential to be able to fulfill their needs for the position, otherwise I wouldn't have been given the interview. However, now that I'm out of the interview, I have the definite feeling that I'm simply not qualified yet.
First, I have ZERO electronics industry experience. I am a quick learner, and I do have manufacturing experience, but the electronics industry would be entirely new to me.
Second, I've only discovered the idea of a professional network in the past few years, and thus don't really have a well-developed network yet. I do have some contacts locally, but they are few and far between relatively. Sure, I can develop more, but it sounds like they're rather me hit the ground running being able to quickly integrate NRC clients into my existing network.
There are two more points that may not necessarily put me out of the running, but makes me wonder if it's really the kind of position I want. I asked them questions about continuing education and starting one's own business, and in both cases they said that it's not what they are looking for. Education-wise, it doesn't sound like they'd be all that keen on having anyone leave their position, even temporarily, to pursue a degree or diploma full-time. They are quite keen on professional development, but on a seminar or workshop basis. Business-wise, they specifically said that they would assume that anyone hired for this position would close out any business they operate and concentrate on their full-time position. As for starting a business, it sounds like it's very much frowned upon.
So, I'm under-qualified, and I'm uncertain that it would allow me to pursue any business projects. Based on that, I'm wondering if I shouldn't simply forget about being an IRAP ITA, even if they come back and allow me to continue in the hiring process. I'll simply keep doing what I'm doing now, prepare myself for MBET in September 2007, and go from there.
I guess I'll wait and see, and think about it some more. Meanwhile, I'll set my sights on other opportunities, like figuring out what project I want to do for MBET.