Monday, July 13, 2009

Fortuna and the Rota Fortunae

Today's No, I Am a Cat title refers, of course, to Fortuna, the goddess of fate, luck, and fortune, and her wheel for determining fate, the Rota Fortunae.
My last two entries have been about my recently terrible luck. And by recently, I really mean the last three to four months. If you, my loyal readers, may remember, I couldn't land an internship (or even a job) for the life of me, was turned down for a hefty URGO grant, contracted a debilitating viral infection, and have, in general, dealt with a lot of frustrating stuff since April. Fortuna was definitely spinning her wheel in such a way that did not benefit me in the slightest.

The original "Wheel of Fortune"

But, like I predicted in my previous entry, "Backward deus ex machina, you can't keep me down," the Rota Fortunae is slowly beginning to spin in my favor. Here's the story:

A couple weeks ago, Mitch, my fiance, sent me a craigslist ad. It was from a man named Kevin, who works for "Shades of Yellow," a Hmong LGBT organization in St. Paul. Kevin was looking for a research and data analyst--someone who could do a bit of market research on health/wellness clinics in the Twin Cities. I quickly discovered, however, that I was a bit underqualified--Kevin was asking for said analyst to have at least one year of research experience. But I decided to send him an email anyway--and I told him, outright, that I didn't have the experience he was asking for. However, I added, I have roughly half the experience, and so would work for half the money. You see, Kevin was offering said analyst $1000 for roughly three weeks of work (part-time, too). I said I'd work for $650 (so a little over $10/hr). Well, Kevin seemed to like that: I'm now one of two Research and Data Analysts (i.e. market researchers) for Shades of Yellow.

Today was my first day. I met Kevin and Laura, the other analyst, and we went over some specifics. I've since decided this job is going to be mega-cool. I:
1) get to work from home most days--due to the fact that a lot of the research I'll be doing involves interviewing clinic staff over the phone. This'll make it easy for me to still give campus tours and tutor public speaking in the evenings.
2) am invited to attend SoY's leadership retreat in Wisconsin, as well as the Asian Pacific Islanders GLBT Conference in Seattle, Washington, for a mere $50 (that's the registration fee--everything else, including airfare and hotel-costs are covered by SoY). While I haven't decided if I'll attend the national conference (there is quite a bit of volunteer work required by each participant upon returning from the conference), the fact that it's an almost free option for me is exciting.
3) get to help a neat organization secure a $20,000 grant. Not only will it make me feel like the latter half of my summer wasn't a complete waste of time, it's going to look kick-ass on my resume.

Those are just a few reasons my new gig at Shades of Yellow is going to rock. I was a bit nervous before today, seeing as how I don't have a year of research experience (and relatively no experience in market research), but now, I'm confident I can do it. I did a little preparing over the weekend--studying what sort of questions market researchers ask, what I need to pay attention to in my own work (detail, correlations...)--and the like, and the people at SoY seem very friendly, so I'll have no problem bouncing ideas off my fellow analyst and the others (Kevin, etc.).

Aaaaah. I've been mentally sighing with relief for a few days now. To know that I have a well-paying job that helps people--there's no doubt that, at least for now, that Fortuna's making sure the Rota Fortunae lands well for me.

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