What would you have done?

jcoleman at msvax.mssm.edu jcoleman at msvax.mssm.edu
Sun Feb 11 15:25:15 EST 1996

In article <09FEB96.17724986.0227 at UNBVM1.CSD.UNB.CA>, "DAWN C. GORDON" <I7BF at UNB.CA> writes:
>HI!  This happened to me 4 years ago.  At the moment it happened, I
>thought nothing of it; soon afterward, when I told some girlfriends
>of mine, it "hit the fan".
>     The situation was an interview for a major Canadian graduate
>scholarship.  I sat through a 20 minute interview, answering
>questions about research interests, etc.  There was a panel of
>interviewers (1 or 2 women); one man played the "tough" role.
>Anyway, near the end of the interview were the following three
>questions from the said man:
>      1) We see that your present surname does not match the surname
>given on your publications.  Why is that?  Me: I am married, and
>that is my maiden name on the publlications.
>      side comment: is that what those rings are for
>      2) How do you propose to handle marriage and a career?
>ME: It's not something we entered into lightly; it has been my plan
>to go to grad school, and my husband supports me.
>      3) What does your husband do?
>ME: He is a technical salesman for a controls company...
>      I was 23 at the time.
>      This still irks me; some have said I should have complained to
>the granting agency.  However, I wasn't really bothered by it.  It
>was my friends who had a greater problem.
>      By the way, I did get the scholarship (I wonder if I had made
>a smart remark, whether I would have been successful?)
>      Thanks, DAWN

While I certainly think those questions were none of his business, I think you
answered appropriately and without elaborating or "defending" yourself. I think
it's a difficult situation...I would have answered the first question straight
out....the second question, I may have said something like....I am very
committed to pursuing my graduate career but I would prefer not to discuss my
personal/private life in this professional setting. This would have ended
question three I guess. Whether or not this would have changed my chances I
don't know...a smart remark definitely would have. What do you guys think?


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