Name: Ms. C. Cryn Johannsen
Major: B.A. in History with honors, University of Kansas; German Language Studies, Goethe Institute, Munich, Germany; M.A. in the Social Sciences, University of Chicago; M.A. and Ph.D. research in the intellectual and cultural history of Modern Europe, Brown University; Exchange Scholar, German Intellectual History, Harvard University
What I do all day: Too many things to list, but here it goes: I am a salesclerk, an advocate for people struggling to pay their student loan debt, a freelance writer, a legislative researcher for United Professionals, and also the creator of Education Matters. I like to tell customers at the high end dept. store about my background. I think some of them are horrified when I say that I went to an Ivy, while others are sympathetic. It’s shocking how nasty rich people can be. Oh, well . . .I used to teach these people’s kids as a grad student (and it was an honor and a privilege), now I sell them fancy cashmere sweaters. As of February, I’ll be teaching English and History at a private institute abroad.
What I’d rather be doing all day: I’d rather be helping people (full-time) who are part of a student lending system that is unjust, broken, and in desperate need of regulation. [Editor’s note: If you are struggling to pay your student loan debt, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Ms. C. Cryn Johannsen]. I’d also be able to write more (I’m working on a book about the student lending crisis and a memoir). But I’m too busy selling sweaters and doing freelance work – it leaves me little time to advocate, write, and read. I miss reading. A LOT.
Where I found this job: I was offered this teaching job abroad a few years ago, but I took a job in publishing instead (that’s why I’m in D.C.). I looked them up again, and they offered me a job like that. I was shocked! I mean, they called me, offered me a job, and that was that . . .
Why they hired me as opposed to hundreds of other overqualified Ivy league grads: I think other overqualified Ivy League grads could get hired, but they’d also have to be willing to leave the country.
Best part of being employed: Knowing that I’ll be able to teach (I love teaching) AND write – I will be able to write, write, write, and then submit, submit, submit for possible publication of things.
Worst part of being employed: I’m not sure yet. I’ll tell you once I’ve left the country and am adjusting to a new place!
Heartfelt advice to your jobless friends who may have been freeloading off of you for months: I have no pals who have been “freeloading” off of me for months. If they had been, I’d only be able to offer them crackers and Pabst. I don’t really have advice. I just hope people will be able to survive and that things will improve for others.
If you would like to be featured in the weekly Why I Have a Job column or know someone who would, holla.