Connell Monette, Associate Professor, Medieval Studies

Connell Monette, Associate Professor, Medieval Studies

BY: Catherine Nygren

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Connell Monette started his doctoral work, focusing on a comparative study of the hero in medieval Ireland, Persia, and England, in 2001 at Toronto’s Centre for Medieval Studies. He had funding for the first five years, but he also worked at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies Library, the Dictionary of Old English, and as an Instructor and TA for several classes, including technical writing in the Engineering department. Though he felt the funding was generous, he sometimes felt like he was working to pay rent rather than finish his dissertation, especially since Toronto is a very expensive city to live in.

His supervisor and committee were phenomenal, and all supportive in their own way. The program had a strong sense of community, and he’s still in touch with some close friends on a weekly basis. There’s truth to the praise of the school, but he wises that they’d had more career counselling earlier in the program.

Connell finished his degree in seven years. Learning seven languages took time, and he had a bad accident in which his spine was injured. He couldn’t sit in a chair, he had to use accessibility services, and he was on heavy medication until a surgery two years later. The University, however, was very supportive during that time. In general, finishing in five years is possible, but six years is more practical; expectations should be changed to reflect the reality of when the average student can finish.

When he was ABD and applying for jobs, Connell had two job offers overseas—too many medievalists only think about the North American job market. He ended up choosing Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco: it’s a small university with a tight-knit community, and he’s greatly enjoyed his several years there as an Assistant Professor. Since being hired, he’s also served in several administrative positions, including Assistant Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Assistant Director for the Mohammed VI Library. In particular, Connell been able to use his unique skill set—particularly his language skills in Latin, Farsi, Arabic, and French—in working with the Minister of Islamic Affairs as the founding chair of the Religious Studies program. Smaller, international universities are interested in polyvalent applicants—if you see yourself as a versatile person who has many competencies, you are definitely marketable.

 


Poll: Marketability

 

Connell Monette started his doctoral work, focusing on a comparative study of the hero in medieval Ireland, Persia, and England, in 2001 at Toronto’s Centre for Medieval Studies. He had funding for the first five years, but he also worked at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies Library, the Dictionary of Old English, and as an Instructor and TA for several classes, including technical writing in the Engineering department. Though he felt the funding was generous, he sometimes felt like he was working to pay rent rather than finish his dissertation, especially since Toronto is a very expensive city to live in.

His supervisor and committee were phenomenal, and all supportive in their own way. The program had a strong sense of community, and he’s still in touch with some close friends on a weekly basis. There’s truth to the praise of the school, but he wises that they’d had more career counselling earlier in the program.

Connell finished his degree in seven years. Learning seven languages took time, and he had a bad accident in which his spine was injured. He couldn’t sit in a chair, he had to use accessibility services, and he was on heavy medication until a surgery two years later. The University, however, was very supportive during that time. In general, finishing in five years is possible, but six years is more practical; expectations should be changed to reflect the reality of when the average student can finish.

When he was ABD and applying for jobs, Connell had two job offers overseas—too many medievalists only think about the North American job market. He ended up choosing Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco: it’s a small university with a tight-knit community, and he’s greatly enjoyed his several years there as an Assistant Professor. Since being hired, he’s also served in several administrative positions, including Assistant Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Assistant Director for the Mohammed VI Library. In particular, Connell been able to use his unique skill set—particularly his language skills in Latin, Farsi, Arabic, and French—in working with the Minister of Islamic Affairs as the founding chair of the Religious Studies program. Smaller, international universities are interested in polyvalent applicants—if you see yourself as a versatile person who has many competencies, you are definitely marketable.

 


Poll: Marketability

 

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