How Old Are You? I’m Almost 2!


Wow! That’s quite a phenomenon:2 Year Old Has Blog! Well no, not actually. I’ll tell you how I came up with my (evaluation) age.

Following grad school, job #1 was not in evaluation. I was an investigator with social services, so that took away a few months, and since I’ve started my first “real job” in evaluation it’s been 1.5 years.

To go back a little further I began engaging in research/evaluation projects in undergrad so that would make me almost 5 years old!

I’m not sure how to get my true evaluation age…maybe I should add the two and average them.

Thoughts? How many years have you been in the field of evaluation? What’s your evaluation age?

6 thoughts on “How Old Are You? I’m Almost 2!

  1. Hmmm….What if you’ve been thinking evaluatively longer than you have been in the evaluation profession? I worked as a waitress and would do comparison samples of what welcome lines and encouragement to purchase resulted in the largest bills and biggest tips. May I count those years? 🙂

  2. 4… I think.

    2 years as a research assistant on educational evaluations in a consulting firm.
    2 years as an internal evaluator in a nonprofit.
    Starting year 5 doing external evaluations for nonprofits and foundations.

    But what about the 2.5 years working part-time on applied research projects in college? Hmm.

    And do my first 2 years as a research assistant really count? I didn’t even know that “evaluation” was different from “research” until the second year. And I wasn’t leading any projects. Or working on the full evaluation cycle – just the data analysis towards the end.

    • I think Susan’s note on thinking evaluatively plays a part here. I did qualitative data analysis and research on a project in undergrad that wasn’t evaluation, but it got me thinking that way, developing surveys, and this is how I was introduced to the world of qual via MQP’s literature…I say it counts! Does that make you 6.5? 🙂

      This is just for amusement, but I guess that makes me around 5 years old! I want my research experience to count as well.

  3. Hey Karen, I’m fresh off of AEA conference and looking for ways to stay connected, motivated, and in the learning circle :). What better way than to support my GEDI colleague! I know this posting is lilke 6 months old, but I’m going to post anyways.

    This question came up in the AEA Interactive Evaluation Practice Workshop. The new evaluators like us were like how do I determine that? The older evaluators new the exact answer.

    I’ve been doing evaluation since my master’s program in 2005. I took a Program Evaluation course in Social Work and begin to do small independent projects in the community (supervised of course). Evaluation was my assistantship all 5 years of my doctoral degree. I’m been working full time in the field for almost 2 years. While I still list the graduate evaluation experience on my CV I know employers are not counting it and since I’ve started the workforce I find myself doing the same.

    It’s a learning by doing profession. I’ve found myself focusing less on the years and more on the skills and experience. I’ve learned tons working full-time that I wouldn’t have doing graduate level program evaluation projects.Time management, deadlines, team management, politics, being flexible, adaptable, and neutral.

    We were different evaluation hats as well. Maybe the question should be how long have you been a _______evaluator? External evaluator? Internal Evaluator? Program Evaluator? Health Evaluator? Systems level Evaluator? Government evaluator?

  4. Nice thoughts here Jessica. I like to count my graduate school work, and even undergrad work too! I was learning…and conducting evaluation activities, supervised as you noted, but it was EVALUATION! I guess I’ve been in the game for 2 years now full time as an internal evaluator…with a lot less supervision, woop woop! Feel free to subscribe to my blog and to check out a few others at http://evalcentral.com/ to stay connected to the eval community!

    Great seeing you at the conference!



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