So my long job search is finally over, and I got a job at Numerica Corporation. I had interviews at a couple interesting places. One was Two Sigma Investments, a financial company based in New York City. I got there a day before the interview, which gave me some time to explore the area. I tried to get a taxi to the Dave & Busters in Times Square, but I tried to get in a taxi and they said they didn't know where it was (even after I showed them the map on my iPhone.) I took a subway there but when I tried to go back, my phone was out of battery power so I couldn't use the GPS to find my way back. I again had no luck finding a cab, so eventually I had to go into a subway station and use the pay phone to call the hotel to get directions back. The next day I had my interview which ended early, so I got to use the extra time to go to a local game store. Then I got to the airport and the flight was delayed. The flight landed back in Chicago about two hours later, and I had assumed I had missed my connection so I used the rebooking phone to call for rebooking, and they said that the only flights they had were for two days from then. I decided instead to just stay in a hotel and take the train home the next morning, but while I was walking back to talk to the airline about reclaiming their backs I saw the departure board which saw the connecting flight was also delayed, so I was able to get on it and get home. Also, one of my professors was on that plane coming back from an NSF panel, and he took me home. Unfortunately I didn't end up getting the job.
Lots of interesting stuff happened on the interview for Numerica. My flight was originally scheduled to leave at 7:00 AM. I overslept and woke up at 6:30, and rushed out the door in the vain hope of getting to the airport in time. I got there at about 7:10 but fortunately the flight was delayed until that afternoon. I got rebooked on a 2:15 PM flight which gave me time to go back home, do some stuff at school that I needed to do, get the charge for my laptop (which I left at home), then go back to the airport. On the flight from Champaign to Chicago a different professor I know was also on this flight. I landed at the Denver airport and took a taxi out to Loveland. The hotel was next to a strip mall so I was able to go out to dinner and also finish up a presentation on my research, which I gave as part of the interview. The interview went vrey well. During lunch, I mentioned that I was interested in board games, and one of the people who worked there was also interested in board games and knew of some board game stores in the area, and offered to take me to them that evening. It was probably the best interview experience I have ever had.
So I decided to accept their offer, and I will be starting work by the end of August. I definitely think that stopping with a Masters degree rather than continuing with a Ph.D. was the right thing to do. I'll be able to continue doing what I love doing, and I'll also be making a lot more money than I am as a graduate student. I am not sure what I will do with all that money, but there are other people in this world who need the money a lot more than I do.