You know, I am a strong proponent that scientific professionals
have a strong understanding of working with statistics and
perceive the hazards in our environment, that have good and not
so good effects on humans.
So in our final class we talked about three features we should
look for in evaluating statistical data. [I am always amazed that
their relevance is not emphasized in classes.] variation, shape
and central tendency.
In our daily lives we are faced with statistics for nearly everything
and given “selective” interpretations to sell or convince us of various
- insure the data provides its sample size and range and variability
[small sample size, limited range, no measure of variation should
not be basis of a general position.]
- If the data is presented with many significant figures, it should
raise “red flags” in your mind. [10,234,511.39 ?]
- The shape of the distribution of measure reveals critical insight.
[power law, normal, bimodal, skewness…]
- What is the appropriate central tendency representation? Mean
if it is normal distribution…Other than that, questions are needed.
There are two radioactive species in our environment that we
should be aware of some things. One I encountered when I was asked
by a middle school student about a science project on radioassays.
That is when I learned about technetium. Technetium-99 is most
useful as a radioassay measure for imaging internal organs.
published a short factoid recently about this lightest, artificially
produced element. ”Technetium cows
” were developed by BNL
researchers and have been in use for more than 50 years in
medical diagnostics and research. In addition, technetium is a
by-product of U-235 decay and thus can be a valuable monitor
for nuclear reactor spent fuel rod decay and storage.
A second radioactive element is the gas, radon. Radon is naturally
occurring in the environment and is attributed to be an effector of
. Radon decays naturally producing alpha
of the prevalence of radon in the US point to where
it is. This should be a point of reference for us where we live
Our Professional Development class is interesting because
we can use feedback from class members for future discussion
items and exercises in class.
One feedback card read: Could we engage in networking
conversations and elevator speeches from each person in class?
It is better than describing them.
>In subsequent classes we asked people to deliver elevator speeches
to their team mates [which should be done in all team situations].
Then when we brought in guest speakers, we asked each class
member to deliver an elevator pitch to the guests.
A couple of other situations that are intriguing. One class member
met privately and said she did not know what to do as her team
was unresponsive to requests to work together and complete tasks
on time. We talked about it and in class performed an exercise.
What can you do to work better as a team? There are many excuses:
too busy, lazy, procrastinate, think the assignment is dumb….
- plan ahead; discuss the work assignment
- know yourself; study your teammates behaviors, values, likes
- keep in touch; communicate, even over-communicate
- offer help if others have trouble understanding/solving the assignment
- Team formation usually follows easily recognizable stages, known as
“forming, storming, norming, and performing.”
YOU ARE EXPECTED TO GET TO NORMING QUICKLY
- learn about your team-mates: their values, behavior, goals, time lines,
honesty, promptness, caring; strength and weakness
- When do you report to higher Ups?
- Influence: consistency, scarcity, authority, trust worthiness,
- Work together, share ideas and don’t just divide up the work.
- Use people’s strengths and interests to produce something that
- Become familiar with due dates, put buffer between team
deadline and final deadline alert people in advance
- Givers succeed most, reciprocators are a close second
- Adam Grant’s book “Givers and Takers”
A second class exercise was inspired by an incident where a class
member forgot an attachment when sending an email. It happens to
all of us.
The class came up with several and discussion ensued about how
some recipients might feel it revealed lack of attention to detail or
how you perform under pressure. There are technological solutions
that we should know and use.
This is a story about two conversations. The first is
one with a very accomplished senior grad student.
The second conversation is one of a series with
a department of chemistry chairperson.
Ph.D. LACKING NEEDED SOFT SKILLS
Almost Dr. Smith (not his or her real name) wanted
to talk about a situation in which she finds herself. She
has received several promising offers, only to be rejected
after providing references. She has learned from a reliable
source that the reference supplied the information that her
writing skills were not up to acceptable standards, whereupon
the offer was pulled.
She asked what can she do now? Learn by various means–
reading for style and formatting, specialized training to write
for specific audiences, and practice, of course are several
possibilities. Shouldn’t the grad school provide that for her?
The answer is generally, not in today’s climate.
Second conversation, now.
PROPOSAL TO CHAIRMAN TO OFFER PRACTICAL
[Bring a solution, when you ask about a big concern you
When the new chair was installed I went to her with the
concern that many graduates do not have essential writing
skills and other “Soft skills” that we need to be successful.
What are some courses, programs of study, and tutoring
assignments (shadowing, draft writing, editing, reading)
that are offered or can be offered? We will bring it up to the
dean, was one response.
Another time, post-docs are people without support,
representation or a voice. What can be done to help their
case? That is up to the individual PI was the response. I reflected
on several national labs, medical schools and NIH programs
and received the feedback. That is not something I can do.
I pursued: Why not? some of the ideas are nice, but I would
be stepping on people’s [departments] toes and it is imprudent
to do here.
Another reason is that I can not impinge on the time they are
working in the lab. They have so many distractions and
commitments as it is. To add another requirement would take
time from the research work that needs to get done.
So, it goes. Outside speakers emphasize it is important to “get
out of the lab” and learn extra-curricular skills through different
activities, internships and volunteer roles. Most students immediately
reflect that their boss would not like them doing that. Most say
they feel pressure to be in the lab 7×12 getting results.
While I receive consistent support for Professional Development
activities in summer and both semesters, I am only one and
so much more could be done to make a difference. What we
do is as much or more than is offered in other R1 institutions.
Please send in ideas and concepts working in other institutions.
I look forward to them.
Yahoo had an appropriate article by Maria LaMagna
about the consequences of lying in an interview when
asked how much you currently make.
This could happen in various interview formats…
screening, on-site, wrap-up with HR, or during
salary negotiations. Preparation and research
In all cases tell the truth, as they may ask you to produce
a pay stub. Alternatively it is fair to ask what is their
I feel it is appropriate to state that salary is one
component of an overall compensation package.
While it is a gauge on your value to the company,
it is fair to point out that other factors may be equally
important to you…vacation, citizenship work papers,
insurances, location, travel requirements, etc.
What is my future like? many are asking as we face an
uncertain future. It seems as this was the case decades ago,
but it is more uncertain now.
What is the reason? What are the drivers?
Harari has something to say about this. Look at his TED Dialog
1. We have lost “our story”. The narrative that describes modern
life in the 21st century is not what previous generations’ stories
were. This is one of the major roots of upheavals seen around the
2. Technology is bringing people together in many ways while
it separates us into many many subgroups. The wealthy, in
information-rich positions, influence the decisions of authorities
and will take advantage enhancing income mal-distribution.
3. National priorities have no connection to reality in many global
issues. Job loss, despite all the rhetoric, is not as strongly
influenced by immigration as it is by robots, algorithms and AI.
4. Political leaders have very little influence to do good. They
have great influence in doing bad and it is usually not one
individual responsible, because there are many supporters and
people of influence.
See some of the reviews
of Harari’s work bring up several other
disconnects we observe and may not easily explained. Knowing
allows you to define for yourself
the meaning of joy, satisfaction, happiness and help.
In a blog we summarized three posts on Economics that are
critical to understand Rana Faroohar’s book Makers and
Takers. A fourth entry went into “black elephant”
events which are very unlikely negative events that everyone
can see but feel that they cannot do anything about.
We point out here a video narrated by Matt Damon,
“Inside Job” that is must see for everyone.
A second item is a very interesting piece about using
spectroscopy on archaeological artworks.
Finally GENomics contained a piece about evidence
that a bacterium known to originate gum disease also
triggers rheumatoid arthritis using Mass Spec.
BLACK ELEPHANT - “Inside Job”
[available on Netflix] Many of us were directly or indirectly
affected by the financial turmoil of the 2000s. Downsizing,
lower profits, stagnant economy, job loss, hard to find a new
We think we have gotten out of that mirth, but this video
nothing has been done to the perpetrators [Greenspan,
Paulsen, Bernanke, Summers, Fuld, Fed, the Huge
Wall Street Investment banks], the federal bureaucracy,
and the regulators. They are still in an inept situation
with more to come.
We only see things second hand and we need good leadership
to throttle the flow and trajectory.
SPECTROSCOPY DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY IN
SOURCE: Biblical Archeological Review Mar/Apr 2017
T. R. Hanneken, Digital Archeological’s New Frontier.
The spectral signature of a pigment in one region can
be distinguished from a pigment with a similar appearance
from a different region. Archaeological application devises
new techniques– low angle “raking”, reflectance
Transformation imaging and InsciptiFact Digital Image
Library which incorporates texture, color and non-visible
characterization of archeological pieces.
PROTEOMIC ANALYSIS LINKS ARTHRITIS TO GUM
There has been a clinical association between periodontal
disease and RA (arthritis) and both diseases triggered by the
same factor. Aggregatibacter Actinomyecetemconmitans
induces citrullinated proteins detected by mass spec.
Bacterial secretion of a toxin to kill host immune cells which
allows a flux of calcium thus activating an enzyme that
This week we talked about what is valued and sought for in
individuals when they seek different career paths. Then we
We pointed out that much of our life is quite unpredictable
and that what we start out wanting, doing and behaving
changes throughout our life. An interesting piece in Quartz
reported on statistical data where in the past we could reflect
on anecdotal instances in changes.
In the short term there remains a consistency in our wanting
doing and behaving, however. Here we might pose that Luck
and Skill arbitrate on what happens in our careers.
CAREERS = LUCK + SKILLS
LUCK = preparation + opportunity + attitude
We suggested it is useful to set objectives, develop a plan
to achieve them and look for opportunities to be and act
professionally along the way. Build your committed network
ask for help, create and learn from “teachable moments”,
continuously learn, and be optimistic.
Two pieces of feedback from our class offered questions–
1- how can I network better? What should I learn and practice?
[understand your current personal values, behaviors and emotional
make-up; small talk, understand others’ make-ups and adapt
to achieve win-win outcomes]
2- it seems like the skills you list are just things to trick people on.
What is the basis for each item on the list, they wondered.
[real life often is a series of unpredictable events with little time
to think. Thus our habits will determine our behaviors. We wish
to figure out what our habits are modify them to be more effective.]
It is hard for some to learn that professional work is strongly
influenced by our cultural, personal and value-based habits.
It is often the case that how you do something is as important as
the outcomes that you achieve. Sometimes the result is “pure
luck” but as we know we “create much of our luck”.
From Dennis Brown:
Ideas 5 and 8 are applicable. Remember online marketing is
the current state of the art. Job seekers can use this tool
use of keywords
involvement in groups
While many observations are continuing themes, the
following should be noted before newer items:
1. Avoid formal pre-built cut-and-paste templates.
Although reviewers do seek out specific sections and,
2. Apply for each position with a specifically tailored
document that is truthful and consistent with other
4. Make your resume scannable
, reverse chronological
order. Some sites may have specific formats required for
submission. Check in advance.
- include Linkedin and twitter addresses
- clean up or make facebook and/or other personal accounts
private. They will be searched.
- include specifically relevant skills for your field and position.
- soft skills are of questionable relevance
- There is an open debate about using Objective section. It can
be valuable early in your career, with little experience, or if you
are changing career paths.
Different kinds of positions look for different pieces of
information that characterizes your key attributes that qualify
you for the opening, like summary, profile and highlights.
- cut out unnecessary information. provide schools relevant to
the application… degree granting institution, major and year.
Linkedin may provide fuller listing. Your goal here is brevity and
- guideline is generally 1 page for each 10 years. No more
than 2 pages.
EXPERIENCE, HONORS, AWARDS, AFFILIATIONS
- these reveal accomplishments, the key measures supporting
your second section and your candidacy.
So many times we see over-the top adjectives and the expectation
that degrees and publications are qualifications. I found jobscan.co
an interesting tool to compare what ATS might find
when scanning your resume.
I have seen some newer formats
, but have not seen whether
they have been generally accepted.
`How do you figure out appropriate information that is important
and verifiable, relating to your interests and goals?
We can subscribe to publications. Does that provide what you need?
We can view broadcast media or skim Flipboard or other “news
aggregators” or subscribe to twitter feeds for our philosophy matching
We all have limited time and viewerships.
- Set your short and longer term goals
ASK GOOD QUESTION
A good question is not concerned with a correct idea.
A good question cannot be answered immediately.
A good question challenges existing answers.
A good question is one you badly want answered once you
hear it, but had no
inkling you cared before it was asked.
A good question creates new territory of thinking.
A good question reframes its own answers.
A good question is the seed of innovations in Science,
politics, and business.
A good question is a probe, a what-if scenario.
A good question skirts on the edge of what is known and not
silly nor obvious.
A good question cannot be predicted.
A good question will be the sign or an educated mind.
A good question is one that generates many other questions>
A good question may be the last job a machine will learn to do.
A good question is what humans are for.
GOALS- Think through your “purpose”
1- Do you like what you are now doing?
2- What do you feel and think you want to do? Like is not
enough. Purpose is about setting up a direction and a path
and pausing and allow back up plans and ideal case formulation.
3- Can you do what you want? Know the difference between
your wants and what you are competent at. Understand your
priorities and values and your organization’s priorities and values.
4- Have you define your next and following steps involving
awareness, action and accountability
5- Who can you depend on for good, reliable advice? Who
will tell you the truth without involving their personal interests?
6- What are you willing to re-pay, offer up and return?
7- What do you to learn or gain experience in?
It is useful to consider the words we use. ’Truth’ is most often
not strictly absolute, black and white. Yet there are certain words that
do not trigger the outcomes we desire.
NEED very few things “need” to get done. OFFER, maybe, WHAT
DO YOU THINK ABOUT… or HOW DOES THIS SOUND…
CAN’T you probably can. In reality, there are multiple or opposing
EASY This is a way to describe other people’s jobs
. Notice how
many times that speak about their jobs as easy.
“Cousins” of these words are everyone, no one, always and never.
It is amazing to realize the rapid changes in career
management factors we face. Psychology, economics and
-inference are longer term factors for our careers.
Let me list some specific examples:
ROUTINE TASK AUTOMATION
leveraged loans to automate functions with software and
robotics ) puts middle skilled workers in precarious straits.
[Read: recent graduates with no experience or internships.]
Those who do non-routine work (low-paid, unskilled and
richly paid, highly skilled) are in demand. We see this Job
Polarization in many situations with supporting elements
being stagnating wages and reallocation of roles from
specialization to variety of roles with less specialization.
Thanks to advances in deep learning and AI, computers can
perform not only manual but also cognitive tasks better and
faster than humans. This augers the result that highly trained
specialists are replaced by internet enhanced software, a
specific example is radiologists since much of their work
are “routine cognitive tasks.”
BLACK ELEPHANT SITUATIONS
for alternate energy sources, energy independence and electric
” A black elephant is a cross between a black swan, a low
probability, unanticipated event with enormous ramifications–
and the elephant in the room, a problem that is widely visible to
everyone, yet no one wants to address, even though we
absolutely know that one day we will have vast, black-swan-like
consequences.” Ocean acidification is an example.
Black elephant events can provide a once in a lifetime opportunity
or the end of the line for industries (think chemical photography),
companies, and directions in our careers.
COGNIFYING AND CONTINUOUS LEARNING
Adding AI to various tasks enables us to do more at lower cost and
higher efficiency. Add AI to laundry to tell washing machines to
adjust to the contents of each load as directed by the clothes (sensors).
AI added to chemistry can aid discoverability and optimization by
performing virtual experiments to reduce the number of lab
experiments to reach a goal. Think of the way Netflix and Kindle
come up with customer recommendations.
This is cognifying. All cognition is specialized. In this continuous
learning process we need to work with AI and robots and let
these tools take our routine tasks and help us dream up
new work that matters. There are four classes of jobs:
1. Jobs humans can do, but robots can do even better.
highway driving, tax preparation, routine x-ray analysis,
pre-trial evidence gathering, etc.
2. Jobs humans cannot do, but robots can.
remote locations, hazardous environments, monitoring,
then signalling an alarm. Jobs that would not be done without
robots and sensors.
3. Jobs we did not know we wanted done.
4. Jobs only humans can do– at first.
creativity (on what we should do), new situations, one of a
Our human assignment should be to keep making jobs for
robots and software.
HL and I had an interesting discussion about a job
application for a pharma position. We arranged the
position via email where we asked and sent draft resume,
musts-and-wants and the job description.
It is important to realize that each cover letter, resume
and contact network association needs to be targeted
and properly researched and framed.
What kind of position is being pursued?
What specific skills or experiences will be expected?
What are your specific skills/ experiences that may apply?
Who do you know who might help and provide a reference?
The position seeks BA/BS with some senior research
experience or an MS. The skills sought are LC, MS and
working with bioassay prep and data analysis.
It is a stretch to have a senior undergraduate having
these, but our discussion proved that HL had good
experiences that could be of interest. HL had done
a semester of undergraduate monomer synthesis research
in junior year. Quite interestingly, HL had completed a
semester research abroad where detailed discussion
revealed working with and troubleshooting LC-MS and
data integration systems for study of metal binding to
It is now a challenge to create a document that points
out the specific instruments and work done both abroad
and as a junior. What keywords were used in the job
description? Find a way to articulate HL’s work using
those or comparable terms. Experienced reviewers will
We talked about the big difference in working in a
research lab where things constantly go wrong or need
maintenance and calibration compared with doing an
analytical course lab experiment where everything is
pre-ordained and set up.
Then we spoke about another element– who were HL’s
references? Has HL spoken to them about interest in
the position? Can each one of three provide “good
references? Does the reference know anyone at the
firm? Can HL get to meet or speak with the possible
network referral to learn more about the position, hiring
manager, and company situation?
Does HL have a quality Linkedin page? Let’s look.
What will be critical things to provide realizing the
first use might be for this LC-MS bioassay role?
What keywords, content and organization should the
Linkedin profile have?
What started out as a request for a resume review, morphed
- job description study,
- revising a draft resume highlighting key experiences
- critically thinking through references and the roles they
assume (and, also including a reference list in the PR
- critically thinking that a professional presence is
expected (Linkedin profile and working on that)
- outlining and drafting a cover letter for submission
- seeking out people who could be referrals for the
six other important steps.
Three top line topics have appeared this year:
1) Evolving trends in technical careers
2) Professional Behaviors that can help you
3) High Need for New Division in ACS– Economics
and Chemistry [Not only short periodic webinars that
are at 30,000 foot level and CEPA]
Reading a blog entry by B. Perlmutter, reminded me of
a section in the second class of our Professional Development
class. What I like about it is that he creates a nice context
and story about factors we need to consider in making
Our class offers fewer steps and a template to consider
classroom exercises that students might face now and
will possibly face in the future.
1 determine the facts
2 identify the stakeholders
3 identify the ethical choices
4 make a decision
5 double check the decision
Perlmutter frames his process and story in terms of situations
and risks to reputations in a golf tournament. Early in his
ethical process, he points out recognizing ethical problems,
even before knowing the stakeholders, interests and
At first, this order of process steps is not one better than
another but a different perspective about something
scientists and engineers are not often trained to think.
Ethics can be ambiguous and relative. In Perlmutter’s
perspective, ethics needs to be considered earlier. I
think this can be good and a point of emphasis.
Not long ago, this blog offered a legal perspective of
ethical decision-making. It appears different than the
first two in that it asks questions about legality,
reputation and consistency with values.
We need to understand that different people will
make a case for processing their thinking. Forni
I think states it best and has me thinking Perlmutter
says it best for me. Forni outlines the urgency to
develop and place good thinking habits as
a priority. Good thinking makes having thought,
having thought leads to a wider range of viable
choices; Good choices offer the chance for good
decisions that lead to a good life that lead to
Perlmutter’s process is documented in the
Previous years’ lists
Recommended Reading. 5.
Recommended Reading. 4.
Recommended Reading. 3.
Recommended Reading. 2.
Recommended Reading. 1.
This year I will attempt to link readers to discussions of some of the
books that follow in this blog.
RandomHouse NY 2014
2. Robert Gates,
A PASSION FOR LEADERSHIP, AA Knopf, NY 2016
3. Brene Brown
, RISING STRONG
Spiegel and Grau, NY, 2015
9. Daniel J Levitin THE ORGANIZED MIND THINKING
STRAIGHT IN THE AGE OF INFORMATION OVERLOAD,
Dutton, NY 2014
12. Robert Colville, THE GREAT ACCELERATION: HOW THE
WORLD IS GETTING FASTER, FASTER Bloombury London NY 2016
13. Zackary Berger MAKING SENSE OF MEDICINE:
BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN DOCTOR GUIDELINES
AND PATIENT PREFERENCES,
Rowman & Littlefield Lanham 2016
14. Kevin Kelly NEW RULES FOR THE NEW ECONOMY
RADICAL STRATEGIES FOR A CONNECTED WORLD,
Penguin Australia 1998
16. Joseph Ellis, THE QUARTET: ORCHESTRATING THE
SECOND AMERICAN REVOLUTION 1783-1789, Knopf 2015
17. American Heritage, A SENSE OF HISTORY FROM THE
BEST WRITING FROM THE PAGES OF AMERICAN HERITAGE,
Houghton Mifflin,, Boston, 1985
19. Thomas L. Friedman, THANK YOU FOR BEING LATE,
Farrar, Stevens and Giroux, NY 2016
Last weekend we were part of a team presenting a job search
workshop for undergraduate chemistry field majors at UConn.
It was well attended and provi ded resume reviews and mock
interviews in addition to four topical discussions tuned to this
Four discussion areas from the day workshop are presented to readers.
1. Thesis or non-thesis masters is a graduate school option that was
new to many. The thesis option involves a specialized project with
a professor. It can require a longer term of study due to the research
in your domain. The non-thesis option often involves a mini project
or a comprehensive exam to meet the requirements of the degree.
The exam is taken after you have completed certain courses.
Choosing the thesis option can allow you to receive an assistantship
during your program.
Some fields prefer the thesis option as it allows a learning by doing
a new project to come up with outcomes. If funding is limited, a
project reaches an end or facilities are not available the non-thesis
option can be preferred. Some fields, like geology, have reported the
non-thesis option has advantages as reported a Colorado School of mines.
2. Some firms reportedly use Jobvite to facilitate hiring. People
have reported problems uploading their documents. Jobvite specifies
that resumes need to be Word or “unlocked PDF” file formats
and that after uploading to populate application fields, you need to
use the attach button to include part for your application file.
You need to follow uploading instructions to the T. Some instructions
include word limits, some seek a specific number of writing samples,
and others have specific deadline dates .
Barbara Safani points out that many people make the mistake of
taking their formatted Word document and uploading it into a text
box on a company website. Formatting is lost. So it is prudent to
follow the specific job search instructions.
3. Traveling to an onsite interview can be a challenge. Ask for
specific directions to specific gates before you go. Know who you
are to meet and their telephone number in case of a delay, expecting
to arrive 10-15 minutes before your scheduled first meeting time.
Interestingly a number of companies now require following ITAR
regulations. Thus to facilitate the special ITAR badge bring your
passport with you if you are an international candidate.
4. I was surprised that my colleagues felt it was fine to ask about
salary during the onsite interview. This might be the case, if you
had a very promising position in hand or were working in a good
You should always be ready to respond to a salary requirements
question or what has been your salary in the past three positions…
There are pitfalls for coming in low or coming in high. So, a response
to that query would be here is a range and you would consider any
reasonable offer where you can make a difference doing something you
are good at.
Do you feel amazed each time you read about new advances
where one of the fundamental components is optical? I am.
Optical fabrication and materials play a central role in many
things we do– practical every day, engineering and scientific.
The first reference is in Photonics Spectra magazine which
gives major milestones in optics fabrication.
The second is a link to a compact review of real world applications
and methods of applied spectroscopy.
The third is a link to a review on miniaturization driven by reduced
costs and space impacts combined with advances in microelectronics.
What this sketch outlines is an 800 year acceleration of development
especially over the last half century. This is part of a review by
combine optical tools with spectroscopic and multi-laser
sources and computer integrated sampling.
REAL WORLD SPECTROSCOPY
Nice appropriate review on some of the latest developments
including Total-reflection X-ray Fluorescence, Laser-induced
breakdown spectroscopy at small scales, rapid cancer detection
FT-IR and peptide folding using laser-Raman.
3-D imaging and continuously increasing complex NIRS
applications were reported and cited.
ADVANCES IN MINIATURIZATION
SOURCE: V. Balaram Spectroscopy 10-16
of analytical tools is allowing scientific investigations in a number
of realms, including space exploration, geological studies,
environmental sensors and redundancy to increase the validity
We (M. Godek and I) asked our seminar group:
What might you seek from a mentor?
Some answered one or two of the following–
Where are your career directions moving? Where are you now?
What are your visions and aspirations, strengths, weaknesses
and how to relate them.
In addition, suggestions to build soft, technical and wise skills
Navigate the organization, explore new ideas, new career path
Expand your committed network, build confidence.
Who is responsible for setting up a “mentoring connection”?
To many it was a surprise to hear “You are!” Sure many
organizations set up formal mentoring arrangements to achieve
goals for the organization. Not specifically to meet your personal
questions or goals, intentionally, and their metrics reveal that.
It is imperative that you assume responsibility for the mentor,
roles, goals, timing and how to move it forward.
A ‘take home message’ is that there are formal and informal
mentoring connections. While the formal are set up by organizations,
include training, last for a specific period and are designed to
benefit the organization; informal ones involve people who
may not have formal training, offer long term rewards for
both and benefit both partners in a win-win arrangement
that is two-way.
We differentiated Coaching, Teaching and Mentoring
-gain or improve a skill, performance driven COACHING
-discover and acquire knowledge, theoretical, practical,
experiential, laboratory, plant-wide TEACHING
-2-way collaboration, guidance and perspectives in challenging
situations, relationship-based MENTORING
This opened many audience members’ eyes.
Then, with many questions and stories, we discussed
characteristics of good mentors, how to meet and invite
a mentoring relationship that is win-win.
is a link to the session feedback.
Ten years ago R. Jones edited a series of factors
giving rise to the apparent trend involving the
globalization of chemical enterprise industries.
We have urged ACS in this blog to report and
follow the Economics in the Chemical
Enterprise as the older model (of globalization)
is less valid now as an important concept for
We observed that globalization is less
significant now and plays much less of a strategic
role as superstar companies
that use an array of
qualities. They have distinctive cultures and
traditions that many academic centers are little
aware of, including seeking and following top
talent (stretch assignments, accelerator
experiences, and crucible roles) and keeping their
focus on a long term vision (by modifying their
shareholders’ voting rights) and managing finances,
legislation and financial markets.
The Economist reported on recent trends in its
article as a new age of corporatism giving rise to
consolidation to stay on top “hoovering up talent,
buying patents and investing in research.” We can see
this leading to problems ascribed to concentration of
pay, technology, top execs and vast amounts of
In an interesting related piece in Cheeky Scientist Blog
which are critical to a company’s success. While most
know “companies have R&D, Marketing and Sales,”
few realize also critical to success are finance, supply
chain and information technology.
I suspect these are all new to Chemists and Engineers
and this reveals the need for further education in these
and traditional areas that have further evolved.
Honestly, there is a special combination of formal
learning, study and experience that allows us to gain
self knowledge from assessment instruments.
What is still harder is to guide others to explore their
emotional make-up, values and behaviors.
It can be more of a challenge to offer intelligent people who
are from different cultural backgrounds (international and
educational training) to perceive the interpretative benefits.
Nonetheless we attempted to bring out interpretations
that a graduate school class had taken and
apply it to achieve better teaching.
University is comprised of
A - Your motives (and student’s motives)
B - interactions with peers
C - using time well
D - fostering behavior and high expectations
E - planned instruction with goals and strategies
F - pedagogical content
A is a function of our values.
B, C, D are functions of our behaviors.
E, F are functions of our specific training and experience.
So we reviewed MBTI ‘middle two’ preferences
ST: getting ‘it’ right and efficiency
SF: service to others and improving people’s lives
NF: helping people fulfill their potential
NT: mastering knowledge and developing systems
These reinforce our behaviors and reflect our fears,
inhibitions and approaches (emotional side).
to bring out the interpretations of the behavior instrument
scores. There a several test identifiers that we linked to
the Alessandra model
“dominant director” = driving or dominance
“interactive socializer” = expressive or extroversion
“steady relator” = amiable or stability
“cautious thinker” = analytical or control
Commonly, our experience is that individuals do not have
just one behavioral preference identifier, but perhaps is
a combination of two. The use involves hard work in
studying your self and others to develop approaches to
achieve positive outcomes. This is important in critical
rather than casual interactions.
We did not find the “Values Instrument” giving unique
and helpful information for teaching excellence. So,
we performed 2 minute interviews with each student
exploring motivation, mentors, influences on choices.
It was surely a different topic for this class. I can
imagine it very hard for some international students
to walk away with a benefit other than the “take home”