The truth of the matter, in offering a presentation or workshop,
it is not what the presenter presents, but what the audience
members take away and experience that imprints a learning
cycle on their brain neurons.
When they sense a situation in which they face something
they can relate to a previous experience they can react,
respond, initiate, clarify, or pursue.
[Importance of critical thinking over didactic thinking.]
The Northeast Student Chemistry Career Symposium yesterday
in centrally located Holiday Inn in Brookline gave attendees
- perspectives on careers
- discussions on networking and communications
- discussions on resumes and references
- practical experiences in mock interviews
The feedback we sought and received taught us that the audience
received and internalized the messages that
1. the interview does not start with an employer contacting a
person based on being attracted by a well written resume.
It starts much earlier. It lasts well beyond leaving the location
after an on-site interview.
2. interviews are unnerving experiences that can lead to
stressful or pressure-packed feelings. Preparation, practice
and persistence are key in developing interpersonal skills to
3. interviewing continuum as a big picture model shines a
light on different aspects of search, narrowing down,
preparation, performance and improvement cycle that needs
to happen throughout your career.
4. clarifying precisely the documents needed to apply for
specific positions was revealing. Although different presenters
offered reflections on resumes, it almost never satisfies everyone
in the audience, since each person is a different case. Public
relations documents might be best handled individually.
5. some presentations required the audience to be there for
the whole presentation. Other presentations were designed
to deliver at least something of value for those who moved
from one to another presentation. Presentation design (not
overly dependent on power point, highly interactional) makes
Some behind the scenes conversation:
DON’T EXPECT YOUR FIRST POSITION TO BE ONE
YOU HAVE FOR YOUR WHOLE CAREER. CONSTANTLY
- INCREASE AND BROADEN YOUR SKILLS AND
- LOOK OUTWARD AND FORWARD.
WISE SKILLS ARE INCREASINGLY MORE IMPORTANT.
Advisers expect certain things out of grad students to
get their positions– get publishable results, publish them,
have good relationships with your P.I. and interview
to find out what you will do next.
Real life experience says one thing is missing– the grad
student must be proactive, develop skills, set goals and
learn how to be assertive and make decisions.
The adviser will not do this. It is the grad student’s