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08/22/08
Connectors in your Network
Filed under: Position Searching, Networking, Mentoring, Mature professionals, Post-docs, Technicians
Posted by: site admin @ 5:44 pm

This week’s Philadelphia meeting was a
personal opportunity
for me to act as a
connector (See
Gladwell for more in depth
description) for members who came
for
help.

A connector is a willing person who
places your needs
above his or her own. 
The connector has a cache with
people
in her network in which a certain value goes

along with her recommendation.  The
following examples
might be representative.

FINDING AN INTERNATIONAL POSITION
A professionally dressed Asian lady SS
asked for a mock
interview.  We had the
chance to get to know each other
and
defined what outcomes we sought in our
mock
interview session.  We covered all the
ground we set
out and then talked about
some deeper goals she had.

SS really wished to find a position (not
going into the
details of field) that would
allow her to return to her
homeland and
be closer to her family.


Being very sympathetic to her wish but
not tuned
to ways that could help her, I
suggested that she
make contact through
the career consultant program
with Dr.
Mukund Chorghade who is a highly esteemed,

multicultural leader, program organizer and
chemist
who might be willing to chat with
her to help her
pursue her goals. 
Conversations later in the week
with both
SS and Dr. Chorghade confirmed that

contact and conversation. was most fruitful.

FINDING A SABBATICAL ARRANGEMENT
AT AN AMERICAN UNIVERSITY

VC visited the appointment desk at the end
of Tuesday and indicated that he was not
interested in resume, CV or mock interview.
He did, however, want to have the chance
to speak with someone to explore how he
might set up a sabbatical in the US taking
leave from his Italian university.

My suggestion was that he make contact with
Dr. Louis Kirschenbaum, an eloquent, “Colin
Powell-like” (always tells the truth) professor
of chemistry at URI.  Here is the communication
Dr. Kirshenbaum shared with me:

VC wrote:

Hello Prof. Kirschenbaum.
I am writing upon advice
from Dan
Eustace to figure out if we might be
able to meet for a short chat over
the
ways and procedures and
opportunities to spend one or more
years in a
research university .

I am an associate professor in Polymer
Chemistry in
Italy, with a tenure to be
granted in about 2 and a half years (this
will
probably not allow me to take any
sabbatical until then).

If you are
available, I will be in Phila
until saturday and of course at the
conference
(not available on thursday
morning  -  I have a talk at a PMSE session)

Thanks for your attention
VC

REPLY

“Dear V

I am sorry to miss you, but I have
already returned to Rhode
Island.


Arranging a sabbatical leave is mostly
a matter of finding
potential collaborators

and contacting them directly (perhaps,
even this week
while you are at the

meeting).  Most of us are thrilled to
have a visitor of
your stature, but, of

course, funding is always a consideration. 

You will need
to be clear about whether

you will keep all or part of your salary
and whether
you have your own

research fund that can be used. You
should investigate
possible fellowships

or binational grants.  If  you find a
collaborator soon,
you might want to

investigate the NATO program,
which allows for reciprocal
(short) visits

for both partners. [I had a NATO grant
with Edoardo Mentasti of
Torino a

number of years ago. ] This is not
enough for sabbatical support, but
can

be very productive and an excellent
way to prepare or a full year’s stay.


Another funding possibility would be
for you to fill in as a sabbatical

replacement for an American professor.
Certainly, a lead time of 2-3 years

should provide you with ample
opportunity to find a suitable placement.

I
am just trying to catch up so this is

just a note to help you get started, but
I
wanted to reply while you are still

at the meeting. Please feel free to
contact
me again……Louie Kirschenbaum

These connections emerge over and over
as leading ways to help make progress and
grow careers.  This item is #46 in a list of
networking habits.

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