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From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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08/30/10
Academic Employment Initiative. Boston reflections
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Post-docs
Posted by: site admin @ 8:52 am

If the first time you present your academic
poster is at the Academic Employment
Initiative for the purposes of being
screened  for academic positions, it
might be too late.

At the Boston meeting, I very much
enjoyed meeting many of the more than
seventy poster presenters looking for
academic positions at PUI (principally
undergraduate) and R1 (research
oriented) institution.  Several of the
posters and presenters were true
models of my impression of people
who will be invited for academic interviews.

The orientation, offered at the meeting
by Laurel Goj, who succeeded in this
process a few years ago, is a must for
people who expect to do well.  She spoke
about things to expect and what people
will be looking for.  Even for the experienced
it is a good reminder.

In the practical exercises, I had the
pleasure to meet a couple of colleagues.
One in particular, asked me for coaching
which I gladly listened, learned and
provided items that triggered “light-bulbs
in my mind.”

Distinguishing features of posters and
presenters were:

-  presenters who performed an audience
analysis in a conversational introduction,
don’t rush into the technical details

-  presenters who seemed to comment
about how they loved working with
students– passionate, engaging,
energetic

-  presenters who engaged their audience
with short, meaningful stories

posters were readable from 6 to 10
feet away. [small blocks of text do not
make it;  long detailed equations are
less effective, unless it is truly novel;
pictures; not too busy]

-  posters that contain acknowledgment
for support and other colleagues

hand-outs (and business cards, CVs)
 that are informative and clearly constructed

-  one clear difference maker is sending
thank you notes to visitors containing
pertinent links.

These are screening interviews for academic
positions and treat them professionally.

Students who visited the posters with
me learned a lot by seeing these posters
before they do it in a future meeting.

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