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From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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06/06/11
Questions. Key learning tools
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Networking, Leadership, Post-docs
Posted by: site admin @ 7:16 pm

Last week EPSCoR of South Dakota hosted a
workshop.  One of the co-presenters was Lee
Hoffman who holds a post-doctoral position in
the laboratory of Jim Rice at SDSU.

Lee caught my attention in many positive ways
right from the beginning.  A thought you post-docs
(and grad students) out there might learn about
He asked to be part of the workshop program!

When we started the program, he asked to let
him know what we needed and he would be
glad to assist, learn and contribute.  He did
more than that.  He
  - gave a well conceived Experiences as a
Post-doc presentation,
  - was a panelist on an Over-coming Barriers
in your career discussion,
  - interviewed, coached, and solved problems
as they came up, not for credit, not to stand
out, but as a team member serving a larger
and longer lasting good.

Let me tell you a little bit about his panel
discussion.  We all know it is important to
ask questions, good questions, in interviews.
We also know that as interviewees we need
to understand the purpose of questions in
interviews and strategies and tactics in
responding to questions.
Lee talked about how important it is to
learn and reveal an inquisitive mind by
asking good questions.  The audience was
asked– do you have any questions?  A sudden
silence took hold of the room of 6
dozen people.

Then, he told the story of how a former
colleague displayed it all.  At every meeting
they attended, this colleague would always
have that poignant, revealing question of
speaker or panel.  It is important to have
the confidence and savvy to ask that question
that is on your mind.  Don’t hold back!

Fortunately, this discussion happened in
the first half of the first day of a three day
workshop.  It changed the tenor of the rest
of the meeting.

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