From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development

December 2021
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Attending a professional meeting. Seeking to speak with a prominent person
Filed under: Interviewing
Posted by: site admin @ 7:27 am

We met last week to talk about planning for an international
conference TT will attend next month.  He seeks to speak
with a leader in the field
of nanotechnology applications in
cancer therapies at the meeting.

So we considered completing a IDP Individual Development
for Biomedical fields, as TT is a post-doc in pharmaceutical
sciences.  This is a personal technical document that puts down
on paper (computer is more likely) goals and accomplishments
during the last (approximate) year, including formal summaries,
proposals written, ideas generated and scoped out for future
proposals, presentations, meetings attended in-person and virtually,
technical expertise recently obtained and used to achieve results,
clinical activity, teaching, mentoring and leadership activity inside
and outside your field, including training and courses attended and
led, and service.
Part 2 scopes out a comprehensive plan for TT’s foreseeable year.
It includes research project goals, anticipated publications, patents,
presentations, proposals, workshops, meetings and training.
Longer range goals follow with an informal “gap analysis” and timeline
for accomplishing your goals.  If there are issues that might limit
or require further work with help from others, it will help to
list as well.

Then, we reviewed TT’s profile to see if it strongly
makes a similar case.  In his case, it did not, so we suggested
several revisions that moves his Internet presence from one
more like a doctoral candidate to a full-fledged post-doctoral
researcher with accomplishments, results and strong breadth
and depth.  We are seeing the Linkedin profile complementing
individual’s resume while containing keywords it also identifies
group affiliations and online contributions which are generally
outside of what is contained in resumes.

So, it makes sense to include the profile in the
resume heading and the resume file, stored in a cloud location,
linked to the profile document.

Some small updates to the resume/CV were suggested before we
moved into pre-meeting preparation.  We talked about going
through lists of attendees and presenters and people who are in
the speaker’s group alumni.  He did not know any.  Fortunately, I
did have a connection with CK.  So, we made a plan for TT to reach
out to CK and ask for a referral/connection at the meeting. 

Then we practiced delivering TT’s introduction and elevator
to the leader in the field.  The first attempt was rather
informal, using the person’s first name.  This is a clear no-no.
Let Dr. “Iwould Liketomeet” know you will keep it formal until
Dr. “Liketomeet” asks you to be informal.  [This can be a noticeable
turn off for some to be too quick to be informal.]

It is noteworthy to mention that a “warm introduction” through
someone in the person’s group helps.  We formally practiced
strategies for making contact, introductions, what to bring to
the meeting, what to wear, and how to follow up after the meeting.

Other class members have recently attended meetings and
reported similar experiences.  So, these strategies and
tactics are tested and proven to be effective. 

These are networking interviews, information and mock
interviews that are part of the “before segment” of the interviewing

One Response to “Attending a professional meeting. Seeking to speak with a prominent person”

  1. site admin Says:

    Two helpful addenda are:
    1- notes on how to “work the room” when you go to
    a conference
    2- Diane Darling’s web page about networking:

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