Yesterday’s first year graduate student seminar involved
a pre-class homework assignment.
Honestly, there is a special combination of formal
learning, study and experience that allows us to gain
self knowledge from assessment instruments.
Some universities have a section of their graduate
school orientation that will involve self assessments
for each. It is so important that this part of
technical professionals education is incorporated
as it is so often missed or at least delayed so that
reflection and use of the learning can be part of
- Who likes “small talk”, working by themselves,
who gains energy from crowds.
- Pointing out the difference between the
“golden rule” [treat others like we want to be treated]
More than thirty Chemistry field majors attended a workshop
Effective job Searching last Saturday. The topics included:
Matching your skills and interests to the job market, Job
search strategies, Resumes and cover letters, Giving presentations,
Interviewing in larger organizations, Mock interviewing and
1. More organizations are using recruiting firms to perform
screening resumes, screening interviews, and reference
checking. They are adept at the process and are generally
not responsible for the final decision. It is not ununsual for
the position to be temporary, but there are legal limits on the
length of temporary employment.
2. ITAR review to enter certain industrial sites. Organizations
who design, manufacture and work with a number of government
agencies are required to comply with International Traffic in
Arms Regulations ITAR. Thus, if you are invited on site for
interviews you will need to bring along a birth certificate,
form of ID with your photo and may be expected to leave
your cell phone at the door (no photos)..
3. Problem solving interview questions are popular again.
These may require out of the box thinking. They may require
how you might work with other applicants to solve a problem.
They may be time limited, may have no set answer and may
just demonstrate how you deal with unexpected situations.
We observed a mock interview asking: how would you design
an emergency evacuation system for this building.
4. It is hard to justify the one-page page length rule
of thumb for resumes for all kinds of positions and applicants.
Each resume, however, does need to be targeted for each
situation using keywords. It is an advertizing document for
you with a readable form and both computer and person
designed content. It needs to be brief, concise and specific
with no errors.
5. MBTI assessments were brought up several times as
helpful for preparation for your job search, for informal
meal interviews and for audience analysis for presentations.
Two dozen grad students attended a class on learning about their
emotional make-up. They had been given assignments to complete
their MBTI profile and also asked to assess their values 2 3 and
behavior tendencies 2 3 .
Each one of these grad students is very smart and are
put into situations where they might wish to look smart
[leading a problem solving class, tutoring, giving seminars,
It reminded me of an article by Sue Shellenbarger of WSJ who
conveyed “the appearance of intelligence is [done] largely
with nonverbal cues… People get high marks when they talk in
simple, straightforward language with a lot of energy and
engagement. Make eye contact. Speak in a pleasant voice.
Articulate words clearly, pause between sentences. Listen
closely to others and be transparent about what you do and
do not know.”
Attempts to talk over people’s heads by using jargon, big words,
or complicated sentences will be quickly seen as a pose.
Observing how the class was widely divided in terms of
MBTI preferences [10 of 16 MBTI subcategories were
revealed and confirmed by descriptions found in two books*].
Their different preferences view the world and decisions they
made with different lenses and criteria. It was revealing and
several remarked that this puts a whole new view on working
* S. J. Scott and Rebecca Livermore, Confident you…2015
Isabel Briggs Myers, Introduction to Type, 6th edition, CPP
In preparing for a future class on assessing our personal
emotions that effect our behaviors and decisions three
books came to my attention, that I wish to tell you about.
- Peter Whybrow, The Well-tuned Brain: Neuroscience
and the Life Well-Lived, Norton and Company, NY, 2015
- Neil Postman, Amusing ourselves to Death: Public
Discourse in the Age of Show Business, Elisabeth Afton
Books, Viking, NY, 1985
- Neil Postman, The End of Education: Redfining the
Value of School, Vintage Books, Div. of RandHouse, NY
I was curious to learn Whybrow’s take on how our brain
works as we go through our daily activities and thinking.
We describe most routines as habits that seem to be a
repetition from before and we go into auto-pilot to
perform. Intuition is based on implicit learning a pattern
of facts, cues and events that we synthesize while going
about our daily activities. We unconsciously use both.
The class intends to help discover them using MBTI,
values and behaviors assessments.
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU
Research reveals that although human brains attain 90%
of their size by age 6, it will take 2 or more decades to achieve
functional maturity with different regions varying in pace
To achieve self-command we must learn what drives us
and accept that we are often ruled by the short term and
habit, although intellectually driven, curious and self
LOSING THOUGHTS REVEALING CONNECTIONS
Humans sense the need for order in the changing world,
an understanding of our place and purpose which imagination
and traditions/culture offer “touchstones” and signify our
values. Postman, Whybrow asserts, reflected on a technopoly
which represents an invasion into our imagination organized
realm due to our now gadget-driven, time-limited, distracted
world. Education is no longer providing the basics to allow
thoughtful questioning, open and adaptable curiosity to
We have allowed our memory, values, curiosity and imagination
to be outsourced drawn by hyperlinks, video clips, side-bars
distracted thinking and superficial learning.
Schools reinforce the culture of learning for economic utility.
consumership and technology. This reality, Postman asserts
is a Faustian bargain… we gain a little and we lose a lot.
- the advantages are unevenly distributed
- while seeming simple, there is complexity embedded in
- new technologies replace older ones in a competition
which speeds up and loses some of its benefits because
of intellectual and emotional biases and financial incentives
- it is believed that there is a common core with a global
view, but there is too much and much has to be displaced.
–arbitrary inclusion and exclusion results.
It is in the news daily. The corporate M&A moves
by a number of large firms to avoid 35% US
corporate tax rate is poignantly described in an Economist
cartoon . A link offers caution to investors about
consequences of the inversion.
We had a seminar about ‘Mission statements, goals,
objectives and development plans’ a couple of weeks back.
A recently uncovered blog offers positive insight into
tactics for individuals just starting to develop personal
We have mentioned one of the curious areas of research
is in dealing with antibiotic-resistant microbes. A link
provides untold stories of how important our microbiome is.
Our micrbiome is the complex system of bacteria that live
in on and around each one of us.
TAX CONSEQUENCES OF INVERSIONS
SOURCE L. Saunder,
WSJ, August 2, 2014, p. B1
“How to Ease the Tax Hit from an inversion“
There are a series of unintended consequences from mergers
like AbbVie-Shire and Medtronic-Covidien. Ms. Saunders
writes inversions will be unwelcome for long-term investors
who were planning to hold their shares for estate planning
Some shareholders in firms that do inversions will
owe taxes they would never have had to pay. Tax advisors
indicate that stock in taxable accounts should be evaluated
with careful planning and investors be prepared to act.
Three common tactics in the short term are discussed.
CAREER MISSION STATEMENT
SOURCE: Catherine Rains, Writing a career mission statement,
Using your results from MBTI and Strong indicator tests, she
suggest how you can fashion your own mission statement at
an early career point.
This is when each of us are most uncertain.
I found this most thoughtful and engaging.
MISSING MICROBES – BLASER’S BOOK
SOURCE: M. J. Blaser,
“Missing Microbes: How the overuse
Of antibiotics is fueling our modern plagues, Henry Holt and
Company, NY, 2014
Your body is composed of an estimated 30 trillion cells,
but is host to more than 100 trillion bacterial and fungal
cells. Thus, 70 to 90 % of all cells are nonhuman. They
reside on every inch of our skill and in all organs.
Most of the time doctors have no idea if a patient’s illness
is caused by virus or bacteria.
Doctors have very good reason to reflexively prescribe
antibiotics for many upper respiratory tract infections–
fear of rheumatic fever. Untreated strep can cross react with
a child’s heart muscle, joints, skin and brain…
Doctors prescribe antibiotics for strep to ward off rheumatic
fever. While the body’s natural defenses might treat the
illness, people inevitably think that the antibiotic had made
them well. A situation where correlations does not mean
cause and effect.
Young adults in US between 20 and 30 receive 30
courses of antibiotics before the age of 40. Many of the
young women will be mothers and the antibiotics may affect
the next generation. implications of this course of action
may effect obesity, asthma, cancers, GERD, CRE.
Very powerful reading for biotech and pharma workers and
In a course on Professional Development, we
will inquire students to assess themselves with
behaviors and attitudes assessments. In addition
we will suggest to them that a Myers Briggs
Temperment indicator be taken. It offers a
different view based on the work of Carl Jung.
See also 3 .