Friday, February 24, 2006

checking in

Some of the stress that came out in my previous post has been dealt with now. Or at least a plan has been made for dealing with it. So that's good.

This morning I took stock of my proto-job-talk and the net result of my latest research binge. The proto-job-talk is actually in decent shape. Talking about my work in a different part of the country is going to require some additional information to be conveyed in the background sections, but I don't think I have to change much in terms of slides. And I am starting to identify some key graphs and results from my recent work that I'd like to talk about. Now I just have to get them looking pretty, be really sure of what they're telling me, and make sure I understand their context. Then I've got to figure out how to integrate them into the narrative arc of my talk. And then, practice, practice, practice...tinker, tinker....practice, practice, practice.

Don't expect to much of me in terms of posts in the next two weeks. Between the in-laws, the interview prep, and then the interview itself, I don't expect to have the bandwidth to write intelligent posts. But I will keep reading your blogs...


phd me said...

Glad to hear you're feeling better about your job talk! Good luck with the coming interview (and the in-laws).

volcano girl said...

We just finished a round of interviews for a permanant curator position at the museum. Amazingly, all three interviewees were women in the early stages of their careers - all with phds and postdoc experience. As a postdoc, myself, I paid close attention to their talks and interpersonal skills. I thought I would give a brief list of observations/advise to inspire you, Science Woman.

1. Enthusiasm goes a long way. Be sure to exude excitement for your own research as well as the ideas of your potential colleagues.

2. While they suggest that you give a general science audience talk, don't dumb it down. Present the real science and how it is important. Make the slides clear and present them clearly.

3. Be sure your science doens't neglect the complications in your research. Admit the short falls to your research and be willing to hear new ideas or brianstorm ideas for how to address the problems. Nobody's perfect and sometimes it takes a lot of different kinds of experiments to come up with a final answer.

4. Be interested in other people in the department. Introduce yourself and find out who everyone is. People will be flattered by your interest.

5. Have a good idea of what it will take for you to be successful at the insitution. What supplies, lab space will you need. Try to come up with a dollar amount for critical lab supplies. Also, have a good idea of where future funding will come from, even if you haven't been a PI yet.

6. Have a very good answer for the question "Why do you want to come here?" The answer should not be "because I hate where I am now" or "because I don't know where to go after I graduate." Focus on the positive aspects of the department - the location for future field work, the facilities, the people, the range of students, teaching.

7. Have confindence in yourself. Others can read it in your posture or speech patterns. Effervesce your intellect and special qualities.

GOOD LUCK! You rock, Science Woman! I'll be in touch.
xoxo, Volcano Girl

Writer Chica said...

Your readers have such great words of wisdom for you! You have my constant support, admiration, and encouragement. I'm rooting for ya! I'm always sending good vibes your way. When you go for your interview I'll be sure to redirect my vibe sender so they reach you there too!