Friday, July 9, 2010

Accentuate the positive (while being wholly truthful).

My currents research student is actually the first I've had who's not applying to a post-Bacc or a professional school (immediately, at least). Stu's actually looking for a j,j,j-ob.

Stu applied as a research technician at various places around the area. One was a lab that studies the same field as I do, but uses different techniques. Big PI wrote Stu back and asked for more clarification of Stu's technical skills and goals.

One thing I do less of than I expected is career services. I do advise my research students how to discuss our work in a clear and succinct manner, but I haven't yet intervened by helping with cover letter writing, etc.

I was pretty sure Big PI wants to know if they are going to spend a year training Stu and then have Stu go off to grad school. Stu says s/he does want to go to grad school in 2-5 years. Stu also doesn't have the technique Big PI specifically asked for.

I gave my opinion on how to turn negatives or gaps into positives while being completely clear and honest about what skills Stu has not yet acquired. I also said, based on my experiences as a "pair-of-hands" tech, to emphasize that Stu wants to be in a lab where s/he can intellectually contribute. I advised to mention that Stu is constrained to the area.

I would really like to see Stu get a good entry-level job in a healthy lab where s/he fills a niche. This lab sounds very interesting for Stu, so I am crossing fingers for Stu. I'm also busting butt to make sure s/he does what s/he has learned from me very well, for the sake of my own pride and reputation.

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