Thursday, September 30, 2010

Career Development Talks

As a final year graduate student, I focused more on career development talks during the conference. Here are some suggestions given by a panel discussion on “From the interview to negotiating your salary”:

Rule 1: Send thank you email after the interview.

Rule 2: Research the company extensively.

Rule 3: Be prepared to illustrate your diverse and quantifiable qualifications.

Rule 4: Be prepared to some standard questions (e.g. your strengths, most challenging project, etc.) with answers well memorized.

Rule 5: Do not disclose salary history before an offer is made.

Rule 6: Be able to justify the salary you are asking for.

Rule 7: Toot your own horn! Be proud and vocal about your accomplishments.
A recommended book is “BRAG”.

Rule 8: Have extra copies of your resume and a reference list with you at the interview.

Rule 9: Consider the entire compensation package, like vacation, health insurance, etc, not just salary.

Rule 10: Do not let the pressure of time affect your decision making.
A recommended book is “Getting PAST NO”.

Good luck to all the finishing students!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

CRA-W for Graduate Students

After a pretty busy day, I would love to share few lines.  Graduate student, this is for you!
  • Write down a timeline (specially if you are a PhD student), but remember every year  is different and every time you are facing different situations. Then, you should be goal-oriented and check your goals constantly (goals achievable).  
  • Develop short-term goals and plan how to address each goal.
  • Demands come in waves. Sometimes you will have time to procrastinate and relax, but also times in which you may think you don't have time even for eating!.Do not allow that happen to you, Eat and Sleep well.  Then, learn to manage your time. 
  • Be organize, keep a calendar always with you.
  • Start thinking about research topics since the first year. Don't worry if they don't work out, but thinking about them will help you to decided what you want to do. You do not wait until finish your coursework.
  • Find times and places when you can have your work done, such as: public libraries, public coffee shops) Avoid the lab and home if you easily get distracted in those place. If you are a morning person, great! Be a morning person and work early, if you don't great too!!..the morning person will be sleeping when you are working. Just find the right time and places to work.
  • Enjoy the process, get internships, go to Conferences, those are wonderful places to learn and get to know people. 
  • You have to evaluate your progress. Talk with people who can help you with that task. Specially where things instead of getting better they are just getting different. Ask yourself: Am I holding my goals?...if things are not getting better maybe you are being too perfectionist about something. Let it go! then you can move on.
  • Appreciate your achievements. Celebrate them! 
  • One thing that can help you to manage your insecurities is identifying what are the things that help you to pass this period. Find someone that you can trust and talk with.
  • Books that might help you.  "Getting things done" by David Allen.  "Finish your dissertation once and for all!" by Alison Miller 
  • How do we build our professional network?  Making professional connections and doing it wisely (Academia + Industry + Social).  Make yourself known.
  • Prepare your "Elevator pitch" and rehearse it . Your elevator pitch is one or two sentences that explain what I do/what I am going to do, why it is new area/cool.
  • Advisor - Advisee relationships are forever. Choose a good match. There is no a bad advisor, there is a bad match. Then, look for a good match for you.
  • A research team (group) offers many advantages for your research.  Participate and help yourself and others. 
  • Read papers, talk to experts and attend to talks. Start questioning assumptions made by previous work. Then you will become an expert in your area.  
- Priscilla.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Grace Hopper 2010: Collaborating Across Boundaries

The Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) 2010 conference for women in computing will be held in Atlanta, Georgia from September 28 - October 2. This year's GHC theme is: Collaborating Across Boundaries!

I am very excited to be a part of the UIC GHC 2010 team and I created this blog for us to share our experiences with others. Let us use this forum to describe our favorite memories of the Grace Hopper Conference!

Some useful links for the attendees:

I look forward to meeting you all at the conference! See you in Atlanta and keep this blog alive with your posts! :)