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Your Career Choices after Graduate School and The Most-Neglected Item in your Career Development

By Gerhard Klimeck

Purdue University

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    Vinayak

    5.0 out of 5 stars

    The most useful thing that I learned is the outline for an engaging and inclusive presentation. The 1/3,1/3, 1/6, 1/6 approach ensures that everything is covered in the presentation. It mitigates the problem of going over your presentation time. It helps you and your audience keep focused. The perspective of working in academia, industry, and government labs was very useful as well. The comparison and contrast between the three fields was very informative. I agree that communication skills (visual, oral, and written) is one of the most important and in most cases one of the most neglected topics. One more important point to be noted is that if you can't communicate well, then your work might turn out to be not as useful. Doing great work is important but being able to communicate it is equally important. Thank you for a great presentation.

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    Oscar Eric Sandoval

    4.0 out of 5 stars

    There were a couple of points from the presentation that really stuck with me. The first was the point of being, “greater than one-dimensional.” For me this has always been important. I enjoy Electrical Engineering, but I also enjoy playing basketball and reading the works of Earnest Hemingway. Staying in the lab all day will not lead to better research. Instead it will lead to frustration and doubt. I valued the way the different opportunities were broken up. Presenting the pros and cons of Industry, Government Labs, and Academia allowed me to understand where it is I would like to end up after grad school. I had the opportunity to perform an internship at a government lab this summer. I performed work on InAs quantum dots at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory. This is a place where I would like to work. But I also like the idea of working as a teacher at my undergraduate institution, Cal Poly Pomona. This is more of a teaching institution rather than being research driven. I enjoy the idea of teaching, but the idea of having to write grants and proposals along with teaching is not something I am interested in. The point that stuck with me the most was “The missing Item.” The skill of communication is pivotal to further success. I have always heard that, but I had not heard it put into such a concise manner. “You must be understood by the whole audience.” This idea will stay with me for a long time. I feel like my communication skills are not as good as they could be. These skills will be made better by practicing more, but also by implementing the presentation breakdown presented. I believe that as new graduate students we want to leave our mark and impress those that are more experienced than us. In doing so we want to speak in complicated jargon and show that we have a good understanding of the material. So when it is time to give a presentation we fill it with complex formulas and speak in complicated vocabulary. This is completely the incorrect approach! The information should be presented in such a way that, “I am talking to my grandmother.” From the whole presentation the main takeaway is having good communications skills. Working on these skills will mean being able to convey the results of work. You can have the most revolutionary invention, but if you cannot convey to your audience the importance of it or how you created it then it is useless. Listening to this presentation has made me want to work on both my presentation skills and on creating a better power point presentation. Another thing that the presentation made me do was write down my goals. I have come up with the following: • Attend grad school back home in California and obtain my PhD. • Help students in East Los Angeles attend college Establish an organization that will provide scholarships, tutoring, and mentoring. • Teach at my undergraduate institution, Cal Poly Pomona.

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    Yandong Guo

    5.0 out of 5 stars

    The first thing I learned from the seminar is about the description about different work pattern/styles in research lab, academia and industry. This is super interesting and useful to me since I am close to graduate and it is about time for me to think about where to go. Personally, after I viewed the lecture, I feel I like the research lab in industry more because I got the information that people can spend 90% of their time doing research. I will want to focus on something rather than dealing with people or fundings or some other weird things, while I do not care too much that I have to do something correlated with the industry problem. The second very useful point I learned from the lecture is about the presentation/resume/communication skills. After being a graduate student, I feel myself more and more difficult to be understood, which is common for a graduate student, I think or I hope. I used to blame audience for they can not understand me. Sometimes, I really hope they can be a little bit more patient. But the reality is that no one will be patient and it is MY responsibility to catch their interest. The structure that 1/3 time to engage the audience, 1/3 time to show beautiful solution, 1/6 time to technical details and 1/6 time to show the future vision is very impressive design. Moreover, the idea of “the 60 seconds rule to talk” reminds me to prepare a “60 seconds talk” for each of my previous research projects. And again, “the message from clothing” is another reminder that I need to find where my suit is before I leave the conference in early February.

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    Omar Laldin

    5.0 out of 5 stars

    I found this to be a very helpful outline of the career possibilities for a new graduate; it is bound to help during the “job search” phase of the degree. Additionally, the suggested outline of presentations to a broad audience is also very helpful, though I presume some modifications are appropriate if one knows the audience is more technical than less (i.e. as in a technical conference). Though I started to lose it a little on the tunneling diagrams, I found myself more readily able to appreciate the technical content regarding dealing with matrices of large systems.

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    Andrew C Marcum

    4.0 out of 5 stars

    I really enjoyed the recipe proposed for creating good presentations. As a grad student who also currently works in industry, I found the high level description of industry provided fairly accurate (especially the 80-20 principle). It was really nice to see some comparison of industry to academia and government funded research; this will help me decide what I want to do long term. I didn’t find the example technical slides too helpful. I know so little about the content that even with the engaging presentation style, I found it hard to follow. Overall, I found the seminar very helpful.

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    Wuyang Yu

    5.0 out of 5 stars

    At the very beginning, your speech revealed a lot for me the difference among industry, government laboratory and Academia as well as the difference among bachelor, master and PhD students from your wise perspective. This part would help me pretty much on understanding myself, understanding what I would love to choose as my career. Furthermore, the key point you conveyed later, the missing item repeatedly occurring in your previous slides which also questioned me, is communication skills. Yes, communication skills, a sort of basic and apparently irrelevant thing, however makes a difference and defines one’s success in some degrees. In the past, I was always focusing on the technical level. I remember in the opening report of my undergraduate thesis I was told by my advisor that my presentation didn’t describe well what I was working on and it confused those whose major was not the same as mine. Too many jargon and not enough background in my presentation. Nevertheless, your speech really shows me a few helpful tips on keeping attention and having impacts. I think I would review this lecture when I prepare a presentation in the future.

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    Brandon Blaine Gardner

    4.0 out of 5 stars

    As a beginning masters student, I found a lot of items helpful in this presentation: I really appreciated the in-depth comparison of the different job types. I also liked seeing the difference between research vs teaching institutions. In school you always hear that communication is the most important skill, but there is little follow-up or action associated with that statement. I enjoyed seeing a different view of how a technical presentation should be laid out. I felt that the example presentation could have been better selected (easier for ECE bachelors to understand) and that each part could have been identified. For example, “This was my transition from relevance to solution.” I also enjoyed the part on having impact, but I wanted more advice on how to be impactful. Finally, I liked that you suggested ‘sitting on presentations’ to pull out at a moments notice. This really hits home for me, as I have had many troubles in the past piking up where others have left off due to their lack of documentation. Presentations are a great way to provide this in an easy-to-understand way. I also liked the question/response regarding what to do if you find you are unprepared for a presentation; this might be a good item to include in future presentations.

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    Anonymous

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    Samiran Ganguly

    4.0 out of 5 stars

    a very important aspect of career that gets neglected in the pressure of publications/results. a concise summary of what essentially MBAs learn in 2 years. hope it becomes a must watch for every NCN student.

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