There will be two panels, one at the end of each day. Each panel will begin with the panel members introducing themselves followed by topical discussions and then questions from students. Below is a list of the panelists followed by instructions for the panelists and suggestions for the students.
Sunday, August 7, 4:40pm-5:40pm -- The Hiring Process and Finding Funding
Monday, August 8, 5:00pm-6.00pm -- Degree Completion and Job Search
- Sonia Chernova (WPI)
- Anika Schumann (IBM)
- Nathan Schurr (Aptima, Inc.)
- Matthew Taylor (Lafayette College)
Information for Panelists
The panels will be informal. The panel topics above and questions below are only guidelines to help you think of experiences that you think will be helpful to the students. We do not want you to feel restricted by them at all. It is okay to address topics suggested for the other panel, if students raise the question and/or you have pertinent advice to share. We give students a list of possible questions to think about at the end. Reading those may also help you think of things you'd like to pass along.
Introduction: 10 minutes
Take a couple of minutes to describe your career path, including the school(s) you attended. You might fill in with information about the positions or interesting events that influenced your career choices.
Topics: 20 minutes
Spend 5 minutes or less addressing some of the topic questions of the panel below (or related topics/questions). Also, is there anything in particular you wish you knew earlier in your career or as a student?
Open questions: 30 minutes
Panel topic questions for Sunday Aug 7, 2011
- The Hiring Process
- What are the types of positions that are available within your organization?
- What is the hiring process?
- When you are interviewing candidates, what do you look for?
- What are common pitfalls that candidates should avoid?
- Do you have any advice for candidates facing two-body problems?
- Finding Funding
- What types of funding opportunities (if any) does your organization offer?
- What types of funding have you have received?
- What are good ways for early career researchers to obtain research funding?
- What are bad practices to stay away from?
- Do you have any advice for early career researchers regarding funding?
Panel topic questions for Monday Aug 8, 2011
- Degree Completion
- What experiences did you have completing your PhD?
- How long did it take you to write your thesis?
- How was/is the defense process conducted at your school?
- What was the most difficult hurdle you faced in completing your degree?
- What hard lessons did you learn that you would pass on to others?
- What advice would you give students as they go from the proposal stage through to their thesis defense?
- Job Search
- What experiences did you have searching for a job?
- Did you pursue academic and/or industry positions?
- Did you know ahead of time which you preferred?
- What was something unexpected that happened to you during the interview process?
- What advice would you give to students regarding the timing of their job search?
Information for Students
You can prepare for these panels ahead of time by looking at panelists' web pages and thinking of things you might want to ask them.
Some questions you might want to ask:
- What's it like?
- What's it like after grad school?
- What's it like later in your career?
- What do you do on a day-to-day basis? during a typical day?
- How much do you work?
- How do you balance work/life?
- What are the (dis)advantages of working at a [big | small] [research | teaching] [school | company | government lab]?
- What's it like for minorities?
- Getting a job
- How did you find your job(s)?
- How do we find a job?
- When should we start looking for a job?
- How should you write a research/teaching statements for an application?
- Where are the jobs these days?
- What can we do to make ourselves more marketable/valuable?
- Should I do an internship?
- Should I do a postdoc?
- How do you get tenure/promotions?
- Does tenure mean anything anymore?
- How do you handle the "two body" problem?
- How important is teaching experience?
- Is it better for a student to finish their Ph.D. faster?
- Is coding experience important?
- Could you give some advice on writing proposals?
- What kinds of funding opportunities are there?
- How much should we publish?
- How important are journal articles?