Substituting for my mentor and networking

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Substituting for my mentor and networking

Postby Phil B » Mon Mar 07, 2005 11:13 am

I am a senior post-doc and have been asked to give a talk in place of my mentor at a conference where she is an invited speaker. I think this is an excellent opportunity. I want to make the best of the situation, since the meeting will be attended by both academic and industry leaders which may help with future employment. However, there are a few concerns that I have.

1)Networking. I will not be giving my talk until the last day of the conference, so no one will know me from my presentation. There are numerous socials, most of the speakers are established leaders in their fields and thus know each other. As an unknown young investigator, how does one break into ongoing conversation groups.
2)How do I present myself as a good candidate for consideration for faculty or industry recruitment? I will have my CV with me. Unfortunately, the subject matter of the presentation isn?t my work; I am presenting two graduate student?s work which fit the theme of the session. How do I get my research known to the attendees?
Phil B
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Substituting for my mentor and networking

Postby John Fetzer » Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:15 pm

Since your mentor has chosen you to speak in her stead you should talk to her about this. Ask her of people who she knows who will be there and who she might want to pass along her greetings to. Introduce yourself in that fashion and with the explanation that she was unable to attend and chose you to give the talk. That breaks the ice and puts you in a positive light. Do not mention that the work is not your own! Say you are talking of work within the research group. That positive spin matches what most of these people do - talk about research actually done by others. The other way sets a down tone that distracts from you being the representative of the group.

If you have some, pass out business cards, too. If you have none, you can get some quickly printed up. There are even very cheap online companies that do this. It seems more professional and gives you a better image of self-assurance.

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Substituting for my mentor and networking

Postby Madison » Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:22 pm

I think you should present your own work. If you are not allowed to do that, I think the grad student should give the talk, not you.

Did you supervise these grad students? Did you direct the work, by deciding what experiments to do? If so, this IS your work, and you should present it as such. But do not present work that has nothing to do with you - this is pointless, and undermines your position as a faculty-candidate job seeker.

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