Where I am, Where I’m Going
It’s time for me to hand over the reins and let others share their stories with you. I want to end by filling in some of the backstory to my posts and letting you know where I am, seven months after I started.
During this time, I have published two papers (including my first first-author paper! It’s a review, but I’m still incredibly pleased). I mentored one undergraduate, two graduate students, and two post-docs new to our lab. I joined a mentoring circle as part of the Association of Women in Science. I’ve taken time to take care of some family members who have been in and out of the hospital. I knitted a sweater, four hats, and a scarf and a half. I’ve gone on several interviews, attended a career fair, and have taken three writing tests. I wrote seven NIH-BEST blog posts about science-related subjects. It’s been an incredibly busy and productive seven months, filled with personal and professional development!
What have I learned in this time?
- Effective time management is crucial to getting all of this done. I’ve learned that putting things into my Google calendar is more important than writing them in my physical calendar, mostly because my phone will remind me about things in my Google calendar, whereas my physical calendar is only a good reminder if I look at it. I’m way better at prioritizing than I was seven months ago, and also better at noticing if I get distracted and refocusing myself.
- Negotiation is something I do all the time, I just never thought of it that way until attending a workshop earlier in the year and reading up on it for the AWIS mentoring circle meeting I’m running later this month. I highly recommend the book “Ask for It” by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever (2008). Some of the resources listed might be outdated, but the strategies are really useful, and having a formal language to think about how I negotiate is really helpful. Plus, there’s a lot of new terminologies that helps me formalize and better organize my approach to situations where negotiation will come up.
- There’s more to Medical Communications than just scientific and medical writing! I found this out when a contact got me an informational interview at a biomedical PR firm. It is a totally fascinating field! I am really excited about all the facets of medical communications that I have learned about so far and can completely envision myself in a number of communications positions. It seems like a great way to be involved in the meaningful work of science (especially biomedical/therapeutic science) with a faster pace than producing scientific results at the bench.
I hope that my sharing the things that I’ve learned has been helpful to you all. It was great fun participating in this blog and getting to explore writing in a less formal voice than my usual for manuscripts and grants.
Here’s to more great science adventures- at the bench or somewhere else!
Current position: Postdoctoral fellow in Alzheimer’s disease, Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics Department
Program start date: March 2016
Institution: Boston University School of Medicine