Dean's Message - October 15, 2018
Last Thursday, I observed the Science Storytelling workshop that we have been offering this semester, where our students and postdocs presented 5-minute talks on how they became a scientist followed by group coaching. It was joyful and filled with energy. How wonderful that we can help with this essential skill that will positively impact any career path. It also reminded me that this is a learned skill that we can all improve. For me, while I am regarded by some as a natural public speaker, I was a shy and introverted student who spoke too quickly and too nervously. I tried to say too many things crammed into a short talk.
I realized how important it was to be a skilled speaker to achieve my career goals. The best advice I ever got was tell a story instead of just presenting data. When I lecture or give a scientific talk now, I look to inspire and not just to inform. While I am still naturally shy I worked to invent a professional persona while still maintaining who I am to best get my story out. Becoming excellent researchers is valuable to you as a graduate student and we give you the skills to do this. I’m also glad that we now provide opportunities for each of you to develop the soft skills that you need to tell your story, network and connect and work with others to achieve success. I hope that you will take advantage of these opportunities.
Dan Jay, Dean