The wildly successful Career Management Seminar series got its start in 2009 as Resources for Career Management for Chemists in a Challenging Market, but we like just plain CMS. From the start, this series has been strategized, organized, and implemented by members of the St Louis Section Younger Chemists Committee. From the start, it has been for chemists of all stripes, from the youngest students to late-career skill-honers, career-changers, and promotion-seekers.
In 2012, the series was its most active ever, presenting the Xth through XVth events. Here’s a brief taste of some of the most recent events.
XIII: The Interview — October 9, 2012
The first CMS of the Fall 2012 kicked off with a focus on how to successfully secure an interview, how to prepare for the interview, and what to expect during the interview.
David Feldman from Monsanto spoke extensively on how he as a recruiter evaluate candidates. His vantage point comes from how the Monsanto hiring process proceeds, but the information was broadly relevant across industrial interviews.
Arlene Taich offered additional advice on interviewing, with a focus on securing the interview through networking. She distributed handouts on power networking, standing out in the interview, and “Interviewing 101”.
Discussion during the Q&A focused on how to sell your experiences, networking tips, and how to ensure your résumé gets to the right person.
XIV: Practicing the Interview — November 15, 2012
Building on the previous seminar, we hosted a Behavioral Based Interviewing Workshop facilitated by Lisa Balbes, an ACS Career Consultant with abundant information on this topic.
The group was highly interactive, and we began the event with everyone giving their “60-second elevator speech” to practice selling themselves. It was a good way for us to get to know each other. Lisa gave a brief introduction to Behavioral Based Interviewing including information on why employers use it, how they evaluate the information they receive, and best practices.
XV: Business Communication — December 4, 2012
A focus on Business Etiquette and Communication rounded out the Fall events. This is a topic that is not often covered in coursework or even in workplace training, so we believed it would be a good topic for students and young professionals.
Elizabeth Petre from Olin Business School at Washington University in St Louis provided an overview on what is considered “conscious communication” according to Goodall, Goodall, & Schiefelbein, 2010. These include:
- “Is mindful”
- “Displays awareness of communication as a process”
- “Respects diversity”
- “Requires balancing strategy, ethics, and outcomes ”
Dr Petre asked the group to think of times when they were involved in a positive communication process and a negative or failed communication process; these served as material for a group discussion. Dr Petre recommended not trying form hard-and-fast rules on appropriate communication but instead to follow the basic principles and adapt to the situation.
Dennis Harney, a partner at SNR-Denton law firm, the second speaker, built upon some of the topics that Dr Petre introduced and gave real-world examples of situations where it is important to consider your audience and how you present yourself. While Dr Harney acknowledged that he was speaking to his own “style” and according to his own industry, many of the lessons he shared are broadly relevant.
A Q&A session followed, with extended networking following the event.