Post Academic


The Art of Making Conversation

Posted in Surviving Grad School by Caroline Roberts on March 10, 2010
Tags: , ,

Did you choose grad school because you aren’t a “people person”? Alas, you’re going to have to mingle at some point, or your career will suffer. A grad-student blogger at Lesson: Learned? has this handy suggestion:

Drink.  It will help you talk to people who may or may not be important.  But there is nothing a scientist secretly likes more than a drunk sidekick.  Maybe you’ll land a fabu post-doc.

Or don’t drink. Being a funny sidekick is just as good as being a drunk sidekick. Do whatever you must to make friends with others, and get used to networking. I used to enjoy “networking” as much as I did a sharp stick in the eye, and I’m still not a people-person, but there are nice people out there beyond your stack of books.

These nice people probably want to talk about subjects other than work, and they’ll appreciate that you are reaching out. In fact, some of those people might want to help you if they think you’re a nice person, too. All you have to do is speak up.

Later on, how to handle the not-so-nice types you may meet in your academic career …

“Surviving” grad school [Lesson: Learned?]

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