Networking!

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I think we did not really talk about this during the course. But I consider important to mention. I will talk about it in a broad sense.

What is it?

The dictionary definition is this:

WordReference Random House Learner’s Dictionary of American English © 2016

net•work•ing /ˈnɛtˌwɝkɪŋ/  n. [uncountable]

  1. the informal sharing of information and services among individuals or groups that have a common interest.
  1. the design, establishment, or use of a computer network

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016

net•work•ing  (netwûr′king),
n.

  1. a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest:Working mothers in the community use networking to help themselves manage successfully.
  1. the design, establishment, or utilization of a computer network.

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But how you do it?

Well, we all had the opportunity during our IGERT-NEO course. The course was the best environment to stablish relationships with renowned researchers. I think that at least one of the professors of the course is working on something we want to work or at least related. Then the only thing you can do is present yourself, what you do, and your interests. Then you can the researcher interest.

I usually look for people not only researchers, which can contribute to my project in ways like:

  • Support (of any kind)
  • Different ideas (I know that I cannot know everything)
  • An impact on my research project (Feedback, scope, reach)
  • Challenging situations (go beyond what you think I can do)

Doing this can be intimidating, I am always afraid at the beginning. But then I think, I am the one interested and none will come and knock on my door.

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Why is important?

Well at some point you will finish your grad studies and will want to apply for a position. You need to know people for many purposes:

  1. Recommendation letters
  2. If you are looking for a postdoc
  3. For a position
  4. If you want to contact another researcher
  5. And many other things

This does not mean that you will get what you want, but can make a difference.

This does not mean that you will get what you want, but can make a difference.

Don’t forget to work on your social networks (not facebook). Also consider other students and postdoctoral fellows as important for the development of your project.

Good luck!

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