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3. Sowing the seeds – recommending somone else January 6, 2010

Posted by Lisa in All, Networking.
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Today I wrote a recommendation for a student who took a class I taught a few years ago.   He’s applying to a PhD program in Computer Architecture and Embedded Systems and wants to use me as a reference.  Turns out he got interested in Embedded Systems after taking my graduate class at New Jersey Institute of Technology, and he decided to focus his research in this area.

Cool.  🙂

I spent a couple years at NJIT teaching and doing research.  I’d been approached to redesign their senior biomedical engineering design program based on my industry experience.  I was shocked the department director just handed over the reins to me and told me to do whatever I thought was best!

I had an awesome time redesigning the program.  And while I was there, I also developed and taught an embedded systems class that turned my student on to the topic.  Again, cool.

So what does this have to do with a job search?  Connections.  Networking.  He reached out to me because he learned from me, and he respected and trusted my opinion enough to request a blinded recommendation.  While this may not help me now, it certainly sows the seeds for the future.  He may ask me to serve as an industry adviser on his thesis – more connections.  He may receive funding and ask me to consult.  He may eventually get a job and help me out as I have him.

Connections don’t usually have a quick “payoff” period.  But sometimes making the effort does …

… because it makes me feel pretty darn good today that a student of mine selected his PhD program based on his experience in my class.

Ya just can’t beat that.

Compass Point –  Connections. You never know when connections may help you, so always sow the garden.

3 down, 357 to go.

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