Building a network

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pmeysman
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Building a network

Post by pmeysman » Thu Sep 03, 2015 7:32 am

Interesting article on Naturejobs about creating a professional network of contacts:
http://www.nature.com/naturejobs/scienc ... j7566-507a
It deals a lot with how social networking sites have changed the way we build and use our network.

However in my experience, another great way to expand your network drastically is to join the Student Council. Professional societies are important for network building, and the Student Council is no different. In fact for young scientists, it's ideal to gain experience in networking among their peers and build up relationships that maybe be useful years down the road.

This is also addressed in a recent editorial that the Student Council published in PLoS CB:
http://journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/a ... bi.1003708

A lot of the statements that were made in this article, concerning the 'second shell' of your network, are also true for people that you meet through the SC. Many of the people you meet, know others who may be of use for your career. Personally I have never had a negative experience reaching out the a fellow SC volunteer to help me get in touch with a third party. In fact, they have always been kind and more than willing to help set up a meeting or share contact details.
Pieter Meysman
Former SC Chair (2015-2016)
Postdoc @ University of Antwerp, Belgium




danfdeblasio
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Re: Building a network

Post by danfdeblasio » Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:05 am

I agree, Student Council has been very good at expanding "first shell" connections especially ones that I would not have otherwise made. There are a few people who I see every year at ISMB who I only know because of student council. Our areas of research do not overlap but we interact both at ISMB and on social media. It has also turned out that it has come in handy as I have progressed in my career as I know have some people in my "network" that are close to new connections and this has helped spur new conversations.

I am not sure I agree with the author of the first article that you should send out periodic emails to people you haven't spoken to in a while, that seems odd to me but maybe not. Other than like twitter/facebook/linkedin what does everyone use to keep in touch with their contacts?
Dan DeBlasio
ISCB-SC Representative to the ISCB Board of Directors.
ISCB-SC Web Committee, Member
Computational Biology Department
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA, USA


Topic author

pmeysman
Former SC Leader
Former SC Leader
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:39 pm
Current Country/Location: Belgium
Has thanked: 14 times
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Re: Building a network

Post by pmeysman » Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:39 pm

I agree, the periodic emails is not something I would do myself either.

It reminds a lot of management seminars that I've attended in the past, where they discussed how useful it is to send christmas cards (the physical ones) to your entire network with a quick recap of what happened in the past year (by hand to each one). Never did that.

However it can be quite useful to make every effort to keep in touch. For example, when you visiting the town where they are in. Or if you encountered some research that might interest them. Just to keep the lines of communication open for when you might actually need them.
Pieter Meysman
Former SC Chair (2015-2016)
Postdoc @ University of Antwerp, Belgium

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