Curiousity Comes Naturally but Three Other C-Words Must be Learned--the Earlier the Better

Wednesday, August 20, 2014: 9:00 AM
204B (Centre des congrès de Québec // Québec City Convention Centre)
Steven G. Pueppke , Office of the Vice-President for Research and Graduate Studies, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Curiosity motivates most scientists, and it usually comes naturally to emerging professionals.  They should not allow it to wither away as they mature in their careers.  But they should pay attention to three other C-words as well, each of which has to be learned.  No matter what you do as a scientist, your work always fits within a broader framework.  The more you take the big picture into account, the greater your effectiveness.  This is contextualization, the first of the learned C-words.  The second is collaboration.  You always expand your perspective as a professional if you work with others who see the world differently from you.  Partnerships enhance your impact and make your job more fun.  Sometimes they change the trajectory of your career.  Communication is the third learned C-word.  Good work is necessary, but it is not sufficient—your story must be told.  You have to be able to inform others of what you do, inspiring them in the process.  To the extent that young professionals place their work into a broader context, draw meaningfully upon the skills and insights of others, and tell their stories, they can look forward to satisfying, enjoyable careers.