Becoming a Pro at Self-Promotion

“Look at the tower I built!”  “Wanna hear me count to 50?”  “Watch me ride my bike!”

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If you’ve spent time around kids, you know that they are often uninhibited in sharing about their recent accomplishments and abilities. Maybe you’ve babysat or have nieces, nephews or kids of your own, but you know about the persistent and passionate pleas of a child to pay attention to them!

But somewhere along the way, many of us were told, overtly or subliminally, that bragging and being ostentatious is not ladylike. This culture that encourages female modesty fosters a workplace where women are less likely to talk about their achievements than men.

Advocating for oneself in the academy and industry is key for demonstrating leadership skills and therefore achieving upward advancement, but for many of us, it is also risky. When we go against the norm of humility and brag about our accomplishments, we may be perceived as too strong, pushy, and less likeable, even by other women. For introverts and anxious types it can be especially uncomfortable to bring attention to oneself. It’s not always easy, but tasteful self-promotion is something we should all practice.

Here are some tips to become a pro at self-promotion!

  1. Be proud of your successes! You worked hard for them and the world deserves to celebrate with you.
  2. Reclassify the task. Terms like “bragging” can carry a negative connotation. Consider your self-promotion “networking” or “increasing visibility.” It’s just like any other leadership skill!
  3. Be yourself. Find ways to authentically promote yourself in ways that make sense for your personality and your industry.
  4. If not your own, then promote the work of others. Women are generally more comfortable with advocating for others than for themselves and maybe with some practice you’ll feel empowered to promote yourself. Alternatively, create safe spaces for self-promotion in your lab or community!

Ready to give it a shot? Check out Carolyn’s post about developing a personal website, nominate yourself to be considered for a GradSWE Spotlight or WE Local award and be sure to share with us how you are promoting your amazing accomplishments in the comments or on social media (@SWE_grad)!

 

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Meet our WE18 Sponsors: Praxair

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We are pleased to announce Praxair is sponsoring the Graduate Student Reception (Friday, October 19th at 5:00 pm) and the Rapid Fire research presentation competition at WE18. Through this sponsorship, Praxair and GradSWE members can connect for networking, professional development, and career opportunities. Praxair is interested in students like you!

Praxair is a leading industrial gas company in North and South America and one of the largest worldwide. With market capitalization of approximately $40 billion and 2017 sales of $11 billion, the company employs over 26,000 people globally and has been named to the Dow Jones® World Sustainability Index for 15 consecutive years. Praxair produces, sells and distributes atmospheric, process and specialty gases, and high-performance surface coatings. Our products, services and technologies are making our planet more productive by bringing efficiency and environmental benefits to a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, chemicals, food and beverage, electronics, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, primary metals and many others.

Check out their career areas and/or career opportunities for more information. If you’d like, feel free to explore their social media on LinkedIn and Instagram!

Meet our WE18 Sponsors: Autodesk

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We are pleased to announce Autodesk is sponsoring the Graduate Student Reception at WE18 (Friday, October 19th at 5:00 pm). Through this sponsorship, Autodesk and GradSWE members can connect for networking, professional development, and career opportunities. Autodesk is interested in students like you! They hire interns in many business functions including Engineering, Design, and Business so feel free to come prepared with questions you may have about their program!

Whether you are attending the conference or not, be sure to check out their Careers Page for more information. Learn about their career opportunities for graduating students.

Check out their LinkedIn and even their Instagram!

Meet our We17 Sponsors: Praxair

Meet our We17 Sponsors: Praxair

Praxair_logo

We are pleased to announce Praxair is sponsoring the Rapid Fire research presentation competition at We17. Through this sponsorship, Praxair and GradSWE members can connect for networking, professional development, and career opportunities. Praxair is interested in students like you!

Whether you are attending conference or not, be sure to check out their Careers Page for more information. Learn about their career areas, culture, and leadership development program.

They have both full-time opportunities and internships. Praxair is looking for talented engineers like our GradSWE members!

Polish your resume and practice your elevator pitch, We17 is all about making new connections.

Meet our We17 Sponsors: Autodesk

Meet our We17 Sponsors: Autodesk

Autodesk Logo

We are pleased to announce Autodesk is sponsoring the Graduate Student Reception at We17 (Friday, October 27 at 5:00). Through this sponsorship, Autodesk and GradSWE members can connect for networking, professional development, and career opportunities. Autodesk is interested in students like you!

Whether you are attending conference or not, be sure to check out their Careers Page for more information. Learn about their career opportunities for graduating students.

Check out their LinkedIn and even their Instagram!

Polish your resume and practice your elevator pitch, We17 is all about making new connections.

Creating Your Mentoring Network

A mentoring network is your group of mentors. When you are considering a major career or life decision, having a group of mentors that share their thoughts and advice is critical. Often we start mentoring relationships but do not always keep them active. One mentoring relationship I have kept active for over 10 years is with my master’s advisor. I took her biomaterials class in 2006 and since then have kept in touch through email and phone conversations.

How to Keep the Mentors You Have

If you already have mentors, it is important to keep in contact with them. Most mentors are understanding that you are busy and will email or call when you want to talk. It’s good to email them every 3-6 months with an update on your career and if you are comfortable, your personal life. My emails generally talk about my current job, if I am considering a switch in careers and an update about my daughter who just turned one. Consider the mentors you have now, when was the last time you contacted them?

What Types of Mentors Do You Need

For the mentors you already have, what are their careers? Are you considering a career move soon, going to graduate school or moving somewhere else?

If you find you have a lack of mentors in the career path you are interested in, it’s time to find new mentors. Recently, I am deciding if I want to stay in industry or pursue an assistant professor job. It became clear that those paths require different mentors.

How to Find Mentors

Finding mentors can be difficult. There are programs you can enroll in. I have found success in meeting mentors through classes, research, events, etc.  GradSWE has a mentoring program, if you are interested, find the links below to join. You can reach out to people within your network.  You can network and find new mentors. See the link below to a blog post about how to network.

How Many Mentors Do You Need

The number of mentors each person needs can vary. Currently, I have 25 mentors that cover academia (10), industry (10), retired and other (5).  You can really have mentors that span any industry, age, demographic, etc. I also include in that total, peer mentors that are similar in age but also have great advice. One of my mentors is retired and she was extremely successful in the business sector. Her field is very different from my own, but she gives great advice about work/life balance and working in a male-dominated field. So how many mentors do you really need? You want enough diverse mentors to give you a good sampling of careers and feedback, however not too many that you cannot maintain the relationships.

Attending WE17? – Check out these events

  • SWE Mentoring Session Thursday, October 26th 4:30-5:30 PM (ACC –  Room 7)
  • GradSWE Reception Friday, October 27th 5-6:30 PM (MARR – Brazos)
  • GradSWE Mentoring Meet-up 6:30-?? (Meet at MARR-Brazos)

Links:

Networking Where to Start

https://josahanzlik.wordpress.com/2017/09/06/networking-where-to-start/

GradSWE Mentoring Program

For Mentors:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdWkIurIC5J1ESyBlC2XMRva2atRzZUhv70dErFUY44JdxIEA/viewform?c=0&w=1

For proteges:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScTTaLh7wGVYEXj8yeNgchCzdldEc9wf4o9-mIAcwY6FgOrEg/viewform?c=0&w=1

PostDoc Opportunities through PathwaysToScience

PathwaysToScience.org has 167 different postdoc and early career opportunities posted on the site, including postdoctoral fellowships, grants, travel awards, mentoring opportunities, and more.

Browse the full list of opportunities here:
http://pathwaystoscience.org/programs.aspx?u=Postdocs_Postdoc+%26+Early+Career&submit=y&all=all

Or use our advanced search page to narrow your results:
http://pathwaystoscience.org/programs.aspx?adv=adv