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The Inaugural Blog Post: The PostdocWay Roadmap

The Inaugural Blog Post: The PostdocWay Roadmap

Our Inaugural Blog Post: The PostdocWay Roadmap

For my first blog post, I wanted to give you a deeper sense of who we are, why we jumped into this space, and a first-hand tour of our website. As your virtual tour guide, I want to inform you of what we have to offer and where we are heading. First and foremost, we are a community of ethical scholars dedicated to facilitating original, open discussions about academic science. This includes conversations about the current challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. We acknowledge this is a tough environment from almost every angle. However, we aim to keep the outlook positive and optimistic by interacting with proactive and well-balanced individuals. There are a multitude of routes one can explore to properly dose themselves with negativity and a sense of frustration, in a conscious effort to validate the wallowing pit of despair. This is not our vision. This is not where we are going.

I developed this site out of inspiration. Therefore, I was motivated to introduce the community to those that challenge and inspire me. I immediately sought out these individuals to participate in this project. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to our networking community! Ryan the Graduate Student, Drs. Phil Clifford, Schaun Korff, Lee Bishop, and Patrick L. Sheets are a cut above the average Ph.D. holder. These are leaders that have significantly impacted the scientific community. This is why I featured them in my first installment of the Spotlight Conversations. I do not conduct interviews; I have dynamic conversations with people, in person and over the phone, using my own recording equipment/setup stationed in the basement of my home. It starts with a list of potential questions, but just as in life, no conversation is ever the same. The twists and turns are the most fascinating part. Everyone has a story – I want to provide them with the best platform to share their story with a personal touch and a real voice. I put these Spotlight Conversations right on the front page below our overall mission because at the core, that is what we are about and what sets us apart from your other choices. I will be spending some time in the community seeking companies that inspire me as well. I believe an increased recognition will help facilitate future discussions and increases awareness of the many opportunities surrounding PhDs.

No matter if you live in an analog or digital world, you can never have too many resources at your fingertips. I make a concerted effort to seek out these resources and integrate them into our website for the communal benefit of our visitors. PhDs should be completely stocked with this ammunition and packing multi-functional weapons as they progress through the twists and turns their career. Communicating and visualizing science, networking, mentorship, and giving back carry the value of gold. These are your weapons of mass success.

Our first interactive button features Our Team. This is a team effort consisting of highly skilled postdoctoral scholars and an incredibly talented web developer, all interested in making a positive impact in this community and field. The other half of our team is you – our guests and contributors. It is because of you, my many muses, we exist.

Our next button describes who we are and what we are About. In an effort to grow together, I see this definition evolving to meet the changing needs of our community. We aim to develop a dynamic network of individuals and contributors. I am confident we have the right people in place to succeed.

We then move to Advice. This includes two subsections, one for our Spotlight Conversation Podcasts and another for our 'Dear Postdoc' Question and Answer forum. Since a majority of media, including podcast media players, is dependent on Adobe Flash I have supplemented the Podcast area with Podsnack's universal mp3 player. These conversations are downloadable and free to stream through the PodOMatic website. Take them with you on your way to work and share them with your peers and colleagues. The Question and Answer forum was designed to provide an n>3 set of (blinded) answers to questions common to postdoctoral scholars. This forum is constantly evolving and will include many more blinded questions directed not only to our postdoctoral field contributors, but also leaders from the public and private sectors in science. The first experiment was a wild success. Our team answered the first question with their own voice and in their own style, but came to similar conclusions. We aim to include future contributions that really force you to assess your skills, qualifications, and what it is you want. Direct responses from academic and industry leaders will offer unique insight to our visitors.

We then move into our Resources button. This area houses our Spotlight features, both for conversations and companies, an Article Rolodex featuring ‘must read’ articles pertaining to career development, and an Exploration Portal to take your mind off of your work and transport you somewhere else, if only for a few minutes. I will try to keep the Explore Music player updated with a diverse set of tracks. As a musician and devout appreciator of all things musical, I find music a fantastic escape and cannot inject it enough into every facet of my life. The Explore Community is a social experiment I am developing. This is an original idea that has been in the works for over a year and I am currently gathering the best resources and field data to make this project happen. The simple fact that this project was posted online along with my website leaves the door open for ‘scooping’, but I am confident I understand the utility and need for this resource to be developed in only the way I can envision. As such, I refuse to put out an inferior product and will spend the proper time to adequately develop the project. To this end, I am working with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Entrepreneurial Network to move this forward to benefit the our local STEM community, and possibly a larger community.

We close with our Contact button. This is your direct line that offers an opportunity to contact me with any ideas, comments, and concerns. This is a community effort, so your thoughts are appreciated and valued because you help keep us from going extinct.

Thank you for stopping by and spending time with us. Best wishes!

Dr. Brian Postdoc | contributed May 2013. (image citation here)


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