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Career Mentoring Workshop: a participant’s perspective

julia-stoyanovich-headshotCRA is gearing up for its biennial Career Mentoring Workshop (CMW) on February 22-23, 2016. The CRA CMW is a great opportunity for assistant professors, and individuals just starting as industrial researchers in the computing and information fields to get career advice and participate in mentoring activities. To get a first hand perspective on what to expect, I spoke with Julia Stoyanovich, from Drexel University. Julia has been fortunate enough to attend two workshops. She attended her first workshop in 2012 as part of the Computing Innovation Fellows program, followed by the 2014 workshop as an assistant professor at Drexel University.

A few sessions really stood out as particularly impactful on her career.

“The sessions on work/life balance were very useful. I learned how to improve time management techniques, and it was helpful to know that every one struggles with this.”

The 2014 workshop had a session on mentoring and managing students, which Julia found very engaging.

“We learned how to be a better mentor through a role playing activity with panelists as the students and attendees as the mentors. It was nicely presented and had great content.”

Julia would encourage department chairs to send their junior faculty to this workshop because she can attest that the advice given during the workshop helps participants become successful computing researchers.

“It was a great opportunity to network with peers and learn how to write better grant proposals.”

New to the 2014 workshop, participants had the opportunity to visit NSF and discuss one-pagers on their research with CISE program directors.

“It was extremely meaningful to put a face to the name of people we interact with. In many cases, we [workshop participants] didn’t know how to approach a program manager. Learning how to do this was invaluable. I’m not shy, but was nervous talking to program managers for the first time.”

The 2016 workshop organizers Sarita Adve and Dan Grossman are currently finalizing the agenda. To subscribe to email updates about the upcoming workshop click here and apply for the workshop here.