By some unlikely alignment of the stars, a generous act of god and/or an erroneous “acceptance” email sent to me by a member of the selection committee, I will be attending a Prospective Faculty Workshop at Purdue University over the next few days. 😀
The rather short back-story (you’re welcome) is that the university will apparently be hiring to fill 107 new tenure track engineering faculty positions over the next 5 years. With this in mind they are holding a 2-day long
fishing expedition worshop for 30 “senior graduate students and post-docs” that have the intention of applying for faculty positions over this time frame. Enter an optimistic/delusional Dr. Trot.
God knows how many people applied, but somehow (see above) your’s truly was selected to attend!! 😀
The workshop is two days long, starting with a welcome dinner tonight. The schedule is largely divided into 1-hr segments dedicated to different relevant topic: What is expected of new faculty members? Proposal writing: the art of persuading a sponsor to invest in you! Engineering across cultures. Preparing a personal development plan. Mentoring graduate students. Effective techniques and tips for creating successful learning experiences in the classroom or lab. There will also be a poster session during which all of us present our research, tours of various departments and meetings with a number of current faculty members.
Fortunately I managed to find a direct flight to ORD from (unfortunately) EWR. Please say a prayer. (After a series of irritating logistics email exchanges) I have decided that it then makes the most sense for me to rent a car for the 2.5 hr drive to West Lafayette. I am passing up a 4 hr (each way) shuttle ride (at very inconvenient times) – as difficult as this may be, I’m working hard to get over it.
So this is where things stood 24 hrs ago. A 2.5 day workshop that is super relevant to what I want to do in ~3 years and a direct flight to get there. Good. Great. Grand. Happy Dr. Trot.
And then I received this…
“The Head of the School of Chemical Engineering is requesting that each ChE participant prepare a short 10 minute presentation on their current and future research. This presentation will be in front of Chemical Engineering faculty and a computer will be provided. There are no other guidelines.”
In addition to this, a schedule was attached to the email stating that I will have “meetings” (read: interrogations) with three department faculty, including the department head! In the blink of an eye my useful and interesting, yet totally benign, next few days have mutated into a most intimidating prospective faculty interview two years too early! And happy Dr. Trot has transformed into a terrified and anxious yet excited, 3-um-of-stomach-lining (max) away-from-an-ulcer Dr. Trot.
Wish me luck in preparing the 10 min talk of my life!