Wednesday, March 9, 2011

2011 IEEE-USA Annual Meeting Videos Are Now LIVE!

If you missed the 2011 IEEE-USA Annual Meeting or want to re-watch something you saw again -- all the keynotes, luncheon speakers and candidates forums are available for viewing now online!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Closing Remarks

Speaker: Ron Jensen, President, IEEE-USA

Ron thanked the organizers, staff and attendees. He looked forward to seeing everyone next year in Cincinnati, Ohio and wished everyone safe travels home.

We'll see everyone next year. Let us know if you want to be a blogger.

Lessons in Life and Leadership

…As Inspired by True Stories of Space Exploration

James W. Kennedy, Former Director, John F. Kennedy Space Center

Jim told us story after story about things he learned during his time at NASA. These stories ultimately inspired his creation of some of the 52 tips that he lives by. In the time he was given, he touch on the following 16:

Tip #3: Act With Integrity (story about Bob Cabana, former director of the Kennedy Space Center)
Tip #5: Go the Extra Mile (story about Suni Williams, Astronaut & former deputy director of KSC)
Tip #7: Don't Be Afraid of Failure
Tip #10: Be Proud of Who You Are (story about Sgt. Marek)
Tip #12: Pause to Celebrate Your Accomplishments (story about Roy D. Bridges)

Tip #13: Change is NOT a Bad Thing (story about accepting diversity in the control center)
Tip #15: Keep a Sense of Humor (story about Pete Conrad)
Tip #16: Things Are Not Always What They Appear (story about the Pillars of Creation)
Tip #19: Ships In Harbor Are Safe, But That's Not What Ships Are For (story about Apollo I)
Tip #30: Teamwork Makes the Team Work (must have trust and all voices need to be heard)
Tip #32: LOL...Even At Yourself (story about Brewster Shaw)
Tip #33: Take Time to Mentor...It's Not a Trivial Pursuit (story about Bob Crippen)
Tip #36: It's a Grand Old Flag...Honor It (story about John Young)
Tip #39: Make Beautiful Music...In Your Own Special Way (story about Mannheim Steamroller)

All of it was very touching make you really want to be a better person and leader.

Government Fellowships & Washington Internships for Students of Engineering (WISE)

Marc Apter, a Committee Member for the IEEE-USA Government Fellowships program, introduced the audience to the available fellowships on “The Hill” (Congress) and at the U.S. Department of State. Highlighted in his presentation, the key objectives of the program, which has had over 90 fellows since 1973, are:

  • Give IEEE Members first-hand experience with the legislative and foreign policymaking processes
  • Improve their understanding of how public policy impacts the science and technical professions
  • Provide much needed technical advice and information to Congress and State Department
  • Most importantly, to encourage interest and participation in public policymaking among the IEEE-USA membership

The main qualifications for the program are: IEEE membership, U.S. Citizenship, and a degree in an IEEE designated filed with professional experience varying by the degree level. PhD and Post-Docs applicants do not require professional work experience. For a State Department fellowship, candidates must additionally possess or be able to obtain a security clearance prior to the beginning of the fellowship. Along with a stipend and relocation allowance, Marc Apter encouraged everyone to get the word out among IEEE members about this great opportunity to impact science and technology policy. Applications are available at the IEEE-USA Government Fellowships website.

The current Chair for the Government Fellowships Committee, Sherry Gillespie, shared her experience as 2008 Congressional Fellow in the Office of Sen. Joe Lieberman. She emphasized that Fellows will learn about politics, policy, and procedure. Sherry also shared some advice about the placement process for Fellows. As Fellows search for a Congressional Office, a key issue is to remember that while they are interviewing you, you are also interviewing them. Fellows should determine if they will enjoy working in that Office and to what science and technology issues they could contribute. Fellows can have a real impact on science and technology policy as Sherry’s work became a part of the National Defense Authorization Act 2009 (Sec. 254 Trusted Defense Systems).

Next, Nastassja Lewinski, a PhD candidate at Rice University, spoke about her experience in the Washington Internships for Students of Engineering (WISE) program. As an intern, she enjoyed meeting with several governmental agencies and worked on nanotechnology policy analyzing the toxic scale determinations that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) makes for nanomaterials. The WISE program inspired her to be involved more in government and policy. Her paper was published in the WISE Journal of Engineering & Public Policy.

Finally, I spoke about my experience in the WISE program where I studied patent reform from the small business perspective. I gave an overview of my paper as I talked about United States Patent and Trademark Office’s fees, the issues of patent examiners turnover rate, and damages for infringement cases. One of the highlights of my experience with WISE was meeting judicial clerks at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit that hears all patent related cases . After finishing my graduate work at Stanford University, I plan on attending law school as I aspire to a similar career path where I can affect patent law in a direct way.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Resume Writing

Tarek Lahdhiri gave a riveting presentation about resumes -- he even shared his own resume with the audience as an example!

Tarek keeps a “catalog” of his work experiences (many pages long) and pulls from all of his past work experiences and projects he has worked on to create the best, most appropriate, resume each time he needs one. He suggests updating this “catalog” every six months so that you don’t have time to forget what you’ve done.

He described the two major types of resumes -- chronological and functional.

Chronological resume:
  • Objective 
  • Qualifications 
  • Work experience (main part) 
    • Different jobs at the same company count as separate items 
    • List each item in reverse chronological order 
  • Education 
Functional resume (useful when changing career):
  • Objective 
  • Qualifications (main part) 
  • Work Experience 
  • Education 
He said cover letters should be no more than one page in length and the first paragraph should tell why you are the best candidate.

Job references can be collected on the job or collected from your network. But if you’re going to include them, always notify your reference before you use them.