On the occasion of National Mentoring Month, esteemed physicist Dr. Bennett Goldberg, of Northwestern University, met with postdoctoral researchers at Argonne National Laboratory to give advice on aligning professional development and skills for career success. Dr. Goldberg held small group discussions and a keynote speech, which provided valuable insights and guidance for attending postdocs, both in-person and online.
Dr. Goldberg emphasized that while research training is crucial for a postdoctoral researcher’s career, it is equally important to develop skills that extend beyond academia. He talked about his own “non-linear” professional experience, highlighting the significance of aligning personal aspirations with external motivations and pressures. The postdocs learned useful tips on how to pinpoint their areas of interest, develop key writing skills for their proposals, embrace setbacks as steps to success, and highlight their abilities to advance their careers.
Before the keynote, the PSA and the Postdoc Office organized a series of small group discussions between postdocs and Dr. Goldberg. These focused sessions provided a platform for attendees to ask questions and discuss their research, career interests, and professional development. The discussions proved to be highly engaging for the researchers, with Dr. Goldberg offering valuable suggestions on how postdocs can enhance their mentoring experiences.
The event was well-received by postdocs, who appreciated the messages of thinking about career planning and mentorship more strategically and utilizing a holistic approach to skill development. Dr. Goldberg closed by highlighting the function of inclusive pedagogy in STEM disciplines. Useful material can be found on this free edX course. The keynote finished with a PSA social with refreshments, conversation, and fun.