Yesterday, after the interview, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to watch two surgeries performed by the graduate student who interviewed me. The surgery part of research is something that has driven me to really pursue it.  In the surgery, we make several incisions in which we added catheters directly into the rats’ blood stream. I really enjoyed the experience and throughout the surgery I asked questions about everything. I especially found the fine motor skill requirement of the surgery to be right up my alley. The surgery involves adding a catheter into a very small vein which is a fairly challenging task. You can read more about the actual research here on Dr. Leslie’s lab webpage.

At 9:00 AM this morning I checked my inbox and saw a new email from the graduate student I interviewed with yesterday. He congratulated me and welcomed me to the group as his research assistant. I am really excited that this opportunity was given to me.  After going over several logistics about the position, it was decided that the initial training period will require 5-8 hours of my time per week. I have a feeling that I will end up spending more time there than the allocated amount. Ironically, the researcher said the same thing himself. I am glad that my work ethic and dedication easily recognized in the short time I spent with him in the interview and surgery.

The time I ask you to put in each week depends on the experiments we’re conducting. But from what I saw today, I might have a hard time keeping you away.

I am really excited to start working. One of my goals for this research is to eventually gain the trust, knowledge, and skill to be able to perform the surgeries myself. It would definitely be a key milestone experience for me. With this new addition to my schedule I definitely have to reorganize my priorities and better manage my time so that my performance isn’t crippled in ASDA @ UCI or my performance in classes.

This experience has given me the opportunity to refresh my portfolio and gave me the motivation to write a portfolio creation guide  about how to create a universal portfolio ready for any professional occasion. To begin I will be writing my upcoming post on creating the perfect résumé. They require a lot of nurturing in order to perfect. I will be providing advice, templates, and examples to create the perfect résumé.

I am happy to announce a new section of the website titled “Portfolio” in which I will be writing guides on what kinds of documents you should have ready to pull or reference for any professional occasion. It will also include instructions and tips on how to write and perfect some documents like resumes, cover letters, etc.

I started a portfolio of my life my senior year of high school. In this portfolio I have copies of different resumes, cover letters, letters of recommendation, awards, certification, Continuing Education Units (CEUs), etc. The portfolio also has documents that guide me when I need to create new versions of resumes, write letter of recommendation request letters, and any of the other documents mentioned above. Having a resource like this always within my reach is very beneficial in any professional situation. For example, tomorrow, I have an interview for a research position at the UCI Medical School. Rather than writing a new resumes and looking for other documents to bring with me, all I need to do is open my portfolio and pull papers based on the occasion. For this occasion, I will likely bring some awards along with my resume that demonstrate my ability to work in a team. Doing this puts much less stress on  me in anticipation for the interview.

If you like this idea, get ready for a series of guides covering all kinds of documents you should have prepared and any other documents you should add into your comprehensive portfolio. I will be scanning in many examples and templates that I have accumulated over the years. These should help you get ideas as to what to include and how to format things for maximum efficiency.

 

Have a good weekend!

Traditionally, when someone wanted to learn more about a potential new employee or an applicant, they would need a copy of a resume given by the individual in question.  Now, in the age of information based services, it is important for basic information about yourself to be easily accessible online. The information expected is roughly equivalent to what one would see in a resume.

Since 2003, LinkedIn has been providing this sort of service for free. The idea of LinkedIn is to be a business oriented social network that is designed for professional networking. LinkedIn originated in the internet revolution referred to as the Web 2.0 era along with many of the most famous social networking websites that we use today. The idea of Web 2.0 was that the users of websites would create the content and that content could be shared with their friends or the whole world. In 2003-2005, the evolution of the internet from “Web 1.0” to Web 2.0 resulted in the creation of many of the most famous websites used today like FacebookMyspace, Flickr, YelpWordPressYouTube, and Blogger.

A LinkedIn profile is important for anybody who is looking to be professionally recognized. I do not know a single professional that does not have one. From doctors to lawyers, researchers to photographers, EVERYBODY has a LinkedIn account. Some companies even require employees to have accounts. For this reason, I believe it is important for pre-dental students to also have LinkedIn accounts that are properly filled. It is possible that future employers, dental colleagues, or even admissions officers could look at your profile to get quick access to a summary of you.

To get started visit their website at www.linkedin.com. Fill out the basic information on the front page to create your account. Once your account is created, reference your resume and add as much information as you can into the designated fields.  Give this time, treat it as if you are rewriting your resume. Upload a profile picture that represents you as a professional. Remember, everything about your LinkedIn page should scream “Professional” when somebody views it. I would recommend looking through LinkedIn’s new user resources to get more detail on what one should add to their profile.

Like many other Web 2.0 websites, LinkedIn allows us to add “friends” better known as Connections. This appears on your profile and is a great way for individuals looking into you to learn more about the kind of people you are networking with. I would advise to be very picky as to who you add as a connection. Only add people you believe are valuable and reputable connections; after all, who you add is a representation of yourself and your professionalism.

If you want some ideas of the kind of things one should add, check out my profile (Elias Almaz). Also check your privacy settings to make sure your profile is completely public. The main reason we made this is so potential employers and admissions officers will be able to view the content without difficulty. The easier it is for them to find the information they want, the better their impression of you will be.

Hope you enjoyed the quick introduction to LinkedIn, if you haven’t already….go on and make that LinkedIn account now!