Earbuds & Success


From the looks of it,  this blog should be about earbuds.  It is, kind of.  I want to offer a few basic rules to make sure your earbuds don’t get in the way of your success in your new job or internship.

First, let’s consider a scenario:

It’s your first day on the job and the phone rings. You answer and an upset client is on the other end. You freeze, and get a bit freaked out, because it’s an important client and you don’t want to mess up, on your first day.

What do you do?

This is a scenario that many of you may experience on your first day.  It is one of many situations where you’re not quite sure what to do because you’re new.  So, what do you do? Listen, ask, and observe.  Sounds quite obvious, right?

You’re right.  These three simple words/rules – listen, ask, observe – can teach you so much.  Yet, if you have a moment where you tune out, maybe put in your earbuds and turn on some music to help pass the time or focus on a project, you could miss out.

I recently spoke with a new colleague here at Penn, and she reminded me of just how much you can learn from eavesdropping – the good kind. How do you handle an upset client on the phone? Listen to how another colleague handles an upset client.  What is going on in the office?  Look around and observe. How do you get invited to an important meeting, or even know if one is taking place? Again, listen and see.

These are three little things that can make a BIG difference in your first few weeks on the job. You may just get invited to an important meeting or lunch.  You can learn how to handle difficult situations. It’s important to make a good first impression. So, remember – listen, ask, and observe. Avoid putting in those earbuds to pass the time, because opportunity could pass you by.

Day in the Life: Research at Tulane University’s Anthropology Department

We’re excited to welcome Dr. Melinda G. Nelson-Hurst, Ph.D to @PennCareerDay on Tuesday, March 12th.  Throughout the week of March 11th, we’re going to focus on careers in education from K-12 to policymaking to research, as a follow up to our Education and Social Services Career Day on February 27th.  To learn more about Dr. Nelson-Hurst’s bio read below, and be sure to follow her on the 12th!

@PennCareerDay_TulaneResearchDr. Melinda G. Nelson-Hurst is a research associate in the Department of Anthropology and an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Classical Studies at Tulane University.  She completed her Ph.D. in Egyptology (Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Graduate Group) at the University of Pennsylvania, where her doctoral work and publications focused on the social history of the Middle Kingdom period of Ancient Egypt.  This work particularly centered on the part that family played in shaping the administration of the period, as well as on the social and religious roles that different family members fulfilled.

Since 2012, she has been conducting a research project on the “Tulane Mummies” collection at Tulane University (a small collection that includes multiple Egyptian artifacts, as well as two mummies).  This most recent project has brought her Egyptological background together with new research into the modern history of the Egyptian artifacts now at Tulane – and into the history of the discipline of Egyptology itself – in order to answer questions about this enigmatic collection.

As both a research associate and an adjunct assistant professor, Dr. Nelson-Hurst’s time at Tulane University is typically divided between teaching and research on a variety of topics.  However, during the current semester she is focusing entirely on research, most especially that on Tulane’s Egyptian collection.

Day in the Life: Postdoctoral Scholar in Penn Medicine’s Department of Pharmacology

Learn about life after a PhD program as a Postdoc thanks Dr. Lorena G. Benedetti, who tweeted for @PennCareerDay. To learn more about Dr. Benedetti, read her bio below and read her story from February 27th, 2013 on our Storify page.

lorenabenedettiDr. Lorena G. Benedetti is a second year postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Pharmacology of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Benedetti investigates mechanisms of malignant transformation in normal breast cells due to the overexpression of proteins of the Protein Kinase C family.

She earned her doctorate in Biology as well as her undergraduate degree at the University of Buenos Aires. During her PhD at the Fundacion Instituto Leloir she studied the role of an extracellular matrix protein in breast cancer metastasis. She always knew she wanted to study Biology and make small contributions to the knowledge of cancer biology.

Before coming to Penn, she also worked as Laboratory Supervisor at the Universidad Argentina de la Empresa where she helped Biotechnology and Bioinformatic’s students to give their first steps in Science and the research field.

In addition to her laboratory studies, Dr. Benedetti is also a co-chair of the Career Enhancement and training Committee at the Biomedical Postdoctoral Council at UPENN.  As co-chair she is involved in activities to enhance postdoctoral professional development.

In the future she would like to be involved in a more translational research where she could apply all her knowledge to the improvement of human health. She is an active person, always trying to learn new things and willing to share her experiences with others.

Day in the Life: Sports and Technology Startup, GameChanger

On Thursday, Februar 21st we held our first, full-fledged Startup Fair.  Throughout that week, we focused on careers in the startup industry and entrepreneurial paths.   To help kick things off, we welcomed Ursula Lopez-Palm to @PennCareerDay on Tuesday, February 19th.  She tweeted about her day with a Sports and Technology startup in the New York area, GameChanger. To learn more about Ursula, read her bio below and view her tweets from @PennCareerDay on our Storify page!

UrsulaLopezPalmAthletes and geeks unite at this Penn alum’s work place. Ursula Lopez-Palm works in Operations at a Sports and Technology start up called GameChanger. Located in New York, GameChanger’s mobile app and website make scorekeeping, pro-quality stats, live play-by-play, and instant recap stories available to amateur baseball, softball, and basketball teams. Last year, over 150,000 teams used their software to score 1.1 million games.

Ursula graduated from the college where she received a BS in International Relations. Early on she pursued career paths more related to the International Relations track, including a summer in Cape Coast, Ghana with Penn’s International Business Volunteers (PIBV) group as a managerial consultant for a prominent NGO in the area. Eventually, however, her love of sports took over.

Ursula played soccer at the Varsity level for all four years at Penn where she was Honorable Mention All-Ivy, Ivy League Player of the Week, and Ivy League Champion in 2010. Also an intern at PennTV, Ursula was a guest commentator for Penn Baseball games, the Penn Relays (where she was lucky enough to interview Bill Cosby), and a video feed editor. GameChanger’s smart employees, team-like atmosphere and sports-heavy content proved to be the perfect match for this soccer player.

Day in the Life: Analyst with MentorTech

We’re gearing up for our Startup Fair on Thursday, February 21st. Over this semester we hosted numerous events on this path, to continue our exploration of startup careers, we’re excited to welcome Marshall Yang to @PennCareerDay.  On Tuesday, February 12th, Yang will share insights and advice about his career with the investment side of the startup industry. To learn more about Yang, read his bio below, and remember to follow him on the 12th!

marshallyangphotoMarshall Yang joined MentorTech in 2012 as an analyst, investing in startups with Penn connections. He was previously an analyst for Robin Hood Ventures, one of the largest early-stage investors in the Philadelphia region. Marshall helped the firm invest in software and internet companies, and built relationships with entrepreneurs and investors by sponsoring and co-hosting Philly Tech Meetup. Marshall is also a business development consultant for a Global 500 company, advising the corporation’s fintech and mobile innovations.

Prior to Robin Hood Ventures, Marshall interned at LB investments in Shanghai, the VC arm of LG Group, where he invested in e-commerce, mobile, and internet companies. He was also a consultant for NewSpring Capital, where he developed investment theses under the Affordable Care Act. Prior to his business career, Marshall interned at Merck as an automation engineer, where he developed in-house software-as-a-service streamlining the drug discovery process. Later he and his colleagues at Merck founded Lab Informant, a software company in the biotech space. Lab Informant was selected as a DreamIt Ventures Finalist.

Marshall has an M.S.E. in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania, where he did research and published in the field of computational simulation. He was also a winger in the Wharton Wildmen Hockey League, and won the 2011-12 Championship with his team, Mother Puckers. He blogs at www.marshallyang.com.