School, Work and Beyond (3/10/2011)

[ See my 29 slide 3/10/2011 presentation: PPT version and PDF version ]

I was invited by Professors Katherine Faber and Prem Kumar to join them and ~35 undergraduate Murphy Scholars for dinner on March 10th, 2011, at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.

The faculty of McCormick select about a dozen incoming freshmen each year for this honor, attempting to identify students who they believe may pursue graduate studies and eventually become researchers and faculty members.

To prepare for my ~40 minute talk, I asked to chat with a handful of these Murphy Scholars. Each of them was thinking about their professional future, and wanted to hear from me about the choices I faced and the decisions I made. So that is what I covered in some depth in my talk.

Outline of my talk:

  • Family context
  • Undergraduate experience
  • Summer jobs
  • Full-time jobs
  • “Retirement”
  • Advice
  • A few books
  • Q&A

While more than 8 years have passed since this dinner, I’m still quite happy with the advice I gave to these undergraduate students. 🙂

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