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As a fourth year doctoral candidate, in addition to having completed comprehensive examinations and prospectus and working on the dissertation, my thoughts are also turning towards the job market and securing that first academic position. This purpose of this blog is to chronicle the trials and tribulations of completing my Ph.D. and finding that first job.

Friday, October 13, 2006

When You Wear Many Hats

For those of you who have known me within AECT over the past two and a half years know that I like moving, and moving quickly, on things that I perceive to be good ideas. This was evidenced when it was suggested that the graduate students have a forum to communicate more often and I managed the graduate student blog, The Program, for most of 2005. It was also evidence when I chaired a committee to bid and then organize the Graduate Student Lounge at the 2005 conference. It was also evidenced when tw0 days ago someone whom I respected a great deal within AECT suggested to me that I should pursue the ideas that I expressed in "So, I'm Finally at AECT".

The problem, or challenge is probably a better way of putting it, is when you wear a number of different hats and especially when you wear a number of different hats within the same organization or group of people. You see this year, I'm not just the guy who has been doing graduate student stuff or the guy who has been vocal about graduate student issues and AECT governance, I'm also an AECT intern and a part of a group of five individuals that will be forever linked or associated as a group.

The challenge associated with that is being able to express yourself while wearing each of those hats individually and not having it be seen as coming from a different hat.

I'll be honest and say that two days ago I was given what I thought were two very good, and somewhat related ideas. I decided to start to pursue one as "the guy who has been doing graduate student stuff or the guy who has been vocal about graduate student issues and AECT governance" and one with my fellow interns. The one that you've probably read about in "So, I'm Finally at AECT" was the that I was pursuing as "the guy who has been doing graduate student stuff or the guy who has been vocal about graduate student issues and AECT governance" - although some sober second thought from another individual that I respect a great deal within AECT suggested that there may be a better and more comprehensive approach to dealing with the issue.

As for the second idea that we have discussed as interns, and one of the greatest advantages of working on a group is that you get the benefit of many minds, while I proposed or relayed the original second idea - with the input of the other interns we have taken what was a good idea and made it that much better and I can't wait until later in the week when, as a group, we can have the opportunity to articulate it to those at AECT and the larger community.

But this whole episode has given me a chance to reflect upon this notion of having to wear many hats and how to express one's self in a way that doesn't stiffle them, but also doesn't leave the impression that you are expressing beliefs or ideas of those who may be associated with a different hat. My original intention when I created this blog (as I have three or four, each with individual purposes) was as a way to "chronicle the trials and tribulations of completing my Ph.D. and finding that first job". Part of that process is learning how to manage the roles that I will play as a faculty member, where I will again be called upon to wear many hats. And being able to clearly convey the distinctness of one hat, both in the written word and in verbal expression (regardless of how clear that division is in your own mind, ensuring that the division is also evident to everyone else), is one of those management issues that will come into play during my final year of doctoral studies and my beginning years as a faculty member.

Tags: AECT 2006, AECT, , , blog, blogging, blogs, graduate student, graduate students, graduate school, higher education, education

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