Jim Bettman, Punam Killer, Greeta Menon, Barbara Kahn, and many of the other speakers and round table leaders all touched on one common theme: “one should do work on what you are passionate about.”
This doesn’t mean ignoring the necessary unfun pieces one has to do to have a successful career, but it means making passion the center of one’s career. The faculty also made the point that success comes first and foremost from passion.
Jim Bettman kicked off the day of advice by putting passion as the first principle of his research plan (passion-ownership-impact). Overall, the faculty converged on the idea that passion helps motivate good work and supports a good life.
This advice stands in stark contrast to the advice graduate students often hear about being strategic. One roundtable panelist noted that “One can be over strategic” and another suggested that doing a paper just for an easy “A” publication is bad idea. Other speakers noted that one should follow their passion even if that passion leads them out of academia and into industry.
Jim Bettman summarized that that passion is a way to inspire, drive, and sustain programmatic research.
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