Skip to main content

Important Professional Tools – More than Knowing How to use SPSS or SAS (see www.SueMentors.blogspot.com)

A young professional just starting out after finishing her MPH asked me a very interesting question. She said she took a lot of research courses during her MPH program. But she felt pretty unprepared in school for the key tools that are needed in the workplace. She was now interning and was applying her research skills in an interesting intern position. But she also realized that the work involved much more than just applying research skills.

 

She asked, “What kinds of tools are important to have?”

 

Here are the things I expect and hope your professionals to have these days – or to be ready to learn as soon as they come to work:

 

  • Budgeting: you should be able to construct a basic budget in Excel, using straightforward formulas (add, subtract, multiply, divide a column of numbers). This will help you get more facile with a key aspect of project planning and implementation – matching resources to activities.

 

  • Charting and Figures: you should be able to use Excel to create graphs so that you can present visual displays of data in reports and presentations.

 

  • PowerPoint: Learn to use this to make an effective presentation. Think of it as an outlining tool where you use each page for a specific thought or idea. Key skills in PowerPoint include knowing how to format text, how to insert figures and objects, how to realign bullets, and how to move slides around. And educate yourself with one of the multitude of resources on the web about how to effectively display text on a PowerPoint slide.

 

  • Presentations: Take any opportunity you can to speak in front of a group – informally or formally. The more you do it, the better you become and the easier it becomes. (Okay, not always – I still get nerves.) Being prepared helps you feel more confident so if you do better by writing the text down, then do that. If you work better from notes, then that’s what works for you. Use what works for you but don’t read anything word for word. That will sound forced and will sound like you’re droning. Think of this as a conversation.

 

  • Outlining in Word: I’m sure you are facile with Word. It is extremely important for you to be able to set up and use automatic outlining in Word. And if you can use that and set up headers so you can make a table of contents – that’s even better!

 

Do you have some favorites that I haven’t mentioned here?

Posted via email from sue griffey's posterous

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Mentor: Anita Gibson, Deputy Director, MCSP (Maternal and Child Survival Program)

Another feature of this blog is bringing you advice and perspectives from people who mentor, by answering 3 questions.
Here are Anita Gibson's responses:
What are mentees looking for? A sense of different paths one can take in international health and strategies to reach both personal and professional goals. 

What 1 piece of advice do you give every mentee you work with? Solid field experience is invaluable. Learning how to work effectively with multiple stakeholders and colleagues with varying world views is not straightforward.  These skills come with experience - particularly field experience. 

Why are you interested in mentoring? Admittedly, I haven't sought out mentoring opportunities; rather, I sort of fell into them, particularly with more junior colleagues with whom I work.  After years of advancing my career while raising a family in the US and overseas, I find that colleagues are quite interested in how to achieve both job satisfaction and work-life balance.  I certainly d…

Mentor: Linda Fogarty, Senior Director, Monitoring, Evaluation and Research, Jhpiego

Another feature of this blog is bringing you advice and perspectives from people who mentor, by answering 3 questions.
Here are Linda Fogarty’s responses.

What are mentees looking for?
They want someone to help them believe in themselves, clarify their strengths and passion and their own professional goals
Helping them understand what their best is and how they can be their best

What 1 piece of advice do you give every mentee you work with?
You need to fight for yourself. Understand your professional value and provide that to others.

Why are you interested in mentoring?
It’s very satisfying to see mentee growth and development and how they transform themselves.

Miley Cyrus and Me? Yes, Miley Cyrus and Me! ... or How The Voice Demonstrates #Mentoring

It’s always a surprise to people when they find out how much I love TV – and The Voice is in my top 10!
Let’s rewind to mid-2016 – when I noticed ads for The Voice as I was fast-forwarding through commercials. Imagine my surprise when the ads showed Miley Cyrus joining the team as a coach.
I thought: Really? As a Guest Coach – ? She has been so outrageous for the past couple years – and not exactly a good role model.
It didn’t seem a “good” choice to me.

But I love watching The Voice so that overrode my initial reactions.
In one of the first shows of Season 11, Miley had an intense look, as you can see in the photo. It struck me that this must be how I look when I’m on a telcon mentoring session (because suddenly I’ll realize I’ve been so focused on listening and the interaction that I haven’t taken a note or looked at the clock).
And then in the Knockouts (after Belle sang), she said, “I think I'll learn a lot and grow a lot in this experience too.”
My AHA moment (besides realizing my …