Much has been said about Harvard Macy as a community of educators and leaders dedicated to transforming health care education. In addition to being a top course in research, teaching, and learning in health professions education, Harvard Macy is itself a community of practice, and thus a prime opportunity to grow your professional network.
How can you enhance your networking while a Harvard Macy scholar? Here are 8 tips to consider:
1. Practice your elevator pitch. Your pitch should let others know your professional affiliation, who you are as an educator and your unique attributes or abilities. Commit your elevator speech to memory, which will ease anxiety you may have about networking.
2. Engage social media. Tweet at @harvardmacy, like Harvard Macy on Facebook, or connect via LinkedIn. Twitter is a huge Macy backchannel, and if you have been considering signing up there is no better time. Look for anyone with a blue Twitter bird on their name badge like me (@kristinadzara), Meg Chisolm, Vice Chair for Education at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (@whole_patients), or Keith Wilson, Associate Professor of Family Medicine at Dalhousie University (@keefer007) if you need help. To learn more about why medical educators tweet, see here: https://twitter.com/harvardmacy/status/776790758397399040
3. Meet faculty and scholars from various disciplines. It’s natural to talk to people who are in the same discipline, but don’t forget to meet people who work at a health professions education school different from your own. Through Harvard Macy, I now count Lynda Goodfellow, a respiratory therapist and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Georgia State University, among my mentors (https://goo.gl/poz5yr). Each scholar brings a different viewpoint, challenges, and opportunities for us all to learn from.
4. Attend the social events. Harvard Macy hosts a number of social events. In addition to helping you decompress after a long day of learning, they are great networking opportunities. While enjoying your appetizer and drink, join a table of people you don’t know, introduce yourself, and take part in the conversation. All are welcome!
5. Introduce a friend to a friend. Already know some folks at Harvard Macy? Introduce them to someone you just met. This reinforces both your old and new professional relationships, and will be appreciated on both accounts.
6. Talk to faculty. At Harvard Macy, we are all learners. If you have a question, ask the speaker directly. Most will stay around during the break to take questions. If you want more time for research or career mentoring, book an informal faculty consultation during a lunch break or from 2:45 to 5:00 pm on Thursday, January 12, 2017.
7. Pay attention to the name badges. When you meet someone, take a look at their badge. This will help you remember where people are from, and identify people you were hoping to meet.
8. Follow up after Harvard Macy. Between now and May, cultivate your professional relationships by following up via email or social networking.
Professional networking can offer opportunities for mentoring, collaboration, career advancement, and the development of new friendships. Please accept my heartiest welcome to the Harvard Macy family! And for more reflections from my experience as a Harvard Macy scholar, check out my previous blog post here: https://goo.gl/V2qA22
Kristina Dzara, Ph.D., MMSc