working in "the real world".
the phone, e-mail, skype, personal etiquette: how to hustle
The biggest difference between learning in the Pilot and in the classroom is that we make much more use of real world resources. Your project work will go best if you are able to connect with experts in the broader community to find resources, ask questions, and learn skills. You need to find people, reach out to them, talk with them, and possibly develop the relationship into a more formal mentoring situation.
Courtesy & Communication. Community people don’t know who you are. You are asking them for some of their time and their time is very valuable.
Simple acts of respect in this relationship:
- say thank you, be genuine
- ask, “Is a good time?”
- be curious, ask good questions
- be timely about keeping appointments
- employ good manners
- write and respond to email promptly
If you feel at all hesitant about your skill level in these areas, work with your advisor. Practice what you’ll say on the phone call. Send a draft of an email to advisor for editing. It's okay to make a mistake but many mistakes can be avoided by asking for a second opinion.
As you work on your project, your understanding of your topic will change. It is okay to be flexible and adjust your topic according to the information that you are finding (or not finding).
how to mess it up.
A list from current Pilot students, who would rather call this “some challenges lots of students face”.
In no particular order, here are the key skills that veteran Piloteers say are the ones to master:
Time Management - managing your open time, getting it done
Recognizing when it’s time to make a change - adjust the plan
Documentation - make it, create it, write it, record it, show it
Being a self advocate - who knows what's best for you... hint: it's you
Communication - be open about where you're at, read your email, show up
Courtesy - be kind to those that want to help you, make your meetings