On March 19th, 2018, CNSPY held the workshop “Crafting and practicing your professional narrative: a networking workshop.” This workshop was co-sponsored by the Women in Science at Yale, the Office of Career Strategy, and the Office of International Students and Scholars. There were 28 graduate student and postdoctoral attendees at the workshop.


The event started with a short presentation by Linshu Li, a McDougal Career Fellow at OCS. He covered the importance of networking and ways to network. He also discussed using a professional narrative in networking situations and job interviews. A professional narrative is a short story that you tell about yourself that can include your current position and research, your career goals, what you are doing to accomplish these career goals, and your passions and interests. This statement should be 1-2 minutes in length and should be tailored to the audience you are speaking to. For example, you would use a less technical explanation when speaking to someone in Human Resources than when speaking to a research scientist. Linshu also provided examples of professional narratives and resources for constructing a professional narrative.


After the presentation, attendees had the opportunity to write a draft of a professional narrative practice their narrative in a structured networking session. This allowed the attendees to refine their narrative with input from other attendees and prepare for future networking situations. After the workshop portion of the event, there was an open networking session that included dinner to allow attendees to continue networking practice in a less formal setting.


CNSPY would like to thank Linshu Li for speaking at the event and Kristen Murfin, Catherine Deatherage, Leah Hartman, and Katie Ferguson for organizing the event. We would also like to thank Marco Mastrotto, Chris May, and Chenxi Jiang for volunteering at the event. This event was generously supported by funding from OISS and CNSPY.

By: Kristen Murfin


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