Archives for posts with tag: networking

Two big thumbs up to Anna Trester for organizing a fantastic event last night! The first of many, this premiere Career Expo focused specifically on bringing together trained linguists currently pursuing careers in a variety of public and private industries. Well attended by students, faculty and friends of the Linguistics department, several of the participants were graduates of Georgetown’s Masters in Linguistics: Language and Communication program and represented institutions including the Center for Applied Linguistics, Ogilvy Commonhealth, Sprung, Reading Partners, the Center for American Progress, the House of Representatives Periodical Press Gallery, Georgetown’s Center for Latin American Studies, the US Department of State, the Census Bureau, Verilogue, and the FBI.

It was evident from the lively chatter that the world of linguistics beyond academia is alive and kicking! From the variety of organizations represented, this event also demonstrated the breadth of ways in which linguistics, and interactional sociolinguistics to be more specific, is applicable to business today. This was the perfect environment to cultivate interest and confidence in the power of language among current students, professionals and employers and I’m already looking forward to next year’s event!

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Well it’s 2012 and I’m already backtracking to the past. Back in September of last    year I attended my first EPIC Conference (Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference) and never quite got around to writing up my thoughts on the week.

The conference theme, “Evolution/Revolution: Change and Ethnographic Work,” got me thinking not only about the field of Ethnography outside of academia as a site of change and experimentation, but also as a site of growth and interdisciplinary collaboration. I was struck by the openness of this community to share themselves and their work with me and each other, and even more so by their willingness and availability to offer their thoughts, experiences, and suggestions to the community as challenges were presented and problems faced.

I realize this is a strange moment of crystallization to be taken away from any conference, but I often am disheartened by the lack of cooperation and willingness to be of help to others even in my own academic institution. Frequently a topic of discussion, this collaborative divide in the social sciences extends beyond the office space  to occupy a tension between industry and academia as larger entities. So in the spirit of evolution, revolution and new year’s resolution I encourage the continuation of this discussion back into offices and home departments in the hopes that the camaraderie I observed among colleagues at EPIC develops.

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