As I brainstormed ways to write about this year’s fellows retreat theme—scientific careers—I kept coming back to a single word: community. Every retreat speaker discussed the importance of community. A new career that began with a phone call from a former colleague. An informational interview that led to a permanent position. The possibility of getting new cancer drugs to patients that depended on strong professional relationships. I could go on and cite an example from each person I met.
We operate within a community of friends, family, and colleagues. The individuals who surround us will influence who we become in our professional lives. I frequently affirm that the NIH is one of the best places to train in science. And I usually refer to the great technology, resources, workshops, seminars, and detail opportunities on campus. But I’ve neglected to talk about the most important benefit of being at the NIH. Look at the people around you. You are among brilliant, productive, competent individuals—it’s a great group to have in your corner. Do not miss the opportunity to connect with, learn from, and grow with this community.
If I’ve done my job, many of you are now frantically looking through your retreat notes for new contacts. Or maybe you’re seriously regretting not going to the retreat this year! Either way, we’re here to help. In this issue, each of the career speakers shares answers to three frequently asked questions from the retreat. You’ll also find our monthly “Rep Report” column, pictures from this year’s Take Your Child to Work Day/Earth Day celebrations, plus several May announcements and events.
After the retreat, I bumped into a fellow who said, jokingly, that he’d submit a “See Spot Run” letter to the editor. I encouraged him to send it—it’s never silly to connect with your colleagues. After learning that I work remotely from Las Vegas, Nevada, the fellow formulated this little ditty, based on a popular phrase from American children’s literature:
See Spot run.
See Spot run fast.
See Spot run back to Vegas.
All the best,
The guy in the Hawaiian shirt
Thank you, Hawaiian shirt guy. Although, I didn’t run back that fast! It’s a great community—I was in no hurry to leave too quickly.
Your Editor in Chief,
Shana R. Spindler, PhD
Share your comments and ideas with your community by sending a letter to our Editor at Shana.Spindler@gmail.com.