career development

Online Retreat Review: Can’t Wait for Next Year!

Did you attend the Online Retreat for  The SearchLite Innovator-in-Residence Community?

I am sorry that you missed out on a lot of fun and …maybe gifts and food…but luckily, you will not miss out on the information.

Let’s see what happened…

Our attendees were divided into  three teams: Royal (Real) Black Dolphins, The Super Se7en, and The Nomads. Each team had to come up with individual themes prior to the retreat. Their themes definitely displayed some talent! Here are their posters. Some of our special guests included Evelyn, who is a business transition coach, and Martha who stayed up in her PJs,  just to attend our retreat!

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Guess who won the best poster?

Scott helped everyone review the Innovators-in-Residence Program.

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and MJ explained the rules of the new Reward Points System. You may read the information on our IIR Info page (p/w: TSLIIR).

Then, Scott continued on to announce The SearchLite’s new business model with three new focus areas : Connected Factories, Connected Cars, and Connected Health. The first report of Connected Factories industry will be released on July 27. Keep an eye out for it! For the new business model we will have more traditional titles such as Project Leader and Research Analyst. These will also be paid positions. More details are to come once the system goes into effect.

Meanwhile, if you are interested in or have backgrounds related to the three topics, let us know. This might be another exciting opportunity for you!!

In the Lucky Wheel session, the Super Se7en, who won the best poster, was not so lucky as the  Royal (Real) Black Dolphins and The Nomads caught up.

Games were next on the agenda and the determining factor of the winners came down to  Jeopardy!. The categories included IIR Program, Value Proposition Design, The Searchlite and Other Trivia.The online IIRs and the IIRs in office showed great team effort. Yan Chang and Gautam answered questions for the Royal black Dolphins, Martha and Tao took the lead for The Super Seven team and Jayshree and Peng from The Nomads didn’t back down! Super Se7en bravely chose several of the hardest questions and answered them correctly, which made them the champions of the Online Retreat.

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And the moment we’ve all been waiting for, the Awards portion of the retreat capped off the event. Drum roll please… Marta won the “Christopher Columbus Award” for her excellent performance as an IIR for a year and half all the way in Portugal and she referred two IIRs, Juliana and Telmo.

Yan Dong won the “Jane Goodall Award” for his  splendid work in the field research for the  HALO project.

And Tao Wen won the “Dog The Bounty Hunter Award” for landing the most interviews amongst all IIRs.

Although only a few names were recognized we truly would like to thank you for all of your hard work! We hope you gained a valuable experience from your experience as an IIR. .

Thanks to everyone who joined the Online Retreat. You should have received a Starbucks Gift Card in your inbox.

We would like to thank all of the IIRs who have collaboratively worked in the projects to achieve outstanding works, especially the new members who have brought a great level of enthusiasm and the old heads who provide the ‘wisdom’!

So, all that is left to say is, thanks to everyone who made this another incredible year in The SearchLite history. The Innovators-in-Residence Community is an amazing family. Let’s be thankful that we are all part of it. And be sure to remember we will have another retreat next year. Mark your calendars in advance!

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(Edited by Prianca, Hui and Christy)

University of Michigan Mechanical Engineering Career Development Event: “Mechanical Engineers Need Soft Skills also”

June 20, 2016 is a date to remember in the history of The SerachLite’s Innovator-in-Residence Program, because it is the first time that we held an event at the Department of Mechanical Engineering in our own backyard at the University of Michigan.
About 15 Mechanical Engineer PhD students attended the event. Four outstanding alumni, Katherine Avery, Laura Wojcik, Michelle Callaway, and Szabolcs Sovenyi, joined the discussion  as well.

UMMU Event

Professor Katsuo Kurabayashi kicked off the event by showing many successful alumni, who transitioned from academia to industry. The SearchLite Innovator-in-Residence Program is a great opportunity for graduate students to have a taste of industry by participating in hands-on real projects.

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Scott Phillips, CEO of The SearchLite, challenged the students regarding their current understanding of the industries which align with their areas of research.. He then explained   what The SearchLite is, who The SearchLite’s clients are, and the methodology The SearchLite uses to conduct Customer Discovery. Lastly, Scott used three real cases as examples to demonstrate the work at The SearchLite.

UMME Event

During the final open discussion, a student said he just wanted to be an engineer, and wondered if the business skills would be useful? Both Michelle (General Motors) and Katherine (Ford) responded quickly and stated that if you work for a company you have to deal with a lot of things besides engineering, so the soft skills are extremely useful.
When in a company or an industry, it is easy to overestimate the importance of one’s product or service. That is why they hire companies like The SearchLite, to provide different perspectives. When we are students, it easy to underestimate the importance of soft skills that are not clearly aligned with our majors, but those are the skills that will  make you stand out. As the alumni all said, “Mechanical Engineers Need Soft Skills too”.

Engineers, get out of the building!

Are you an academic in transition? Would you like to try an experience that may broaden your career?

The SearchLite recently shared some of our projects with graduate students at Michigan State University’s School of Engineering. Several of our Innovators-in-Residence are from MSU, so we wanted to share our knowledge from our Market Discovery Challenges with fellow Spartans and hoped to expand our community at MSU.

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15 things that may catch you off guard when transitioning from Academia to Non-Academic Careers…

15 things that may catch you off guard when transitioning from Academia to Non-Academic Careers…

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Surprises come in many forms and can be your best and worst friend, but the worst type of surprise is when it catches you off guard and you’re not prepared to handle what it has to offer. Have no fear! To alleviate much of this anxiety, The SearchLite went on a quest to find out what surprised people the most upon entering an industry after an arduous academic experience and boy are you in for a treat. Devon Triplett, Diane Bouis, and Bhramara Tirupati are three successful cases of people who have already made the transition from academia to industry, but it certainly wasn’t a walk in the park. Here are the top lists of what they considered to be the most surprising through first-hand experience.

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