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(1.) I've spoken with Dr. Stephen Rosen's five references, and will summarize their comments about him and the Scientific Career Transitions Program and Celia Paul Associates.  One of these five people is a member of the board of a very strong private foundation that has often concerned itself with issues of interest to scientists, as well as other boards like the Santa Fe Institute. He is a former Vice Chancellor of a major university, and an advisor to the President's Science Advisory Council.

The other four were scientists who used Steve's help to make career transitions. Only one of us was given the references to contact because the program has been publicly announced in several large-circulation publications: having me summarize their comments for others interested in the program protects the references from being overwhelmed with requests for information about the program.

After rereading the material that we have received by email and regular mail (at Steve's suggestion), there were three basic questions I had for the people who were recommending the program. First, is the program something that would have been valuable had the participants been working in their first field in the US, or was it something that was only really worthwhile for "fish out of water". Second, to what extent does the program depend on being in a "center" (New York, for example, or other major metropolitan areas.) Third, how did those who had seen the live version work think it would translate to the Internet. I also talked to all of them about their impressions of Steve and of the program in general.

All of them were very positive about Steve himself, using words like "motivational", "someone who does this because he wants to see other people get good things out of life", "inspirational", "persistent", "helpful" "an outstanding specialist, person, and personality." One reference said that if anything was lost in this experiment on the Internet it would be the essence of having Steve there. Apparently he's quite a presence!

All agreed that the methods that are used in the program are generally useful. One of the people I talked to, enjoying a new career in sales, said that she uses the techniques that she learned in the program every day: the program taught her new ways of approaching other people that are generally-useful life skills not taught in science. The program, she said, provides "a unique possibility to get as much information as possible" about how to direct your move into a new field. Another reference: " will help you get connected, dealing with people, writing letters, making new contacts..." The Program, this scientist (now employed in a health care concern) says, teaches how to find the hidden job markets, a skill he found "valuable and useful." Another reference, who moved his skills from a slow-growing industry to a fast growing one, says that success is in the hands of the career-changer, but "if a person strictly follows his (Dr. Rosen's) advice, they can find a job in a new field in six months to a year". Another suggested that the skills taught were "useful for a very wide group in the US", but warned that the program "cannot teach flexibility: only you can decide what is right for you.... Dr. Rosen gives you tools to find that".

None of the people that I talked to thought that the program was geographically limited to a location or region, though they speculated that making contacts at a distance took more work. (One pointed out that I was hundreds of miles away, and that we had contacted rather nicely!) All were curious to see how moving the program away from face-to-face interaction would change the experience; they all agreed that it was an interesting experiment. They all strongly agreed that the program would be useful for scientists (or physicians or lawyers) no matter what their field or place of origin. The one most familiar with the Internet believed that the ease of translating the program to networked media would depend on being interested in changing careers, and not being intimidated by the net.

All in all, I was quite satisfied with their glowing recommendations of both Steve Rosen and his career change program. The people I talked to were enthusiastic, helpful, and glad to tell me that if it worked for them, it could work for anyone who was motivated.

(2.) I would like to summarize for you my experiences with the Scientific Career Transitions (SCT) Program. As you are aware, your organization was partly responsible for my obtaining a great job in a very short time. I will be Dean of Health Technologies, Public Services, and Natural Sciences at [XYZ Institution].

Before I started working with SCT, I began my job hunting endeavors in late January, 1995. I put together the best resume I could, and by July, had only received one phone interview for a job I really did not want. After finding out about SCT, and briefly speaking with Dr. Stephen Rosen, I decided to make some personal contacts, but those did not lead to employment either.

After enrolling in the SCT Program, I completed the Skills Inventory and the Focus and Values exercises. I found these to be incredibly valuable. With their help in one conversation, we pinned down my most valuable skills as: interpersonal skills, writing, organization, and project management. I had used all of these skills in the past, but doing the exercises, and having one conversation with SCT, helped me to identify these skills and thus emphasize and relate to them in a new skills resume, in cover letters, and especially in the one successful interview I had with [XYZ Institution].

Completing the Focus and Values exercises helped me to really think about what I wanted from my job, and what I was willing to endure or not endure. I realized that what had been missing from my last few jobs, and being in graduate school for six years, was high earnings potential, regular and predictable hours, and creativity. I had been applying mostly for positions as assistant professor of nutrition, gerontology, or health science, and realized that I really did not want to be assistant professor of anything, since I would not have any of the three values which were important to me. Thus, I stopped wasting my time applying for assistant professor jobs.

The specific circumstances regarding [XYZ Institution] were interesting. I had first applied for the job last April or May, and received a letter that indicated they did not consider me to be one of the more suitable candidates. In August, I saw the job re-advertised in the Chronicle of Higher Education, so I sent them an updated cover letter, emphasizing the new skills I learned I needed to focus on, and telling them I completed my Ph.D. They soon called to schedule an interview.

For the two weeks before the interview, which I was told would be conducted with eight administrative and faculty members, as well as the person who would be the Dean's assistant, I prepared furiously. I spent hours speaking with an Associate Dean for whom I had worked for five years; my major professor, who was Dean Emeritus of our college; and with a person who held a similar position at our local community college. All gave me suggestions, talked about the philosophy and mission of [XYZ Institution], and proposed sample questions I would be asked and which I could ask the panel. Finally, I spoke with SCT the day before I left, and they helped me again focus in on what we felt were my four major skills, which would be very important in this position. SCT also advised me on some questions to ask and not to ask; how to maintain eye contact with one person at a time; how to smile and appear approachable and friendly; and advised me not to dress like a banker.

I went to the interview with ten pages of typed notes I had compiled over the previous two weeks, including the names of the people on the interview panel, sample questions, and examples of how I had used my four strongest skills in the past. I wrote down statements to convince the panel that i was a perfect fit for the job. On top of my ten pages, most of which I committed to memory, I had one page to which I could refer during the interview, which contained the names of the panel members, my four skills, and questions for me to ask to make me seem prepared (which I was).

I was a little nervous at first when confronted with eight people asking questions, and trying to respond intelligently to each of them. However, after about five minutes, I was really comfortable. I felt that all nine of us had established a rapport, and we started making jokes, and I threw some humor into my answers. We seemed to be compatible, and were on a first-name basis. I left the interview feeling that I had prepared as much as I could have (which was about 40 hours); glad I had chosen to do it in person; and confident that, if they already did not have an internal candidate in mind, I had a good shot at the job. I was told that they were considering five people, and I was the fourth they had interviewed. This occurred on Friday, December 8. On the following Wednesday, I received a call to informally offer me the position, and was told a letter was being drafted. This was two days before graduation, and I was ecstatic.

I really cannot say that any one item was the reason I got the job after trying so hard and fruitlessly for almost a year. It was a combination of identifying my skills and what I liked and wanted to do in a job; of preparing for many hours; and of receiving input from several people, including Dan. All these things together contributed to my success, and helped me to achieve a level of self-confidence when I walked into the interview, and the knowledge that I did my most and my best when I walked out the door. The SCT exercises for skills, focus and values were of tremendous help, and SCT's advice and support were right on the mark.

I would have no hesitation about recommending these career services to others. I also give you permission to use any part of what I have written here as testimony to the effectiveness of SCT.

(3.) "I just got the most wonderful job you can imagine. I am a Managing Director at an investment bank. You showed me a different approach to life. I have taken this approach to my new job and so far I have built a great relationship with all of the people at the firm. It has truly been a life changing event. I never realized how great life can be when you are doing what you want to do. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

"I basically have three jobs -- all of which are tremendously interesting. My first job is to build out specialty investment banking in healthcare investment banking first. My second job is to expand their research department. We currently have about 10 analysts but I just bought a new database company for them and we are adding tremendous information capacity. Currently our new research product is used by all of the major investment banks -- UBS Warburg, JP Morgan Chase, Salomon, etc. Even the Federal Reserve Board subscribes to our services and uses them as a source of data for their internal reports. Currently I am expanding our capacity and we are building new types of research products. Finally, I am putting together an investment fund for private investment in public equity. My job is interesting every day. The firm is growing dramatically. We just bought a securities company with a trading desk so we now have that service. We are also acquiring securities companies elsewhere. I truly could never have done this without the help of the two of you.