The Chemistry Department welcomed Dr. Aaron Crumm and Mr. Mikhail Zolikoff to give the seminar on important skills for job seeking. The speakers are both from the Center for Entrepreneurship and have been given similar workshops in the engineering departments. Dr. Crumm earned his B.S degree in nuclear engineering from Purdue University and Ph.D in material science from the University of Michigan. Dr. Crumm funded Adaptive Materials, a company that specializes in fabrication of micro tubular fuel cell and attracted more than $34 million in contracts. He is a highly regarded speaker in the field of alternative energy and fuel cell conferences. Mr. Zolikoff is also a Michigan alumnus, having earned a B.S.E in Industrial Engineering and a Master’s in Public Policy. Mik spent 15 years in the tech industry, both as a director of operations and a project manager, and as a founder of three Michigan-based startups in the information technology industry. He is currently the director of graduate programs at the Center for Entrepreneurship.
With successful advertisement by CALCIUM prior to the seminar, over 70 graduate students from multiple departments attended the event. A larger room had to be scheduled due to the large number of attendees. The students had frequent interaction with the speakers during the first part of seminar. More than half of the students stayed for the following discussion session. Several frequently asked questions from the students were answered by the speakers during the discussion, and they are informed of the courses offered by Center for Entrepreneurship.
During the first part of the seminar, Dr. Crumm introduced the skills for marketing a product with an emphasis on value proposition. Aaron started the presentation with his own entrepreneur experience, telling us how value proposition is important for promoting an idea and starting up a company. He then discussed job seeking is similar to ‘sell’ oneself and the key to impress an employer is to demonstrate how much value we can bring to the company.
Dr. Crumm discusses value proposition
During the following discussion session, Mr. Zolikoff answered questions from students and introduced the courses from the Center for Entrepreneurship. A lot of questions are about development of non-technical skills (business, legal, management, consulting etc.), networking with employer and entrepreneurship, Mik answered most of questions with examples and frequent interaction with the audience. Mik also addressed the importance of practicing management, finance and interpersonal skills through participating and organizing events outside the lab. At the same time, since proper guidance and practicing is crucial for building up all the non-technical skills, Mr. Zolikoff encouraged the graduate students to take courses offered by the center of entrepreneurship.