5 tactics to make short classes work

http://www.flickr.com/photos/childofwar/3097124543/sizes/m/in/photostream/Have a short (1-4 hour) class/tutorial to give? Want your students to learn tons and rave about the class? Want them to teach you and stay engaged in the topic moving forward?

Here are a few tips I’ve picked up from running mini-classes in academic and professional settings:

  • Listen to the room
  • Build skills through lessons
  • Let them get their hands dirty
  • Do the boring stuff in advance
  • Follow up with homeworks

These are mostly related to programming-type topics (see here and here from some examples), but I’ll bet the ideas are broadly applicable. Hopefully you can share some of your experiences as either a student or teacher in the comments!

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Why I travel with power strips

“Do you mind if I plug in for a sec?”
“Seriously? Only one plug in this room?!”
“Damn, I have to go buy another adapter”

Anyone who travels and uses electronics has said these phrases more than once. I say them less often since I started travelling with a power strip. Just a little one, but it does the trick and helps in 3 ways:

  • Creates values in airports in cafes
  • Simplifies the hotel-room hunt
  • Lets you take one adapter aborad

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How to be more insightful

Ball made of gearsOne way consultants add value by being “insightful,” but what does that really mean? What’s more, if you aren’t “insightful” already, how do you improve?

I’ve been thinking about this lately and distilled 4 ways to push your thinking and get more insightful.

  • Change your shoes
  • Find parallels to things you know
  • Ask ‘how’ and ‘why’ to dig deep
  • Get super specific

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Why you should be using Instapaper

Who knew I spent so much time staring at walls… I now use that time to read articles, papers, reports, and more! Instapaper helped me find HOURS per week in my already jam-packed that I can spend reading.

Instapaper is a “read later” service that has changed my life. It allows you to easily capture content from multiple sources and store it in the cloud so you can consume it at your leisure.

Simply click, “read later” across Instapaper’s many incarnations and the service comes through the internet to capture text and images from an article. That content is now available to read whenever and wherever you have some free-time.

It’s a ubiquitous and beautiful reading experience that I never knew I needed.

  • You’ll find new time in your day
  • It goes where you go

Read on to find out more, and check it out at instapaper.com.
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3 hints for Excel excellence

Excel is the go-to tool for business calculations. Simple or complex, weeks of work or merely minutes, you’ll use Excel eventually. As with any tool, knowing a few tricks can transform the output from a clunky mess to a useful, beautiful creation.

  • Learn before you hack
  • Make it pretty
  • Document everything

These three hints apply to lots of life’s endeavors,
but let’s talk about how they apply to Excel.

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Get rid of fruit flies with 2 simple steps

…or, “how I consistently defeat fruit fly armies”

I came home from a weekend trip to Atlanta to find my apartment swarming with fruit flies. Luckily, I’ve done battle with these little bastards before… (I keep fresh fruit and don’t spend much time at home) By the next morning all the fruit flies were gone. Here’s how I did it.

  1. Build the trap
  2. Hide the prize

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Brand & Conquer: Building Your Personal Brand (Forbes)

business_brandingCheck out this post from my “PhD’s guide to consulting jobs” that got picked up by Forbes!

The first thing I do when I hear about a person is Google them to see what they’ve done. The Google search results for someone’s name tells a story, and you have the power to control yours.
It’s your brand: claim it.

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Homemade muscles: quitting my gym for a better workout

I made a new-years resolution this year: quit going to the gym.

Instead, I brought the gym into my apartment and re-vamped my workout so that I can take it anywhere. I’ll outline a workout strategy to get a kickass workout in 15 minutes with or without gear.

Basically: Use your whole body, work where you sleep, and do it hard.

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Part 3: Talking about Your Experience and Sounding like a Bad-ass

We have talked about how to get an interview and how to nail the case section. The last step in the “PhD’s Guide to Getting a Consulting Job” is discussing your personal experience in a way that is clear, compelling, and shows that you’ve got what it takes to be a consultant. Continue reading “Part 3: Talking about Your Experience and Sounding like a Bad-ass”