I have spent time in both the academic and industry worlds so have direct experience of the disconnect between the two. Connecting these two worlds effectively is a huge opportunity for students and academics and professionals. I believe all can be more effective and gain from better alignment and communication.
“It’s never a good time”. Don’t delay making new or exciting career decisions because of perceived or imagined barriers, i.e. thinking it’s just not the right time. Go for it and focus on the core elements of the role and your interest, rather than external factors.
Professor Ron Hill. He taught Russian and Eastern European politics, which was probably my favorite undergraduate course in all 4 years. Aside from learning plenty about the history and politics of that region, he thought me the importance of storytelling and effective presenting. He captured the attention of every person in the lecture hall because he positioned his lectures as stories – with characters, plots, suspense, the whole lot. His lectures always had the highest attendance, showing the content is not as important as the delivery!
Variety and execution. I always have many things going on at once and I love that (I’m also thankfully a very organized person!). Execution, i.e. driving a project forward and setting the pace, is something I really enjoy. I like to break something down into smaller steps and then figure out how I get each part done to drive towards the overarching goal.