Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris is a concert level cellist.

  • What is your dream job?

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    The path that many people take in establishing their career is rarely a straight one.  The interviews on this site are with working professionals.  To help students who are scrutinizing college & university programs and comparing internships, we have asked these professionals about their education, the changes they are seeing in their industry and what advice they would give to students who ultimately want to work in their field.

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  • Electrical Engineer
    Thomas Chapman

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    I’ve found that very few people work directly in the field they studied in college, but those esoteric courses in philosophy, history, political science, and English plant little seeds in your brain that are often recalled in unconscious thought. … Nobody learns the skill sets they need in college or trade schools. They will learn the skills on the job, over time, but they have to know how to learn.

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  • Medical Illustrator
    Begoña Rodriguez

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    Although I was good at painting and drawing, I was initially worried that I wouldn’t make it through a medial illustration program because most of the people I met who were already in the program were good at science and computers!  Despite that, I loved the mix of art and science and really liked the people I was meeting.

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  • Photographic Licensing & Copyright Expert
    Ellen Boughn

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    A degree in zoology doesn’t have much to do with photography on the surface, but [...] knowing the Linnaeus System of scientific names for plants and animals turned out to be excellent training when I started a photo agency and needed to be able to categorize, file and ultimately find over 450,000 photos (prior to computers).

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  • Lawyer
    Joshua Kadish

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    I have always been interested in nonviolent conflict resolution, which I can trace back to the Quaker college I attended.  Mediation hardly existed when I was first working, and in the old days I spent a lot of time explaining what it was to lots of potential clients and other lawyers.

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On this website you will find interviews with successful professionals working in a wide variety of occupations, from art, filmmaking and design fields to areas of financial services, medicine and engineering, among others.  The consistency that we have noticed is that these working professionals have not only mastered the current technological and programming tools now standard in their industry but they are also proficient in the traditional (non-digital) crafts of their trade.  Few professions are dependent on a single concept or tool; while it is important to be able to work with and incorporate new technology, success in many areas still relies on a working knowledge of historical precedents, creativity and, above all, hands-on experience.

Use the Search Box (below) to find interviews in a field of interest, or you can browse the archive here.

The Most Talented People in the World Blog is open to educators and professionals who wish to discuss changes in working methods, technology, knowledge and know-how, as is relevant to the classroom or the workplace.  (Instructions on how to register.)

The News & Articles page of this site includes profiles & documentaries on creative individualsissues affecting productivity, and research studies in education.

 

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Tough Week for The Common Core

NPR | By ANYA KAMENETZ

[...]  In an ideal world, policies would be made like this: Practitioners in the field would develop solutions to problems. Disinterested experts would study and test them. Philanthropists would support that research and development phase without picking winners. [...]

Many in the ed-policy world agree: The Common Core State Standards skipped a few key steps here.

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Commentary: The Power of Educating Girls

HUFFINGTON POST | By ROBERT GALLUCCI

For those of us committed to addressing global poverty, improving education for girls may be the closest thing to a silver bullet.

More education for girls brings well demonstrated benefits for them. Girls with higher levels of education marry later, have smaller families, survive childbirth at higher rates, experience reduced incidences of HIV/AIDS, have children more likely to survive to age five and earn more money.

This story is posted on the MacArthur Foundation website.

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The Sheriff of Cyber City

STANFORD MAGAZINE | BY ANN MARSH

The year was 1997. Microprocessor “smart cards” with those little gold, rectangular chips were becoming ubiquitous. The idea was that information, such as bank account details or medical records, could be stored on the card itself, protected by security codes. Multinational corporations were using them to transfer billions of dollars and sensitive data all around the globe.

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