Interview

William Tivol tivol at news.wadsworth.org
Fri Apr 12 16:41:06 EST 1996


Dear Cashell,
 You (Post.Your.Message at Here.Please) wrote:
[skip]

: 1. In what field are you specialized?

	I am a biophysicist, and my specialization is in electron crystal-
lography and high-voltage electron microscopy.

: 2. What type of education did you obtain/ or do you recommend for your 
: position.

	I got BS and PhD in physics and spent ~13 yrs. as a biochemistry
postdoc.

: 3. What do you find most intriguing about your work?  What do you like 
: best?

	I am in charge of a multi-user instrument, so we get many users
from different parts of the world who have very different projects.  My
electron crystallography research is a lot of fun (except when the com-
puter gets the better of me).  I enjoy scanning a specimen watching for
a diffraction pattern to appear suddenly.

: 4. What do you dislike about this field.

	Nothing, really.

: 5. Do you think this is a growing field, or do you find it saturated?
: (Do you think there are future job positions available?)

	I think it is growing slowly at present.  It may stagnate, or a
breakthrough might energize the field.  It is very difficult to predict
the future for possibilities of jobs.

: 6. What made you choose this field?

	While writing a review article, I came across a paper which facina-
ted me--it described the use of an electron microscope to determine the
structure of bacteriorhodopsin--and I decided that I'd rather do this kind
of research than anything else.  A short time later, I got an announcement
of a position in that very field, so I went for it.

: 7. If you could give me one important piece of advice for my future, 
: what would it be?

	Study what you enjoy most.  You'll do better and have more fun.
Learn how what you're doing can interact with other fields, so that when
you look for a job, you'll be able to say how what you have learned can
apply to the position you're going for--not all those who might hire
you will know this.  Learn how to learn--be flexible--even though there
may be no obvious connection between what you learned and the job you're
going for, the ability to pick up and apply new skills will prepare you
for any job.

: 8. What can I do now to better prepare myself for this field?

	See above.  Also, take lots of math, physics and chemistry.  These
subjects underlie all the sciences (and a good record full of difficult
courses will go down well with interviewers).

: 9. What are some of your daily responsibilities?

	See that the high-voltage electron microscope is functioning well,
helping outside users whose projects are in my areas of expertise, conduct
my research and teach.

: 10. What are your weekly hours? Would you prefer more or less?

	Fifty to sixty (sometimes somewhat more).  If I preferred more, I
would work more.  Since my employer requires only 37.5 hours/week, I could
work less if I preferred, so I must not prefer to work less either.

: 11. What is you job title?

	Research scientist.

: 12. Who or what inspired your interest in this field?

	See answer to Q6.

: 13. What interests do you consider essential for this field?

	You have to like math and science.

: 14. Which of your interests led you to this field?

	All of them.

: 15. Do you have any regrets about you career choice?

	No.

: 16. What level (Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate) of education do you 
: recommend?

	As much as you can handle.  It will be very beneficial to be as
well educated as possible, so you will have the flexibility to compete
in the future job market.

: 17. Do you find more than normal competition for jobs in this field?

	No, but normal competition is tough enough.

: 18. Are there job opportunities in this area, or do you find more 
: elsewhere?

	I haven't looked elsewhere in a long while.

: 19. What research projects have you been involved with?

	Low-A nuclear physics, immunochemistry of lipoproteins, hot-atom
chemistry, enzyme photochemistry, membrane biochemistry, electron microscopy
and microanalysis, electron crystallography.

: 20. What fields are closely related to your current occupation that 
: someone could also be qualified for?

	Cell biology, medicine, x-ray crystallography.

: 21. How many years have you been in this field? 

	16.

: 22. Thanks alot!
				Yours,
				Bill Tivol



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