There are 2 fundamental work behaviors that I’ve learned from this fellowship – you must commit yourself to BE EARLY and BE ACCURATE.
Over the course of my fellowship, I’ve learned that more than convincing your supervisor or your colleagues that you are smart, you must convince them that they can trust you. By trust, I mean being on time, delivering accurate information and doing what you say you are going to do.
When you turn in a report with a misspelled word or a missing number and perhaps a wrong formula, you’re actually telling your supervisor that you don’t care enough. If you perennially miss a deadline even by a few minutes you are making an impression to your supervisor that he can’t trust you. This sounds unforgiving but sometimes it is difficult to recognize that mistakes (especially when they are small ones) can have a cumulative effect on your reputation and ability as a fellow.
As fellows, we know and should acknowledge (if we haven’t already) the challenge of working in a different norm or setting. Hence, we should all strive to keep things simple: Do good work. Turn in on time or ahead of time, if you can. AND Repeat.