Why To Be A Volunteer And How To Become One Within The Effective Statistician Community

Today, I’m diving into the world of volunteering within the statistical community.

Have you ever wondered why you should volunteer your time and skills?
Or perhaps how to get involved with the Effective Statistician community?

Well, you’re in the right place. In this episode, I explore the diverse benefits of volunteering, from expanding your network to accessing new career opportunities.

As someone who’s seen firsthand the transformative power of volunteering, I’m excited to share my insights and experiences with you.

So, whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out, join me as we discuss the why and how behind becoming an effective statistician through community engagement.

Here are the highlights of this episode:

  • Importance of volunteering in the statistical community
  • Benefits of volunteering: networking, career opportunities, skill development
  • Personal experience with volunteering and its impact
  • Types of volunteer positions available: Community Manager, Course Manager, Podcast Manager, Event Organizer
  • How to get involved: reaching out via email or LinkedIn
  • Invitation to join the Effective Statistician community and make a difference
Share it with friends and colleagues who can benefit from these discussions. Let’s actively empower each other to become more effective statisticians. Contact me for more information at alexander@theeffectivestatistician.com or at my LinkedIn account.


Why To Be A Volunteer And How To Become One Within The Effective Statistician Community

[00:00:00] Alexander: Welcome to another episode of the Effective Statistician. This is again Alexander for a Friday episode and I don’t know [00:00:10] whether this will be a very very short one or a little bit longer one. I guess it will be a little bit longer. In this episode, we will talk [00:00:20] about how you can benefit from volunteering in an association.

[00:00:26] Alexander: There are many different associations around the [00:00:30] ASA, the different EFSPI organizations, the PSI, and many more of these academic or professional [00:00:40] organizations. And you can also volunteer in an association. In the effective statistician community and work in this [00:00:50] area and help with driving the vision of the effective statistician forward.

[00:00:56] Alexander: But we will get to this a little bit [00:01:00] later. So some companies actually support that quite a lot and you can do that within your work time, which is great, but still, [00:01:10] why should you do any kind of activity beyond your job description? Well, there are [00:01:20] lots of benefits from that. And I wanna tell a little bit about my story. And how that helped me. [00:01:30] So a couple of years into my into my career, I noticed that I had a pretty good network within [00:01:40] the company, but not outside the company.

[00:01:44] Alexander: And I saw people like my supervisor were also quite [00:01:50] active outside in doing all kinds of different stuff. And of course, I was, you know, going to conferences, going to events, [00:02:00] and these were also largely organized by volunteers. And I was thinking, hmm.. Interesting. [00:02:10] Probably I should do something similar. And so I started working in a special interest group that I was specifically interested in.[00:02:20] 

[00:02:21] Alexander: And that was the start of a game changer. So a couple of benefits from [00:02:30] working in these things. So first, I got access to very, very educated, Very [00:02:40] experienced people with skills that I had no idea about. Yeah, so I learned a lot about data visualization. I [00:02:50] learned a lot about benefit risk, about patient preferences, lots of different things.

[00:02:56] Alexander: Just by Working alongside these [00:03:00] different people and organizing events together. So you don’t even need to be an expert in topic XYZ to [00:03:10] help with this. That topic. Yeah, just working with experts and with other people that are interested there You will learn [00:03:20] a lot along the way. The other point is you get access to people across the industry [00:03:30] both from companies, CROs But also on the regulatory side and you can build connections there.

[00:03:39] Alexander: [00:03:40] These connections are are super valuable. In this network, everybody gives and takes. And as you [00:03:50] provide help to people, they in turn will provide help to you. Why is it so easy for me to get so many [00:04:00] people on the podcast as guests? Well, because I have worked with them a lot before. We have built connections. We have built [00:04:10] trust. We have even built friendships with each other. And so it is very easy for me to approach them and say, Hey, there’s this topic [00:04:20] X, Y, Z, where I think you would be a great guest on the show and to share your insights. And I hardly get a no. [00:04:30] Usually when I get a no, that is because of the super bureaucratic things within some big companies.

[00:04:39] Alexander: Yeah. And [00:04:40] where people say, actually, I would love to be on your show, but it’s such a nightmare to get any approval here that I can’t which I completely understand. [00:04:50] Anyway, there is a lot of benefits around this. Also, they have benefits of getting additional chops. At [00:05:00] least two jobs in my career I got because of my network and because of my network that resulted [00:05:10] from being a volunteer in these different associations.

[00:05:13] Alexander: So this is where, you know, You will learn [00:05:20] about, ah, there are new job opportunities and job opportunities that are not posted online, that are [00:05:30] not given away by our recruiters, but that are filled through the networks of the different people. [00:05:40] And if you are in these networks, and people like you, trust you, see that you’re competent, that you, you know, [00:05:50] have a specific skill that they are looking for, well, of course, they will reach out to you and say, Hey, we have this job opportunity.

[00:05:59] Alexander: Are you [00:06:00] interested? Yeah. And of course, then you also know that. Ah, this guy, this girl, I like, and I would love to [00:06:10] work with them. So you also start into new jobs, not kind of feeling out of nowhere and not knowing everybody, anybody’s there, [00:06:20] but very often you will already know a couple of different people.

[00:06:26] Alexander: Of course, depends on the company size, but you know, bigger companies, you will [00:06:30] surely know some people who will work with them. And so also, if you are looking for a new job, you [00:06:40] can proactively contact all kinds of different people for that. So, there’s definitely a lot in terms of getting from [00:06:50] that.

[00:06:51] Alexander: There’s also this personal growth. beyond just the knowledge. You learn a lot about [00:07:00] networking, reaching out to people, connecting with people. You learn a lot about these [00:07:10] people skills through working in these communities. And so these are transferable skills, you will benefit [00:07:20] from that within your job and actually also beyond, yeah all these communication skills.

[00:07:28] Alexander: You can [00:07:30] also use them within your family, with, with friends, with all kinds of different other activities that you have, yeah. If you [00:07:40] want to organize something for you, don’t know. Your church, your sports club, your whatsoever. If you have [00:07:50] organized these things for an association, that will help you there as well.

[00:07:55] Alexander: So, there are a lot of benefits [00:08:00] from volunteering. Now, why would you volunteer for any organization? I think one of the key things is, [00:08:10] you want to You not only get something out of it, you also probably want to connect with something that is important for you, [00:08:20] with a community of like minded individuals.

[00:08:24] Alexander: Because of course, if you work there, you want to have fun [00:08:30] there. You want to have people that think alike, that have the same goals like you overall for their career and [00:08:40] potentially in life. And so it is really important for you to understand what is the vision and the mission of [00:08:50] these different organizations.

[00:08:53] Alexander: And you very often can find them on the different homepages. So check out where these [00:09:00] are appealing for you. Now the vision for the effective statistician is pretty simple. The vision [00:09:10] of this community Is to make sure that. Everybody in healthcare has the right evidence at the right [00:09:20] time in the right format to make the right decisions for patients.

[00:09:24] Alexander: And when I talk about stakeholders, that starts in early [00:09:30] research, yeah? Could be the biologists, the chemists, or the people that make the resource decisions. It [00:09:40] goes through the clinical development program so that everybody knows, okay, Do we move forward with the next dose? What is the best design [00:09:50] that we should use?

[00:09:51] Alexander: Do we go into phase 2, phase 3? The regulators. Do we have good data to make a sound decision [00:10:00] for getting this vaccine? This drug, this therapy, this device, whatsoever, approved and make it available to patients. The payers, [00:10:10] the people that that is national or subnational, or the insurance agency.

[00:10:16] Alexander: Insurance companies boards, do [00:10:20] they have the right data to make good decisions? And of course, ultimately also the physicians, the other health care [00:10:30] providers, and of course the patients, their families. Do they have evidence that makes it easy for them [00:10:40] to make the right decisions for patients? And this is what this community is all about.

[00:10:49] Alexander: And [00:10:50] there are a couple of things within this community that I want to push forward. Or that we as a community want to push forward and one [00:11:00] of the main things is that we want to enable all the quantitative people, especially statisticians, data [00:11:10] scientists, programmers, but also, you know, there’s, there’s a lot of people that are very close to us, like epidemiologists, yeah, [00:11:20] let’s make sure that they have a good knowledge, a good understanding are really effective, are leaders.[00:11:30] 

[00:11:30] Alexander: These are the things why we, how we make this community really impactful, because I think this vision [00:11:40] resonates with pretty much everybody in this community. And The more we make these people effective, the [00:11:50] better we can reach this community for, the better we can reach this vision for our community, for our [00:12:00] society.

[00:12:02] Alexander: Now, there’s a couple of specific benefits that you get as a volunteer within [00:12:10] the Effective Statistician community. The first is, You get a behind the scenes view. Yeah. You will learn exactly how everything works. [00:12:20] What are the new projects that are, will be coming out? You will get a access to the inner inner circle of the effective.[00:12:30] 

[00:12:30] Alexander: You will definitely learn about becoming more influential because that is what this community is about. You will. Connect with [00:12:40] lots of different experts that are already in the community. And of course, I will show you how you can [00:12:50] increase your personal visibility. How you can become a better statistician, programmer, data [00:13:00] scientist yourself.

[00:13:02] Alexander: So, I’m pretty sure there’s This will give you all the benefits that I mentioned earlier. [00:13:10] Yeah, it’s a better job opportunities, a bigger network, all these kind of different things. Now, So, what could you do [00:13:20] within the statistics, the effective statistician community? The first job that I have is the community manager.[00:13:30] 

[00:13:30] Alexander: So, the community manager, think about it like the, The People Connector, yeah, that gets new people into the [00:13:40] community, that talks to the people within the community that is active on social media, that answers any [00:13:50] questions that are coming up, that maybe organizes some, also some fun events and things like that.

[00:13:56] Alexander: It is, you know, the, I’m thinking [00:14:00] of this job, the community manager, as kind of the social glue that holds everybody together and that makes [00:14:10] sure everybody is heard, everybody has the access to all the different tools, content, whatsoever that they need. If [00:14:20] you want to be a community manager, I think, You only need one thing.

[00:14:26] Alexander: You need to just love to work with other people in the [00:14:30] community and love to reach out to people. That is really the only requirement. For that position, and if you fulfill [00:14:40] this requirement, then you probably will love this job. The second position is a course manager. So [00:14:50] the course manager will work basically together with my full time team and experts in the [00:15:00] community.

[00:15:01] Alexander: To create new courses these will not be the people that do kind of all the legwork, so to say, [00:15:10] this is done by my permanent staff who will do kind of branding on slides and all these kind of things. What is really important here [00:15:20] is. To have someone that knows about the audience of these courses that can [00:15:30] help with creating the content for those courses, the promotional content for these courses, all these different things with a background [00:15:40] in statistics, programming, data science.

[00:15:43] Alexander: That is the job here. The third is, the third opportunity is [00:15:50] become a podcast manager. And here we actually don’t have so many job openings as actually as this comes out, there’s just one opening. [00:16:00] And that person will work very closely together with me on creating a job. Podcast episodes, so reaching out to [00:16:10] potential podcast guests researching on topics that we could have following up on the podcast.

[00:16:17] Alexander: All these kind of different things. [00:16:20] So the requirement for this is that you’re really interested in the community from a content perspective. [00:16:30] That you’re really interested in working with top experts, reaching out to them. And basically explaining them how everything works. And [00:16:40] once the recording is, is done, also work with the effective statistician team to make most of it.

[00:16:47] Alexander: So all the production around [00:16:50] the podcast episode, all this kind of work, yeah, that is done by my Full time team. It’s really just the most, [00:17:00] again, the statistics, data science, programming backgrounds that you need to have The fourth job descriptions that I have is that [00:17:10] often event organizer. And there basically.

[00:17:14] Alexander: I’m going to show you three types or four types of events that we will work on [00:17:20] the first two events are webinars. These can be, let’s say, usual webinars where one or two persons are [00:17:30] talking about a topic, and there’s a little bit of Q& A, things like that. The other webinar is. Format that we will start later this [00:17:40] year as a so called panel discussions.

[00:17:43] Alexander: My working title for that is the statistics talk show where we will get [00:17:50] people together, three, four, five people together that talk about a specific controversial topic or a new [00:18:00] thing. Pros and cons about that, and then we can have a good discussion about these. And so I need help there also from a [00:18:10] statistics point of view, knowing kind of who are the best persons to get onto these webinars.

[00:18:18] Alexander: The third [00:18:20] event that I’m thinking about are workshops. We will create workshops in person and virtually, and so for [00:18:30] that, it would be great if we would have people that are really interested from that point of view and want to create workshops together with me [00:18:40] and other experts in the community. And the last event is, of course, the conference.

[00:18:47] Alexander: So November this year we will run the next [00:18:50] conference and this will be a much, much bigger thing with lots of contributed presentations, all these kinds of different things. And I want to grow this [00:19:00] conference bigger and bigger over time. And there I really need also people that help me. In that regard, I’d [00:19:10] love to organize such conferences.

[00:19:13] Alexander: So, in summary, yeah, there are a lot of benefits for being a volunteer. [00:19:20] Ultimately, you can have a lot of fun create a So you can have a bigger network, learn a lot of different things and have a much better [00:19:30] career. And there’s four positions that are open within the Effective Statistician communities.

[00:19:37] Alexander: The first one is the Community Manager, the [00:19:40] second one is the Course Manager, the third one is the Podcast Manager, and the last one is the Event Organizer. And if you love any of these, yeah, [00:19:50] just go to their homepage. And send an email there or just connect with me on LinkedIn and say, Hey, Alexander, I would love to be a [00:20:00] volunteer.

[00:20:02] Alexander: We have already quite a lot of volunteers coming in and this is a really, really fun thing [00:20:10] to do together. So stay tuned for more about this in the future and have a great time. Just be an [00:20:20] effective statistician.

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