Al Blackadar, AMS Honorary Member and Past President and veteran of countless AMS meetings, shared this story to us this week. It proves the power of serendipity as well as the value of getting to know people in your field–precisely the point of Annual Meeting week and in particular events like the new Reception for Young Professionals this coming Sunday:
I happened to be in Boston one morning in 1948 or thereabout with a late-afternoon train reservation to return to New York. I was then an instructor at NYU working for a degree and hoping to find a start on my career. On an idle thought I wandered over to 45 Beacon Street to see the ruins that had just been acquired for the future AMS headquarters and unexpectedly met Ken Spengler and Tom Malone, then President of the AMS. I accepted an invitation for a tour and lunch, neither of which had been previously scheduled. Next morning, back at home in New Jersey I was awakened by a surprise phone call from Tom Malone asking me if I would accept an appointment as Editor of the AMS Monographs!
I have often mentioned this experience to my students. There are unlimited ways to make yourself known – more than you will ever expect or ever plan. Make it a habit and I can guarantee success.