2016 Faculty - Dr. Jeremiah Shinn, Boise State University

Why do you think the IFI experience is important for newer professionals?

Whether you're a new professional or a "seasoned" professional, it's important to always be challenging what you believe and questioning what you think you know. None of us is a finished product. We develop our professional philosophy through experience, discomfort and occasionally through being wrong. IFI provides the space for discomfort, for challenge and ultimately for growth.

If you attended as a newer professional, what was your favorite part about the institute? Do you still maintain any of the relationships you made from IFI? How have those relationships impacted your professional career?

Early in our career, it's valuable to build a professional network of colleagues on whom we can depend through the years. Just last weekend, a colleague whom I met at IFI called to seek advice -- and I have done the same on a number of occasions. This work is all about relationships and IFI is a great place to begin building them.

We thank you for giving your time to the institute. Why are you interested in serving FEA and IFI in this capacity?

I serve because it's important for to contribute what I can toward the mentorship and support of new professionals...with the hope that they will someday do the same. This is how we continue to move forward.

If you could describe your first few years in the field with one word, what would it be and why?

Naive. I was bright and had lots of potential. I mistakenly believed this translated into knowledge and effectiveness, which caused me to have a rude awakening when surrounded by people who were actually knowledgeable and who had a track record of effectiveness. Now, 15+ years into my career, I think I'm just now arriving at the point where I have some things figured out. But I still have a long way to go. The more you know, the more you realize you don't know.

What articles, books, etc. do you recommend?

Too many to suggest. If you aren't in the habit of reading, you'll never be as effective as you could have been. Always be investing in your knowledge base. In the past, I have recommended Freakonomics series, Steven D. Levitt; HBR.org; 99u.com; Fast Company (magazine) to IFI participants.