Nolan Williamson

5th Lit Comp.

Research Reflection 5

In the end, I contacted three experts. The first expert actually found me via his Google Reader account. I contacted this man, asked to interview him, and he agreed. I sent him the interview questions, but sadly he was too busy, and was never able to return them to me in time, so I had to find another expert. Throughout my research, there was a company that came up in many of the articles. Since they seem to be at the head of the field, I decided to contact them next. I never did receive a response from them, so I moved on to another expert. From there, I contacted a local college that has a rather large prosthetics program. Thankfully they responded quickly and got back to me, although they too were busy and would only be able to conduct a phone interview, so we arranged a time, and will soon conduct the interview.

I emailed all three experts, and went about all three from a different approach. For the first expert, I thanked him for agreeing to the interview, and thanked him for the wonderful information that he provided me with prior to the interview, and then I sent him the questions. I then waited several weeks, and was unable to get a response after that. There was only a few days left in the project, so I then contacted the next two experts. Both of them received similar emails, apologizing for the short notice, and inquired about conducting an interview so that I could learn and ask questions about the field of prosthetics with a real world expert.

Since, at this time, I have received no interview information from any of the experts, I cannot comment on what I learned from that experience. Thankfully, the first expert sent me several emails during the course of the interview that were loaded with useful information and links to resources. I am and was very grateful for this helping hand, and I was sure to thank him generously. I am excited to obtain the information from the interview, because I included sever questions that I was unable to answer from my research throughout the project that an expert might be able to answer.

I learned from this whole process that one must always be prepared for the unexpected, and always have a backup even if it is slightly less favorable. I have absolutely no regrets in the complications I had with the first expert, as he gave me copious amounts of information, and I understand the troubles of living a busy life, and I do not blame him for not being able to respond to me. In a way I am almost grateful that it happened, because it has taught me to always be prepared, and from now on I will always have something to fall back on.

The advice that I would give another upcoming student is: simply be prepared. Things will rarely go exactly how you want them to or even how you predict them to. I would recommend that the student take their time in finding an expert, as it is an important part of the process, and valid, specific information is needed to help with the process. In being prepared, I would highly recommend that the student contact more than one expert, so that he both has something to use as a secondary source, and something to use should one not work out.

*NOTE* as of 5/3/10 This post is now outdated. The first expert returned my questions, with answers at a far greater level of detail than I had expected. As predicted, the delay was due to complications far beyond his control.