Author: Charlotte Anthony | Category: Career Development | June 12, 2015
“I am still
exploring the possibilities that are out there for my future career,” explained
Rafael Veraza, a graduate student in the Translational Science Ph.D. program. “Ideally as a translational scientist, I think I would like to be basically be a bridge between the
academic research scientists and industry.”
Veraza attended the Career Advisory Council workshop on June 5 to learn more about tips for careers as an academic scientist.
During the workshop,
Dr. Veronica Galvan, Dr. Charlie Wilson, Dr. James Lechleiter, Dr. William P. Clarke, and Dr. Phil LoVerde shared their personal
path along with career advice.
“Science is like a
competitive sport and it can be a very challenging career,” Dr. Lechleiter said.
“Networking might get you in the door but it won’t get you the position, it
just gives you a shot at it.”
Dr. Lechleiter said
that when he looks at applicants, he is always looking for someone who is
complimentary and can add something to the team. He explained that having
varied research interests can help.
“A healthy and
competitive scientific environment is when you are able to not only look at
your own research but also to look at other people’s research and offer useful
feedback,” Dr. Lechleiter said.
A solid portfolio is
also key to getting an interview.
“At any stage,
people will always look at what you’ve accomplished in your last job,” Dr.
Lechleiter said. “It doesn’t have to be eight or nine publications but a few examples
of good quality research.”
explained that even if you don’t have a publication yet, the ability to come to
the interview with materials that you are working on can help.
looked at your CV and found that you are worth interviewing,” Dr. LoVerde said.
“Going to the interview with your ideas in hand and explaining what you still
need to do, how you can do it at this institution, who you will collaborate
with, and why it’s important is impressive.”
In addition, Dr.
LoVerde said that it is helpful to research the institution before the
“Know what your
teaching responsibility would be because private schools have different
structures than public or undergraduate universities,” Dr. LoVerde said.
After being offered
the job, Dr. LoVerde explained that if they give you the choice to teach first
or second semester, it is always preferable to choose first semester.
“Use the first
semester to get yourself set up in the lab, order your equipment and supplies,
and apply for grants. Teaching a course for the first time can be extremely
challenging especially if you are just getting used to being in a new
environment. The second semester is when all your equipment has arrived and you
will have the uninterrupted time to work in the lab.”
that this was the first time he attended a Career Advisory Council meeting and
that he found it extremely helpful.
“I think it is very
important for students to engage with professors and professionals that have
gone through the same steps that we are going through in our academic careers,”
Veraza said. “I really like that we were able to talk to different professors
and hear their pathway to where they are now. Having different perspectives
allowed me to clearly understand the pathway into an academic career.”
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