Oh, the places you'll go
after grad school!
Resource profiles

Career exploration and development resources

May 27, 2013

Looking for the best science career exploration and development resources?

The Links page has just been updated with a new batch of helpful resources from around the web. Check it out for interesting links like a career planning tool from Stanford’s Career Center, tips for aspiring project managers, and ten simple rules for commercializing science research. You’ll also find new Links sections for self-assessments and science teaching, and personal stories from many PhDs who have already branched out.

Here, 2 newly added links worth highlighting:

1. dougsguides. Doug is a biology PhD, entrepreneur, business exec and Haas School of Business lecturer who created this site to help students transition to the business world. His site includes ebooks, self assessments, online guides, and tips on tricky subjects like handling coworker conflict and negotiating your first salary. As someone with very little business background, I found the business basics tutorials especially helpful. Much of the content, including an ebook on finding your first job, is free; other ebooks are available at a reasonable price.

2. What Are All the PhDs. A brand new Tumblr run by a biochemistry PhD and university administrator, this site focuses on telling the personal career stories of PhDs. You’ll find profiles of a children’s book author, a director of the rare book collections at Standford’s Medical Center, Doug (of the aforementioned Doug’s Guides), and more.


Huskies: Get mentoring for the transition from science/engineering to business

Jan 8, 2013

Note: the deadline for this mentor program sign up has passed, but check out SEBA’s website for more useful resources

If you are a University of Washington student, this next week offers you the opportunity to not only become more intimately acquainted with your rain jacket, but also to take advantage of a fantastic (and free!) mentoring program from the UW’s student-run Science and Engineering Business Association. The program targets undergrads or graduate students in science or engineering fields who have an interest in some type of business career.

I signed up because I’m interested in learning more about whether a business career might fit me, and also because to this point in my life my sole experience in the for-profit world was the white knuckled summer I spent ensuring that small children in kayaks were not run over by the endless stream of seaplane landings on Seattle’s Lake Union (100% success!).

Vote! Bring a new science and society leadership program to your campus

Vote! Bring a new science and society leadership program to your campus

Nov 16, 2012

Note: the deadline for voting has passed. The program will debut next year at five campuses: University of Washington, University of Pennsylvania, Vanderbilt, Stanford, and Purdue. Check out the program website for more information.

As graduate students we spend years crafting projects in the hope that we might move our micro-specialized field one step – even a tiny step – forward. During these years of an all-consuming focus on questions that only two dozen other people in the world even understand, we might fantasize about using our creativity and science literacy to connect with the public and develop solutions to the real challenges we face in our communities (and achieving it all outside the condemnatory scope of the dreaded reviewer # 3).

So a few smart scientists (former FOSEP-ers and current AAAS-ers) came up with an idea: bring talented and committed graduate students from all fields together in a cross disciplinary team, and give that team a mandate to create solutions for real world challenges. The team will be united by a specific issue of their choosing – whether it be controlling invasive species, addressing water rights, encouraging urban revitalization, or reducing health disparities – and will have the resources to engage the public, civic leaders, non-profits, and industry in innovative solutions. Notable about this program is that while thinking scientifically about these issues will be important, teams will be composed of graduate and professional students across all disciplines (we all share the same proclivity towards free food, but bring diverse expertise and experience to an interdisciplinary challenge).

The program is called Emerging Leaders in Science and Society (ELISS), but here’s the catch: it doesn’t exist quite yet.

myIDP: Career matching for scientists

myIDP: Career matching for scientists

Nov 5, 2012

My Individual Development Plan, or myIDP, is like a Harry Potter Sorting Hat for PhD scientists and career paths. Take three short assessments on skills, interests, and values, and myIDP will triumphantly announce to all of Hogwarts (ok…just to you, on your computer) your career matches.  The algorithm uses ratings by career advisors to calculate match scores based on your self-assessment for over 60 different career paths within 20 different career categories.

Here’s a look at my top 5 matches:

The Open Notebook: A behind the scenes look at freelance science writing

The Open Notebook: A behind the scenes look at freelance science writing

Oct 29, 2012

Can you call a 9-year-old a psychopath?

So titled is Jennifer Kahn’s  NYTimes magazine cover story exploring the controversial phenomenon of child psychopathy. While the article itself is a fascinating read, aspiring freelance science writers may be more interested in how she wove developmental psychology and a family’s true story into such a captivating narrative .