2018 Exploring Careers Symposium

PhD trained? Now what?

A panel of trained scientists currently in a diversity of careers gathered to share their experiences with WVU graduate students and postdocs at the Spring 2018 Exploring Careers Symposium, which was sponsored by the Cell Biology Training Program, the Behavioral and Biomedical Sciences T32, the Stroke T32, the Office of Research and Graduate Education and the Department of Biochemistry.

Seventy-eight participants from across the campus registered to attend the day long symposium and hear our guest speakers describe their career paths, requirements and job skills for their positions, daily duties, and pros and cons of their career choice. They also provided advice on how to prepare for a career in their field. The day ended with a panel discussion where the invited speakers addressed questions from the audience, providing both detailed career-specific advice and broad general career advice on a range of topics. The student organizers of the symposium had the opportunity to network with the speakers at a dinner. Participants at the symposium had time during breaks and lunch to converse with speakers of interest.

The event was well received by the participants, “I had a great experience!”. The diversity of careers was appreciated, “The event itself was amazing! I loved the broad variety of topics we were able to learn about”. Importantly, the participants took the opportunity to really engage with the speakers, “I made great connections, and networked with the speakers of interest to me.”. Likewise, the speakers enjoyed the symposium, “It was a fantastic visit!”, were impressed with the student organizers and participants, “Their questions were insightful” and commented that “The logistics and organization of the Symposium were outstanding.”

Thanks to all of the participants who made this a very successful event. Special thanks to Gina Mazzetti who provided all of the logistical support for the symposium. Thank you to our guests, Aubrey Daniels (CEO of Aubrey Daniels International), Harish Radhakrishna (Senior Director, Flavors-Chromocell), Erienne Olesh (Assistant Director of Technology Commercialization, WVU), Elizabeth DiNapoli (Medical Science Liaison), Kelly Servick (Writer, Science Magazine), Andre Porter (Science Policy Analyst, ASBMB), Darren Sledjeski (Chief of the Genetic Mechanisms Branch, NIH) and Mercedes Rubio (Program Director, Division of Training, Workforce Development and Diversity, NIH). Thanks also to all of the CBTP, BBS and Stroke student organizers of the symposium, particularly Deidre O’Dell for spearheading student efforts to organize Exploring Careers!