As biology graduate students, Lilli Fishman, Christopher Arnst and Maisha Rashid learned a startling statistic. They discovered that, although most biology students list professorship as their top career choice, only 8 percent of graduate students find a tenure-track faculty job after graduation.
In response, they founded the Careers in Science (CiS) Committee.
“Because most of us won’t wind up in academia, and yet we are exposed primarily to academia, we decided to found an organization to help us learn more about jobs outside of academia and what it takes to get them,” said Fishman, president of the CiS Committee. “Over the past three years, our committee has been committed to exposing science students, both grad and undergrad, to career paths outside of academic research.”
In conjunction with their mission, members of the CiS Committee, along with the Graduate Student Association and the Department of Biological Sciences, invite students and faculty studying science to attend the 2017 Careers in Science Day. The daylong event consists of a seminar, career fair and more.
“This event is specifically designed to teach students about potential jobs after graduation, and to help them establish professional goals and networks to get the jobs they want,” Arnst, vice president of the CiS Committee, explained. “For faculty, this is a unique opportunity to learn about what futures lie ahead of your students and to learn how to better prepare them for careers outside of academia.”
The seminar will be hosted by Dr. Gil Van Bokkelen, chairman and CEO of Athersys Inc., a biopharmaceutical company based in Cleveland. Van Bokkelen has a background in both science and entrepreneurship.
Arnst encouraged all students to attend, regardless of their career path: “Students attending the career fair should come with open minds and resumés. One of the most valuable things we have learned from past speakers is that networking pays off — whether you’re graduating tomorrow or in five years, you can make contacts now that may help you find a job after graduation.”
Networking from CiS career fairs has paid off for many students, as Fishman was proud to mention. Students who attended in previous years have been hired by companies they met at the career fair.
This year, several companies are slated to attend the fair; these include North American Science Associates Inc., Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Aerotek and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Careers in Science Day will be held Thursday, April 6, in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium. The event will begin with an informal meet-and-greet at 9:15 a.m. A full itinerary can be found at utoledo.edu/nsm/bio/grad/careerexpo2017.html.
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