Our training program works with the current and past trainees in planning their future careers. This career coaching can be provided by our Program in many different ways, including:
- encouraging each trainee to build his or her own Individual Development Plan (IDP);
- working the trainee’s mentor in the early stages of their career development;
- providing guidance to trainees about opportunities for professional development available at WSU and elsewhere;
- discussing different career opportunities at the monthly trainee Forum meetings;
- providing opportunities for trainees to meet visiting scientists and engineers to discuss different career possibilities when they come to Pullman to give research seminars, teach in the Protein Biotechnology course, or speak at the annual Biotechnology Symposium run by the Program.
This year, our trainee-led Forum’s Professional Development Committee has arranged a series of workshops with WSU’s Academic Success and Career Center. These workshops cover topics such as CV development and preparation, finding internships, networking and job search strategies, and preparing for interviews.
A number of our students are or have taken a course created by the WSU Graduate School, Leadership Development (INTERDIS 580). This course, includes a leadership retreat and series of meetings and workshops on current topics of leadership and the development of professional skills for doctoral students in the 21st century. A syllabus for this course was provided in the 2014 Progress Report. Students engage in experiential learning during the retreat, the workshops, the faculty panels, and the group activities and discussions. Seminar presentations are led by students and focus on generational and gender differences, entrepreneurship, communication, culture, teamwork, responsible conduct of research, and social networking. Weekly seminar sessions include a discussion of literature, presentations and group activities.
All of our trainees, regardless of which degree unit they are enrolled in, have access to the School of Molecular Biosciences’ Professional Development Track. This training includes development of oral and written communication skills (technical, interpersonal, and social), authentic leadership, mental and emotional coping strategies, and professional outreach with the goal of training our students to act professionally, authentically and responsibly, and to serve as public advocates of scientific discovery. Currently, SMB offers annual workshops on grant writing, publishing ethics, manuscript writing, responsible conduct in research, biosafety, lab safety, student conduct/academic integrity workshop, and panel discussions with WSU and visiting postdoctoral associates and faculty on career options and searching for and finding employment after graduation.