Eleanor M. Jennings

Eleanor M. Jennings

Dr. Eleanor Jennings is a Principal Microbiologist at Total Environmental Concepts, Inc., an environmental consulting firm located in the Washington DC area.  She has worked on contaminant remediation projects on multiple continents, and currently serves as the U.S. science advisor to the National Science and Engineering Council of Canada.  She is also the Chair of the ASM Career Development Committee and is on the ASM Membership Board.

Dr. Jennifer Groh is a Talent Development Consultant (TDC) at the Fortune 50 company, Caterpillar Inc. in Lafayette, IN. She received a Ph.D. in environmental microbiology from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK. She became interested in motivating students to link their passions and interests with a STEM career. She worked in higher education as a Graduate Programs Coordinator and Associate Director before moving into industry. She encourages that every microbiology student should learn more about him/herself and to let others know of your interests when it’s time to getting a “real” job.


When Bryan Crable was a graduate student, he attended an ASM conference and learned about research in the government sector at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He later decided to do a postdoc there and now is a Research Scientist at the Air Force Research Laboratory. He shares what makes networking worthwhile and what helped him in his career.

Wednesday, 04 January 2017 15:21

How to Pick a Post-Doc Position

One of the challenges for any PhD candidate is to decide if they want to pursue a post-doctoral position after graduation.  This challenge can become more daunting when decisions need to be made about where (and under who) this post-doc should be conducted as well as the post-doctoral research topic.  However, it’s important to know that you are not alone in making these types of decisions. Microbe Mentor reached out to three relatively new post-docs, regarding their post-doc decisions.  Despite different backgrounds, they collectively agreed that it was critical to first determine what was important to them. The factors and their importance played out differently for each of the three interviewed post-docs.   

The decision to attend graduate school has huge implications on any young microbiologist. It can determine lifelong colleagues and friends, impact future research directions, and build business opportunities. It is no wonder, then, that the ultimate goal of any applicant is to find a university, program, and ultimately an advisor, that will satisfy the student’s current and future needs. Once the applicant has identified where he or she would like to spend the next few years of their lives, either as a Master’s student or a Ph.D. candidate, the next challenge is to convince this university/program/advisor to accept the responsibility of taking on this new student. Similar to that of a job, this application process can be very competitive. Knowing this, you might think, "What can I do to make my graduate school applications stand out?”   In other words, what can I do to better prepare myself for applying to graduate school? ASM reached out to three distinguished faculty members for their advice on this topic. Find out what they said.