ASM Careers

ASM Careers

ASM’s careers blog focuses on young scientists seeking career advice, professional development and career exploration. Here you’ll find “a day in the life” profiles on working scientists, tips and tricks on how to craft resumes, find a mentor and transition from academia to industry.

If you are interested in writing for ASM’s careers blog or sharing details about your career, send us an email.  

ASM asked six ASM members included in the ASCP's "40 Under Forty" listing of young, successful scientists,"what advice do you have for those considering a career in clinical microbiology? What is the best career advice you've received?" Here is what they said.

How do you seek out mentors in a clinical microbiology lab? What are some reputable resources to use? Debra Myers, a Microbiology Chief Technologist at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, shares her insights on what newly hired lab/bench technicians in clinical microbiology can do to navigate the beginning stages of their career.  

Wednesday, 07 June 2017 15:47

How to Market Yourself for Industry

A common misconception is that trainees with purely basic research experience do not have the proper skill-sets and therefore, are not qualified for industrial positions.  That could not be farther from the truth, particularly if one considers that virtually every industrial project is predicated by a basic understanding of the system of interest. The challenge for basic scientists in transitioning to industry is finding job opportunities. Paul Dunman, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, shares his tips for finding job opportunities and interviewing in industry.

For beginning research scientists, honing your writing skills is essential. Randy Olson’s book, Houston, We Have a Narrative discusses a way of storytelling called “and, but, therefore” (ABT) for writing scientific papers. ABT storytelling in writing follows this format - “Such topic exists AND we know this, BUT we don’t know this other thing, THEREFORE we did these experiments.”

Wednesday, 29 March 2017 09:53

Surviving Your First Year of Graduate School

Graduate school is no walk in the park, and the first year can be especially hard because of the challenges that come with being in a new environment, learning what is expected of you, and the rigors of balancing lab work and classes. Many students end up feeling helpless, overwhelmed, and lost. We asked current graduate students about their first-year experiences and what advice they have for surviving the first year of graduate school.

On International Women’s Day, we hear from women about their perspectives on thriving in the sciences. They recommend that women be more confident and find key mentors that can guide them through the initial stages of their career. They encourage all women to be supportive of other women and their choices.

Some of us know that we want to pursue a Ph.D. and conduct research, while others have doubts. If you had an occasional internship or no research experience at all, becoming a lab tech is a good way to assess whether research excites you. We interviewed Brittney Ivanov, a lab tech at Trinity University, about what she does and what factors to consider for a lab tech job. Her experience has taught her that research is a very collaborative environment that must include outreach to the general public. 

Wednesday, 25 January 2017 11:59

The Importance of Finding the Right Mentor

With January being National Mentoring Month, we hear a personal story about mentorship from Dr. Alan Goggins, a new Microbiology and Immunology graduate. After a tough start with mentoring, he switched labs during graduate school and discovered a few factors to consider when finding the right mentor. 

Scott Cunningham, a Research and Development Technologist at the Mayo Clinic, identifies new technologies and applications for the clinical lab. He moved up the ranks to become an expert in procedural matters and training of new staff. He encourages students to aim for new goals by training for new methods and taking on additional projects. Find out more about what he does and advice for trainees.  

“You’ve never experienced anything like the bacterial unknowns project”, a veteran colleague said to me after I received my very first professional appointment as a microbiology adjunct professor. Six years later, these words still resonate in my head, and I often find myself reciting them to my students on the first day of the semester while discussing the course project. Mentioning the word “project” on the first day of class is not the most favorable conversation to have with students. However, the bacterial unknowns project may just be the ultimate assessment an instructor can implement in the microbiology laboratory.

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