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.

Dr. Kenneth Gibbs is director of the Postdoctoral Research Associate (PRAT) Program and program director in the Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity at NIH’s NIGMS. He was previously a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow. His impressive career has been guided by the desire to change the culture of science to enhance opportunities for all -- with a particular focus on people from historically underrepresented groups. In this interview with Dr. Gibbs, we learn how he made the transition to science policy.
Some you may want to oversee all of the functions of a clinical laboratory by becoming a clinical microbiology laboratory director. This not only requires knowledge of the clinical laboratory but also skills in analysis, problem-solving, personnel management and more. We provide tips on what you can do to become competitive for clinical microbiology lab director positions.
Wednesday, 31 January 2018 10:04

The Would Haves and Should Haves of Graduate School

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Research suggests that one of the best ways to find out how you’d experience something is to see how others experienced it. So that’s why in this article, we asked postdocs and senior graduate students, “If you could go back in time and do one thing differently in graduate school, what would it be?” Some mentioned researching mentors before doing rotations, and others talked about taking care of themselves. Hear what others said.  
Wednesday, 24 January 2018 10:00

Working in Industry After Academia

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Dr. David Henderson is a Scientist in the Clinical Affairs Department at Biofire Diagnostics. He shares his thoughts on transitioning from academia to industry, the differences he sees between the two worlds, and offers advice for students and postdocs who are interested in industry.
Wednesday, 17 January 2018 14:59

12 Tips to Finding Postdoctoral Mentors and Labs

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If you are considering a postdoc after graduate school, then read about the do’s and don’ts of picking a postdoctoral mentor and lab.
Medical Laboratory Scientists (MLS) who work in a clinical laboratory have many transferable research skills that make them attractive to science graduate school programs. The key is marketing these talents in your essays and interviews and to the admissions committee. We highlight some uniquely MLS skills sure to dazzle any graduate admissions committee.
Justin Tettenborn is a Sterilization Specialist for a global medical device company that develops and markets products for orthopedic, surgical and critical care use. He enjoys the freedom of his work because looks forward to applying his microbiology expertise to his team. Although finding his first position out of college was challenging, he recommends that students get job experience of any kind to show your work ethic and ability to function as part of a team.
The New Tech Professional Development Grant was given to clinical laboratory scientists to attend ASM Microbe 2017. They had the opportunity to network with their peers over dinner, share best workflow practices, and sharpen their career goals.  
Wednesday, 06 December 2017 15:46

Defining YOUR Work-Life Balance

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Everyone is looking for the “holy grail” of work-life balance. Depending on the individual, career stage, and personal life, the perfect balance can be different for everyone. Just as we do our experiments and business meetings, we need to schedule and plan the various aspects of our personal life. We summarize some tips from scientists on how to deal with challenges involving work-life balance.  
Wednesday, 29 November 2017 10:38

Tips for Mentoring During Your Research Training

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Are you a graduate student who will be mentoring an undergraduate, post-baccalaureate fellow, or master’s student? As a mentor, you will influence the future scientific trajectory of your mentee while gaining necessary management and communication skills to use in several future professional contexts. We share tips for mentoring in the lab while a trainee.  
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 09:56

Your Common Career Questions Answered

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With the new year around the corner, it’s never too late to think about the next steps in your career and set some resolutions. To help you get started, we highlight the top 5 career questions that ASM receives from students and postdocs and provide short answers.  
Dr. Operario was always interested in applying his science skills to solving global public health questions, no matter how big or small. He developed qPCR tests for enteric pathogens and tuberculosis and deployed them at international centers across the globe by training researchers to use his test. Learn about his career path and what his recommendations are for people interested in a public health career.
Have you ever been on a date where the person was dressed sloppy, or avoided answering the question, or better yet, over inflated their answers. Applying and interviewing for jobs is a bit like dating. And just like dating, it’s important to avoid behaviors and mistakes that are going to leave a bad impression—these “tells” are discussed in the article.  
Dr. Valerie Horsley always knew she wanted to teach and later became interested in research. Her passion led her to become an Associate Professor at Yale University. Although her scientific contributions are stellar, she really shines when it comes to equality and mentoring in academia. Read her tips to navigating academia and mentoring students in the lab. 
Wednesday, 04 October 2017 16:34

Four Lab Skills that You Can Use Outside of the Lab

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You just don’t learn technical skills doing research in a lab, you develop and demonstrate skills that you can transfer to a variety of professional contexts. These skills are called transferable skills. Explore four transferable skills that you gain while doing research.
Wednesday, 27 September 2017 15:35

An Insider’s Guide to Science Outreach Activities

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How do you exactly incorporate science outreach activities in your already hectic lab schedule? Dr, Donna Johnson, an avid science outreacher, summarizes programs that have varying levels of commitment and modes of involvement with insights on what she thought of each.
In celebration of National Postdoc Appreciation Week, we are giving back to our wonderful postdocs by providing tips for writing a cover letter for faculty applications. Although, there are many factors to consider in your application like a CV and teaching philosophy, a successful cover letter can distinguish you from an endless sea of competitive applicants. We discuss how to present yourself as an invaluable colleague and what to emphasize.
Wednesday, 13 September 2017 14:19

Increase Your Science Literacy with 5 Online Tools

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Modern technology and social media are not only there to tell you what your cousin had for lunch; they can increase your scientific knowledge. Here are 5 online tools that can help you stay up-to date and broaden/deepen your scientific background.
Wednesday, 30 August 2017 10:02

Acing the Graduate School Interview

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When graduate programs invite you to campus for an interview, they are testing their hypothesis that you are a stellar candidate based on a positive review of your application. You will meet with faculty to discuss your scientific aptitude. Preparing for these meetings include developing an elevator pitch and discussing other people’s research. Check out the blog to learn how to do prepare for graduate school interviews.      
In this week’s career blog, we talk to Samuel Aidoo, a Lead Microbiologist at a cosmetic manufacturing company. On a day-to-day basis, he keeps the lab running at a fully functional state by making sure that the lab has all the required resources and sample processing is done correctly. He encourages students to not limit themselves to one line of work, but instead, build upon concepts and utilize them elsewhere. 
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