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.

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. 
Wednesday, 16 August 2017 10:29

FoR Changing Science: From Academia for Nonprofit

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Gary McDowell had a highly productive scientific career that included studying at the University of Cambridge and two postdocs in Boston. He discovered that research can be highly competitive and cutthroat, and realized that these problems were not limited to a particular lab or institution but rather the entire scientific enterprise. With a group of postdocs, Gary organized events to discuss challenges facing junior scientists and now he is Executive Director of a nonprofit that focuses on improving the scientific research endeavor.
Wednesday, 09 August 2017 14:31

Working in Public Health at the State Level

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Who are public health professionals and what do they do? What can you do to get into a public health career? We interviewed Dr. Denise Toney, a Director of the Division of Consolidated Laboratories at the state laboratories for Virginia to learn more about the public health profession. She recommends that you solidify your interests in public health by participating in fellowships/internships, and to network at conferences. To learn about what opportunities exist, read the blog post.
Wednesday, 26 July 2017 10:59

8 Tips to Help You Begin Writing Your Paper

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For scientists it is imperative to relay your research to your colleagues through published papers.  But what if you find the idea of writing overwhelming – daunting even?  You struggle to stay motivated despite the many lab (and non-lab) distractions.  We reached out to senior doctoral students and postdocs who have experienced and overcome these obstacles.  Check out their 8 tips to begin writing your paper today!
Bench-level clinical microbiologists serve an important role in a clinical microbiology lab. They are often the first people to identify disease-causing pathogens, which helps medical staff with the treatment of patients. In a clinical microbiology lab, personnel management and technical management are typically the next steps to advance in your career.
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