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, 01 February 2017 08:54

Experience Needed for an Industry Managerial Career

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You’ve finally landed a research job in a pharmaceutical or biotechnology company and after spending a few years mastering your job, you might want to move into the business side. But exactly how much business experience/background do you need to be competitive for a management position within industry? We interviewed Dr. Alita Miller of Entasis Therapeutics and Dr. Sarah McHatton of Novozymes to get their insights on this question.
Wednesday, 25 January 2017 11:59

The Importance of Finding the Right Mentor

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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. 
Wednesday, 18 January 2017 10:00

5 Reasons Why Having Multiple Mentors Helps You

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Who do you go to with questions on your career? Or when your PCR isn’t working? How about when you have a conflict with a coworker? Although it may be easier to approach your dissertation mentor or an appointed advisor to get clarity on these questions, why not consider going to an expert or another mentor? In celebration of National Mentoring Month, learn about the benefits of having multiple mentors. 
Wednesday, 04 January 2017 15:21

How to Pick a Post-Doc Position

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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…
What is your personal brand? Have you spent time purposefully shaping it, or has it evolved on its own? Do you wonder what a “personal brand” even is? One of the great things about the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) is that it combines scientific sessions and professional development opportunities for students. At ABRCMS 2016, Dr. Marquita Qualls of Entropia Consulting presented a session on building your personal brand.
Wednesday, 21 December 2016 10:10

ASM’s Top 5 Career Advice Tips from 2016

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The most viewed career articles of 2016 with career advice tips.
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.  
Do you like working in a hospital with patient samples? Ty Cox, a medical lab scientist at Banner University Medical Center in Tucson shares his journey and what skills are needed for his profession. As he juggles his new position, he is learning to manage his time better and take on new responsibilities.
Informational interviewing is a teachnique where you gather information about a career field, an organization, one’s career path, that position’s daily responsibilities, skills that are needed for a particular position, and many more topics so that you can decide on what career path is right for you. 
Do you have a Ph.D. and want to learn about your options? Mark Campbell, a biological safety officer, shares what he does, how he got there, and advice for trainees.  
Monday, 14 November 2016 08:20

How to Find the Science Career for You

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It’s no secret that STEM academic research and faculty positions, particularly tenure-track positions, are harder to come by now than they were decades ago. Thus, recent Ph.D. graduates are more likely to work outside of academia than within, and current graduate students are looking for information on varied career options. Students often have difficulty finding this career information. Academic advisors may be underprepared to discuss non-academic career options, and students and postdocs may be too busy in the lab to pursue outside professional development or may not know where to look for this information. 
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…
What are the other options available for grad students besides academia and industry? Students are probably most familiar with industry; however, there are many other career options available. For this blog, we chose to highlight a government position at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which includes both research and regulatory components.
ASM arrived at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (UNC) on September 28, 2016 to host the first ever ASMicro Day. The purpose of ASMicro Day is to connect our members with the most up-to date research and resources that ASM offers. Because the event was taking place early morning, ASM staff came with tons of coffee and pastries to attract graduate students, postdocs, and faculty.
Wednesday, 28 September 2016 09:41

ASMicro Day at UNC Chapel Hill

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The first-ever ASMicro Day offers a morning of learning and insights from leaders in microbiome research, followed by opportunities to learn how ASM can be of value to you and your science
Wednesday, 21 September 2016 11:13

A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding your Career Goals

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The career planning process can start at any time, but the overall rule is the sooner the better. The rule applies to anyone -  whether you’re a junior undergraduate, 1st year graduate student, postdoctoral fellow or somewhere in between. The career planning process includes four steps: 1) Understanding You – What are your interests, values, and skills? 2) Exploration – What are the current career paths in the workforce and which do you find most interesting? 3) Building Yourself and Your Network – What skills, experiences, and people do you need to get to career X, Y, or Z? 4)…
How critical is a postdoc if I want to teach at a primarily undergraduate or 2-year institution? To bring a broad perspective to the issue, Microbe Mentor editor Thomas Hanson asked three microbiologists at different career stages and types of institutions for their thoughts. Dr. Amy Cheng Vollmer is a Professor of Biology at Swarthmore College, Dr. Virginia Balke is an Instructor and Project Director at Delaware Technical Community College (DTCC), and Dr. Carie Frantz is an Assistant Professor of Geochemistry and Biogeoscience at Weber State University. Dr. Vollmer’s research focuses on the stress response in Escherichia coli, and is…
While growing up, Crystal Icenhour worked in her family’s business, a large truck repair shop. She did everything from helping her mother with accounting to assisting her father with inventory and mopping the floors. Fast forward to today—after a blur of high-quality education (she finished her Ph.D. in a jaw-dropping four years) and starting a family—Crystal is CEO at Aperiomics. How did Crystal go from earning her Ph.D. in pathobiology and molecular medicine to becoming the CEO of her own start up? Read about her story.
Isaac Wagner is a Senior Microbiologist at Ciris Energy, a start-up biotech company. He works in Research and Development (R&D) to produce high-value compounds. His advice for someone who wants to work in a start-up is to develop your interpersonal skills while in school so that you can effectively work as part of a team and be adaptable.
Joe McCall, Team Lead & Quality Assurance at Bausch + Lomb works in the private industry, specifically in pharmaceuticals and medical devices. He leads a team of microbiologists who are responsible for the microbiological safety, purity, and identity of Bausch + Lomb’s contact lens care and ophthalmic solutions. On daily basis, he uses a variety of technologies and methods to assess the microbiological quality of the products they produce and the environment in which they’re produced. His one piece of advice for students is to be active about your career and pursue professional development opportunities. Check out the rest of his profile. 
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