UCSF: Where every month is career exploration month for Ph.D.s – Every. Single. Month.

The Goal? To get students and postdocs to take charge of their career

We’ve been thinking about different ways make student/postdoc career and professional development constantly visible and accessible. Some issues: there is no one time of year that PhDs think about their career options or goals, and while large, marquee career events can attract large numbers of PhDs, those one time events can be missed by as many students/postdocs that attend.

What are we doing?

Well, in the spirit of “go big or go home;” the Program Director for Non-Academic Careers, Patti Meyer (along with Program Director Thi Nguyen before her), hammered out an idea which boils down to, “Every month is career exploration month for PhDs at UCSF,” or #EveryMonth.

Every month, we’re going to focus on celebrating a different career path for PhDs, creating an annual cycle that students and postdocs can pop in and out of during their years at UCSF. In this first year, we’ll focus on designing or co-sponsoring 1-2 programs, workshops or panels,  along with offering career workshop staples (how to write a CV, interviewing skills, etc.). We’ll also build out and feature online resources, and highlight alumni who took that career path.  Next year, we’ll start actively inviting fellow UCSF offices and student groups to partner with us, to make each month’s activities more robust.

It could work, and it might not; we’re piloting it, and we’re going ourselves a year to assess how it goes.

What’s our Annual Career Exploration Cycle?

  • January:  Industry Research Series
  • February: Data Science
  • March: Consulting AND Faculty Careers
  • April: Business of Science
  • May: Science Writing & Communication
  • June: Tech Transfer
  • July: Industry Research Series
  • August: Career Exploration Skill Development
  • September: Non-Profit and Think Tank
  • October: Policy Careers
  • November: Clinical/Regulatory Careers
  • December: Start-ups

 photo credit: Shutterstock