Description: Thinking about and planning for life beyond graduate school is one of the most anxiety-provoking activities students face. In this course, students will share their personal stories and dilemmas about career decisions, discuss various career options with a PhD in life sciences, and learn to design their own path. There will be three career panels with invited guests from various career tracks, including research, teaching, administration, business, law, journalism, policy, and more. Open to PhD students in Biosciences programs. The class will meet at Carnegie Institution for Science's seminar room building 600, located at 260 Panama St, Stanford, CA 94305.
Requirements: Students are expected to attend all class meetings, actively contribute to group discussions, and to give a short group presentation on the final class meeting.
April 4 — Introductions
Introduction to the structure and context of the course, as well as an excellent opportunity for participants to get to know one another. We will go over requirements and expectations of the course, complete a preliminary survey, and engage in small group activities discussing career opportunities in the life sciences, personal/professional dreams, and how to find an overlap between the two.
April 11 — Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Test
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality inventory is widely acknowledged as one of the most accurate and respected personality tests in psychology. It can be utilized in considering future career decisions as a practical tool for investigating work styles and work settings that are most conducive to one’s personality. We will be discovering our personality types, and how to maximize our "gifts" (our personality preferences) in order to contribute to team success--while understanding how the many facets of our complex identities affect overall career satisfaction. Staff from Stanford’s BioSci Careers (https://med.stanford.edu/bioscicareers.html) will help with evaluating the results.
April 18 — Career Panel I: “Policy, Administration, and Scientific Journalism”
Panelists will be briefly introduced, then the floor will be opened up for student questions. This panel, along with the panels to follow, will serve as the perfect opportunity for lively discussion, and give students unique insight regarding career options and expectations.
Policy: Mary Maxon, Ph.D. Associate Laboratory Director, Biosciences Labs at UC Berkeley
Govt Program Management: Devaki Bhaya, Ph.D. Adjunct Staff Scientist, Carnegie Institute for Science, Department of Plant Biology
Science Writing: Amy Adams, M.S. Director of Science Communications, Stanford University
Academic Administration: Rieko Yajima, Ph.D. Director for Drug Discovery Innovation, SPARK Translational Research Program, Stanford University
April 25 — Career Panel I Decompression
Group discussions to follow the “Policy, Administration, and Scientific Journalism” panel. Students will be encouraged to share their responses to the panel, their ideas about what careers in these fields may look like, as well as their likes and dislikes about panelist responses.
May 2 — Introduction to Final Presentations/Career Planning Lecture
Final Presentation projects will be assigned and expectations will be discussed. In addition, there will be a lecture on career planning to introduce students to key concepts and tools that are useful in professional development, with group discussions to follow.
May 9 — Career Panel II: “Business”
Venture Capital: James Zhang, Ph.D. Chief Strategy Officer, Centrillion Technologies Inc., and Partner, GRC Fund
Patent Law: James Keddie, Ph.D. Senior Patent Agent, Bozicevic, Field & Francis LLP
Industry: Lee Chae, Ph.D. Co-Founder and CTO, Brightseed
Entrepreneurship: Fred Hempel, Ph.D. Co-Owner of Baia Nicchia Farm and Artisan Seeds
Industry administration: Malavika Kannuswamy, M.S. Associate Director, Portfolio Planning and Program Management, Denali Therapeutics
May 16 — Career Panel III: “Research”
Academic Research: Ashby Morisson, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Biology, Stanford University
NGO Research: Rebecca Shaw, Ph.D. Senior Vice President and Chief Scientist, World Wildlife Fund
Government Research: John Vogel, Ph.D. Staff Scientist, Joint Genome Institute, and Adjunct Professor, UC Berkeley Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
Teaching: Jesse Miller, Ph.D. Lecturer, Stanford University
May 23 — Career Panels II & III Decompression
Group discussions to follow the “Business” and “Research” panels. Students will be encouraged to share their responses to the panel, their ideas about what careers in these fields may look like, as well as their likes and dislikes about panelist responses.
May 30 — Student Final Presentations
Students will give their final presentations, followed by extensive group discussions to wrap up all that we have discovered together about ourselves, and about the career options that are available to us. We will also discuss ways to follow up from this course and additional resources that are available on and off campus.
Disability Access: Students with disabilities necessitating accommodation and/or services in class should notify the teaching assistants and initiate a request with the Office of Accessible Education (OAE). The OAE will evaluate the request with required documentation, recommend appropriate accommodations, and prepare a verification letter dated in the current academic term in which the request is being made. Please contact the OAE as soon as possible; timely notice is needed to arrange for appropriate accommodations. The OAE is located on the first floor of the Student Services Building, between the Munger Graduate Residences and the Haas Center for Public Service, at 563 Salvatierra Walk, Stanford, CA 94305 (office hours Monday - Friday, 9 am - 5 pm). You may contact them through their website (oae.stanford.edu), email (email@example.com), or phone (650-723-1066).
Honor Code: Please visit and read the honor code from Stanford’s community standards website: https://communitystandards.stanford.edu/policies-and-guidance/honor-code. The difference between utilizing information from or taking quotes and giving proper citation to external information sources versus plagiarism should be apparent by now. These standards will be strictly upheld throughout this class.