Oct. 7, 2014

Career Cycle Workshop 2014

Article by Scott Doyle (PhD student)

A report on the Career Cycle Workshop

Evaluating career options was not the first thing on my mind after starting graduate studies but the career development workshop put on by Host-Parasite Interactions, featuring Julie Brown, stressed the importance of planning my career ahead of time.

The years of experience that Julie drew from were invaluable throughout the afternoon as we learned how to prepare a cover letter and resume that would assist in standing out from other applicants. Learning about the components of a high impact cover letter and how to highlight my specific skillset to potential employers was a highlight in the first part of the session.

One of the most useful and wildly entertaining aspects of the workshop was learning to negotiate a job offer. HPI students played the role of applicant while Julie filled in as the tough hiring manager. The back and fourth conversations of this part of the session stimulated many discussions among the participants about how to be creative when negotiating a job offer, such as taking an initial lower salary for more vacation days.

Overall, the Host-Parasite Interactions group secured a fantastic speaker and hosted a workshop that assisted all trainees in better understanding the job market and how to secure that critical first position. This workshop was valuable for trainees just starting out as well as those who are close to finishing their degrees. It might be many years away but the when I negotiate my first job offer I know I will be looking back on the lessons learned in this workshop.