Pathways to Careers in Science Workshop Highlights Professionals From Across Diverse Career Paths
Twenty professionals from a variety of fields met with graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and attendees of the Behavior, Biology, and Chemistry: Translational Research in Addiction conference at this year’s 4th annual Pathways to Careers in Science workshop on March 3 to talk about the many career paths available to early career scientists.
The workshop was structured in a unique round table format which allowed attendees to ask questions and about how to transition into the working world.
“The “speed dating” format for Pathways was perfect for both targeting my interests to specific careers and spontaneously learning about options I had not considered before,” said Deana Apple, a graduate student in the Neuroscience discipline of the Integrated Biomedical Sciences program. “Having multiple perspectives from professionals in each career path was especially helpful in understanding the variety of options available through a particular career.”
Ngoni Madungwe, Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. student, also said that the format of the event was helpful for him to gain tidbits of knowledge from each of the speakers.
“It was a good format,” he said. “Short enough to keep people’s attention but also leave you wanting more.”
Madungwe’s favorite speaker was Beth Eby, principal at Eby Financial and co-founder of The Health Cell.
“She really brought the word networking down to a practical level of what steps to take, examples of things to say and how to get good at it,” he said. “She was also really helpful with how natural introverts can still make the most of their careers through networking.”
Alex Kirkpatrick, a Master’s student in the Immunology & Infection program said the event helped her outline different career options as well as answer questions she had.
“It was great to be able to ask questions directly and if you didn’t have a particular question, you could simply listen to the questions that other students had,” she said. “The speakers at my table seemed genuinely interested in answering questions, discussing their topic, and most importantly sharing their contact information for further assistance.
Kirkpatrick said that she learned the most from the tables focused on startups.
“I learned that in order to have a successful startup venture, one should have a lot of experience in their field in order to convey trust in potential investors, this experience will also allow you to identify gaps that your startup could potentially solve or fill,” she said.
During the event, Dr. Beena Koshy, assistant vice chancellor of the Office of Innovation & Strategic Investment at University of Texas System spoke about advancing innovation in Texas.
She spoke about several system initiatives such as the Texas FreshAIR, Mentor Network Pilot and Talent Matching Pilot.
The Talent Matching Pilot is designed to expand Texas’ small and mid-size business access to UT student talent, reduce unconscious bias in hiring, and to decrease recruiting time and costs,” she said.
Dr. Koshy explained that innovation especially in life sciences takes time and no innovation is possible without commercialization.
The event featured experts from a variety of fields including consulting, science communication, and technology transfer to name a few.
“It’s good to connect with other professionals and look into different careers as there is no fixed pathway to your goals and you might discover something else you like along the way,” Madungwe said.
As a senior student, Apple explained that she found it encouraging to interact with individuals who have not pursued a traditional, research-focused path. She particularly enjoyed meeting with Dr. Brian Stout, Dr. Irene Chapa, and Dr. Emily Boice.
“During this event, I was able to network with speakers from organizations with whom my skills and interests closely match, and received invitations to further communicate about job opportunities after graduation,” Apple said.
One of the pieces of advice she received during the session was how to tailor her applications to specific careers rather than depending on a robust CV alone.
“The Pathways to Careers in Science served as the perfect opportunity to meet individuals that may help me advance my career,” said Corena Shaffer, a student in the Neuroscience discipline of the Integrated Biomedical Sciences program. “Additionally, I was able to explore career options I had never thought of.”
A special thanks to this year’s workshop speakers
– Jane Andrews, Ph.D.
Senior Healthcare Consultant, Frost & Sullivan
– John Barnes, M.B.A.
V.P. of Human Resources & Learning, BioBridge Global
– Emily Boice, Ph.D.
Communications & Program Director, Mind Science Foundation
– Christine Burke, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Director of Commercialization, University of Texas San Antonio
– Chris Bu
Executive Director, San Antonio Angel Network (SAAN)
– Irene Chapa, Ph.D.
Director of Outreach, UT Health San Antonio
– Benjamin J. Daniel, Ph.D.
Director of the Flow Cytometry Facility (FCF), UT Health San Antonio
– Beth Eby
Principal, Eby Financial
Founder, Provenir USA
– Silvia N. Calderon-Gutkind, Ph.D.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER),
Controlled Substance Staff (CSS)
– Kenneth M. Hargreaves, D.D.S., Ph.D.
Endodontics Faculty, UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry
– Carmen Hinojosa-Laborde, Ph.D.
U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research
– Thomas M. Keck, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Rowan University
Assistant Vice Chancellor of the Office of Innovation & Strategic Investment at University of Texas System
– Christopher R. McCurdy, Ph.D. B.S.Ph, FAAPS
Professor, Medicinal Chemistry, University of Florida
– Melanie Paquette-McNerlin, Ph.D.
Medical Science Liaison Consultant in Neuroscience with Eli Lilly
– Ann Beal Salamone
President, Rochal Industries
– Jose Salinas, Ph.D.
Research Task Area Manager for the Comprehensive Intensive Care Research program, U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research
– Brian Stout, Ph.D.
Biology, Physiology, Microbiology & Genetics courses, Northwest Vista College
Consultant, Ulibarri-Mason Global Human Resources
– Guillermo Vela
CEO and Co-Founder, Nebulab