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161. Career Development is NOT a Waste of Time. We Have Proof.

All those feelings of excitement and possibility screech to a halt when you walk back into the lab to see your PI glaring over her reading glasses.

She looks at her watch. “Hey, good to see you. So glad you could join us,” she drips with sarcasm.

After missing a beat, you rally. “Yeah, sorry about being a little late. I heard about an information session on internships for grad students and wanted to check it out. It seems like a really great opportunity for me to…”

She cuts you off there. “Well, I’m not sure you have time for internships or information sessions if you aren’t making progress on that paper.”

And just like that, the hope dies within you and you slump back on your lab bench.

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158. Five Strategies for Defeating Distractions

It’s Friday morning, and you promised your PI a draft of your paper before the weekend. The trouble is, you lost a lot of time this week to distractions.

Monday you had lab meeting and a few other planning sessions. Tuesday you worked from home but got sucked into cleaning the kitchen and folding laundry instead of writing.

You don’t remember why Thursday wasn’t more productive. You started out the day feeling anxious about the deadline, and then spend a few hours (hours?!) online shopping to numb the anxiety.

And here you are on Friday with less than 7 hours left until your deadline and your stress levels are maxed out. So why is it that your main desire is to watch videos on TikTok?

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139. Back to School During a Pandemic

In March 2020, the world shut down.

International borders were sealed. Businesses shuttered. Schools locked their doors and students were sent home to learn ‘remotely.’

At the same time, many universities and research labs also closed down for the summer of COVID-19. While a few labs remained open as essential research continued, many scientists froze down samples, trashed cell lines, and went home to spend some quality time with PubMed.

But now as summer wanes, the research labs are thawing out.

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116: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Summer Students

Ten weeks is not a long time. It feels even shorter when you’re tossed into the deep-end of a top-tier research lab.

If you’re spending your summer as a Research Assistant between semesters, or you’ve graduated and want to get some summer experience before grad school, we have ideas to help you hit the ground running.

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088: 15 Transferable Skills PhDs Can Use In Any Career

But I have no skills! At least no skills employers would be interested in!

Melanie Sinche
Melanie Sinche, Director of Education, The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine

As a career counselor, Melanie Sinche heard grad students and postdocs voice this concern nearly every day.  She looked at these talented scholars and saw the ability to think critically, analyze data, and solve problems. To her eye, these were transferable skills very much in demand outside the research lab.  Why couldn’t the students see it?

“I felt frustrated by that comment, and motivated to conduct a research study around skill development. I would argue that scientific training, by its very nature, lends itself to the development of LOTS of skills.”

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