May 2022 updates from MUSC College of Graduate Studies from Dean Paula Traktman, Ph.D

Dean Paula Traktman
May 02, 2022
Dean Traktman

This newsletter is being written as the spring semester draws to a close and a new class of graduates is getting ready for the CGS hooding ceremony and Commencement.

These graduates will progress to a variety of “next steps” along their career trajectory. At CGS, in addition to our focus on providing an ever-improving curriculum and productive immersion in research, we are committed to helping our trainees discover what that career trajectory should be and how to best prepare themselves.

We have offered two career development opportunities this semester: A2i and A2A.

A2i (accelerate to industry) was initially developed at North Carolina State; we offer the "Job Search Strategies" module.

In a series of interactive workshops, our trainees learn about job possibilities for biomedical scientists in the industry, approaches to informational interviews, job applications, cover letters and resume preparation, etc. Workshop leaders represented different industries and provided training in various skills.

A2A, a new initiative launched this spring, comprises a series of workshops designed to provide helpful perspectives on how to "accelerate to academia." In the initial workshop, I provided my thoughts on the skills that graduate students should hone to ready themselves for the move to postdoctoral training, how to conceptualize a science niche for themselves and the strategies needed to prepare themselves for the search for a faculty position. Current postdocs at MUSC and recent alumni who are now postdocs at other institutions joined in for the second half of that workshop. In our second session, assistant professors at MUSC discussed their own journey to obtaining faculty positions. Several basic-science chairmen led the final workshop at MUSC, offering yet another perspective as they described what they look for as they recruit new faculty.

As we develop additional enrichment programs in the "career development" space, we welcome your input on what you believe to be most useful for new graduates and fellows as they build a diverse portfolio of productive careers.

As usual, this newsletter highlights a current student who is graduating this semester and moving on to a postdoctoral position at Genentech (Kareem Helsop) and an alumna who went from a Ph.D. in the field of biostatistics to a productive career in immunology with chapters in both academia and biotechnology (Cynthia Bristow).