UAB EXPERIENtial Learning for Career Enhancement in the Sciences
(EXPERIENCES) Program

What:  A professional development initiative that introduces UAB graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to emerging career options in the sciences.experenices

Why:   Workforce reports show that pre- and post-doctoral trainees need to be informed and educated about careers within and outside traditional academic research to be job-ready in today’s economy. Because experiential learning is a critical element of career awareness, the purpose of the UAB EXPERIENCES Program is to test the feasibility of varied experiential learning approaches in five strategic career areas: 1)  business and entrepreneurship; 2) public policy, government, and non-profit organizations; 3) research administration; 4) science communication; and 5) science education.

Who & When:  The UAB EXPERIENCES Program is open to all UAB graduate students and post-doctoral fellows upon written approval from their mentors. It will be conducted from October. 2017 – July 2018.

Details:

IDP and Self-Assessments

·   All interested trainees will update their IDPs and perform self-assessments
·   Each trainee will review these materials with a career advisor before selecting a career path area

Boot-camp Informational Sessions

·   Separate boot-camp sessions will be held for each of the aforementioned career path areas; they will be conducted over a weekend by a career community partner active in the field
·   Sessions will provide information on employment trends, educational requirements, and job skills specific to that career area
·   Upon successful completion of the boot-camp session, each trainee may opt to perform either a shadowing or immersion experience with the same career partner; alternatively, the trainee may choose no additional activity

Job Simulations

·   These will provide true-to-life job simulation exercises to help trainees explore potential careers in the biomedical science field.
 ·   A partnership between Wash U and UCSF, they designed the job simulations to be self-guided. Each simulation contains background and directions for you to complete a task that is related to the career of interest.

Shadowing Experiences

·   Shadowing experiences will be comprised of two, day-long sessions with a career community partner
·   In these sessions, trainees will visit the partner’s office, meet with staff, and observe daily activities

Immersion Experiences

·   Immersion experiences will be comprised of the equivalent of four weeks’ time at the partner’s office
·   In these sessions, trainees will work with the partner on a focused project toward a defined goal

Evaluation, Measure Value, and Positive Impact

·   Surveys, interviews, and monitoring of trainees, mentors, and community partners
·   Positive impact on trainees’ and mentors’ awareness of career options


Questions?  Contact: 

Lisa Schwiebert, PhD, Assoc. Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs, lschwieb@uab.edu
Jami Armbrester, MS, Director of Career Services, jamiA@uab.edu

Sponsored by the UAB Graduate School and the Office of Postdoctoral Education