Basics of Curriculum Development

Chances are good that at some point in your career, you will need to teach people something in a formal environment like a classroom or lecture hall. 

You might get assigned the entire first year of intro bio (with labs), or you might just give a guest lecture in some graduate seminar where you are visiting, but it is a common responsibility for scientists.


Life after grad school?

Before you start to read this blog post, please take the time to note that it ends with a question mark. 

That’s not to imply that “life” ends after grad school. It’s meant to imply that there are lots of things that a PhD can do. 

After spending at least 25 years preparing for something, everyone hopes to achieve a career goal that satisfies their expectations, which are generally, and should be, high. Somehow this led me to think of the song “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction”, which you may know as an early Rolling Stones hit song, first released in 1965.


Ready for a major career change? You’re not alone – part one

I am new to Bio Careers Blog.  Excited as I am as a first-timer, I will set a rule for my blog: I do not intend to give out specific action items or tips to fellow job seekers.  

You see, I am one of you.  After many years of academic research, I am ready for a major career change.  It seems like I have walked a long way to get here, and I know perfectly well that I am not alone.  If you are thinking of pursuing a career in graduate school, postdoctoral training or staying on as a non-tenure-track research scientist, you may find this blog useful.


The hub and spoke model – from aviation to pharma

Every idea has its place under the sun. Two industries, pharmaceuticals and aviation which are known to be ‘high risk – high gain’ business are strikingly employing similar practices in order to maximize productivity and profits.

Everyone would agree that both aviation and pharmaceutical businesses require ‘deep pockets’ to start and sustain. Both have long periods of gestation but if run properly, then returns can be huge eg. Pfizer, Merck, Emirates etc.


What if you still love teaching?

The truth is out there: The number of tenure track faculty positions is shrinking relative to the number of eligible candidates. 

Adjuncting may be viewed as a stop gap for departments who need instructors and candidates who are timing the job market, but these positions aren’t meant to be long term. For many scientists, this eventually crystalizes their decision to leave academia and pursue roles in industry. That’s great if you want to keep doing science, but what if you want to teach? What if you still love education?

Aníbal Valentín-Acevedo


Using Our Social Skills to Advance Our Career

If someone ask me what would be the best piece of advice I can give to a recent graduate who is about to start his/her first job, I would have to say: “make sure your social skills are impeccable”. 

I have blogged about this topic in the past but this time I want to look at it from a different angle. I believe that having the right attitude and treating your coworkers in a professional, yet social or amicable way, is one of the most powerful things we can do in benefit of our careers.


The Networking Game

When I was working with a career coach to find my current job, I was in a networking rut. 

I had already been through the basics of networking: learning about the major employers, the major professional groups and the general needs of the industry in my location. I did this by going to a lot of random events and making small talk with people I just met, most of them I never heard from again.


Working on an Agile Team

A fun buzzword I am seeing in job descriptions is agile. You will be part of an Agile team..., or ...using Agile methodology. 

It’s very common in the software industry, but certainly getting some usage in other industries that have projects where the goals or scope may change during the development of the project. As such, there are loads of resources about agile or scrum methodologies, history, management, etc. that I encourage you to explore if you need a deeper dive. I work on an agile team, so I can add some insights to how this might impact your work.

Aníbal Valentín-Acevedo


Getting a job with “no experience”

Finding that first job after we finish our academic training is not as easy as it sounds. 

These days, we all know that the amount of individuals qualified for a job is very high while the amount of available jobs is very low. To make things worse, when we do find a job that we want to apply to, the list of requirements tends to be frightening, especially because most of them (if not all) always ask for “years of experience”.


Seeing Yourself as a Technical Writer

As I mentioned before, my team has been looking to hire a couple technical writers. 

While the requirements for any specific role may vary, I find that it is a role that scientists can transition into fairly easily, because so much of what we do hinges on our ability to communicate clearly and concisely about technical subjects.