In a recent survey, graduate students voiced that they desired more information on career development including information on what their career options are after graduating, how to find future jobs, and how to effectively network. In order to address these issues and strengthen the Molecular Genetics community, the Molecular Genetics Graduate Students’ Association has teamed up with Dr. Julie Claycomb and Dr. Leah Cowen to launch a new career development initiative. This initiative involves hosting monthly workshops on various topics relating to career development in an informal setting that encourages discussion between graduate students and speakers with different experiences with career development in science.

On September 24, 2014 we launched the first workshop entitled, “Never have I ever…” where a panel of PIs from the department shared their favourite memories from their own graduate studies. The event contained accounts from Dr. Alex Ensminger, Dr. Julie Brill, Dr. Brent Derry and Dr. Helen McNeill. After filling their plates with delicious snacks, the students in the audience were encouraged to ask the panelists any questions that might help them better their own graduate school experience. The event was received graciously by attendants, and the fact that the room was so full of students with hands soaring up in the air for questions really speaks to the student interest in these types of events.

Future workshops, which will be held on the last Wednesday of the each month, will include information on how to successfully network, how to leverage an MSc or PhD, how to keep the body and mind healthy during grad school, and information on the variety of career opportunities available to graduate students upon completion of their degree. If you have any suggestions for any other topics that may be helpful to current students, or would like to be involved in one of our future workshops, please contact Samantha at samantha.yammine@mail.utoronto.ca or Amanda at amanda.veri@mail.utoronto.ca.