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Welcome to the August 2022 edition of the Science Graduate Career Services newsletter. Each newsletter will collect the latest resources, job opportunities, articles, career development supports and more—all in one easy to find place.
This month we’ll showcase new events & workshops (including one of our own!), transferable skills, and some new opportunities to take advantage of.
Looking for extra support as a graduate student? Join the Graduate Mentorship Program!
The Graduate Mentorship Program (GMP) is a Faculty of Science-wide initiative connecting McMaster’s science graduate students with faculty and postdoc mentors. A mentorship is an excellent way to
receive extra support on personal matters outside of your supervisory relationship
receive academic, research and career advice
increase your network and develop closer ties to the McMaster community
increase social and academic confidence
Joining the program is easy—just visit the GMP website and fill out an application. The GMP is ongoing, so you can join at anytime.
Events & Workshops
Presenting our first workshop! First Impressions: Resumes for Science Graduate Students
The Faculty of Science Graduate Careers team is happy to present our first workshop: First Impressions - Resumes for Science Graduate Students.
Join us for a 1-day power session where we will go over the keys to resume success and provide expert support on creating the best first impression when applying for a job.
Date: Thursday, August 18th
Session 1 - “Writing for Hiring Audiences” - 10:30AM - 12PM
Session 2 - “Elevating and Translating Your Skills for Hiring Audiences” - 1PM - 2:30PM
Free lunch will be provided for registered participants! Space is limited, so secure your spot today!
Keep an eye on the Science Graduate Student Careers website as we continue to announce more Fall programming including
Connect with chemistry industry professionals at the CIC Toronto Career Fair 2022
The Chemical Institute of Canada Toronto Section (CIC Toronto) will be holding its first in-person event since 2019 on Thursday, August 4th.
The CIC Toronto Career Fair connects students with professionals from the chemistry, chemical engineering and chemical technologist fields.
The fair will take place at the North York Civic Centre from 9AM to 4PM. Registration is required for the cost of $5 per person.
Explore mindfulness with Summer Reflection Circles
Since the beginning of the spring/summer term, Open Circle has been holding a weekly virtual space for reflection, creative expression and open discussion. There is still time to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity any Wednesday from 4:30 to 5:30PM.
Click here for more Open Circle will be offering more events coming this fall.
Volunteer in your community, acquire teaching skills, become a Patent Agent and more!
Volunteer and meet a potential mentor through The Wisdom Exchange Project
The Wisdom Exchange Project is a unique program based around creating intergenerational social connections and knowledge exchanges. The project pairs graduate students with older adults in the community to develop mutually beneficial companionship.
Past students have noted that the partner they were paired with often acted as a mentor who has helped them grow personally and professionally.
Applications for volunteers are currently open! If interested, visit the link below and sign up as a Trainee Partner and email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions!
Missed out the first time? Here’s another chance to earn a MacPherson Teaching and Learning Certificate
Build your teaching skills with the new Teaching and Learning Certificates from the MacPherson Institute.
Starting September 2022, the MacPherson Institute will offer two Teaching and Learning Certificates:
Theory and Inquiry
Practice and Application
Completion of these certificates will provide you with knowledge of different teaching theories, approaches, and guidance in different classroom management skills.
Registration for the fall term opens August 2nd at 8:30AM and is first come, first served. Graduate students can register for Teaching and Learning courses through Mosaic.
The Michelson Philanthropies & Science Prize for Immunology
The Michelson Philanthropies and Science Prize supports young researchers across disciplines who are investigating vaccines and immunotherapy. Disciplines include computer science, machine learning, neurodegenerative diseases, and much more.
There are 3 prizes to be won—two $10,000 runner-up prizes and one $30,000 grand prize. Research must be conducted in the last 3 years.
Applications will be accepted until October 1, 2022. To apply and view award details, visit the link below.
Begin a career as a Patent Agent with Wilson Sonsini
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is looking for talented life sciences focused PhD students to join one of their many U.S.-based offices in entry level Patent Agent roles. Patent Agents often have PhD’s in (but not limited to) cellular biology, immunology and computer science.
Wilson Sonsini’s Patent Agent’s help their clients leverage intellectual property and defend against claims in areas like pharmaceuticals, virology and bioinformatics.
Interested in law? Wilson Sonsini supports the career advancement of its Patent Agent through the Patent Agent Law School (PALS) tuition program. PALS provides law school tuition assistance to Patent Agents who would like to become Patent Attorney’s.
What are they? How do you identify them? And where can they be used?
What are transferable skills?
Transferable skills are vital to your professional development and job search. They are non-specific skills that communicate your strengths and abilities no matter what field or job you are applying to—even if it is a non-academic position.
The best part—you have plenty of transferable skills right now. Just by being a graduate student.
Top transferable skills that you gain as a grad student
How do I identify my transferable skills?
There are a two different ways you can begin to identify your transferable skills:
Self-assess your skills
Understand what employers are looking for
A transferable skills cheat sheet…
Ten important transferable skills and examples of how graduate students can demonstrate each (adapted from The University of Alberta - Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research):
Communication and interpersonal skills
Examples: Public speaking, presentations, various writing (proposals, applications, dissertations)
Critical and creative thinking
Examples: Proposal and thesis writing, research activities (developing theoretical concepts, applying different methodologies), teaching
Personal effectiveness (planning, organization, and detail oriented skills)
Examples: Reflecting on research (e.g., literature reviews, presentations), development of research plans, evaluating progress during committee meetings
Integrity and ethical conduct
Examples: demonstrated understanding of ethics (e.g., acquiring ethics approval for research), proper use of citations and references, abiding by research and teaching obligations and contracts
Teaching competence (facilitate the understanding and learning of others)
Examples: teaching assistantships, leading discussion groups, chairing meetings, organizing conferences
Societal and civic responsibilities
Examples: publishing and communicating research to academic and non-academic audiences, engagement with the community
Examples: supervisory roles (e.g., mentoring, supervising, or delegating responsibilities to undergraduate students)
Examples: various research experiences (e.g., managing large amounts of information, submitting grant applications)
Knowledge mobilization and knowledge translation (communicating research results to non-academic audiences)
Examples: promoting research at events, publishing articles to non-scientific publications
Career management (taking ownership for one’s own career progression)
Examples: Resume and CV writing, networking, attending workshops, goal setting activities
How do I use a transferable skill on my resume?
When including transferable skills on your resume or in an interview setting, you will want to briefly highlight how specific skills you have developed relate to a professional environment. Use details (and action verbs!) from a job ad to appeal to the employer.
You can create brief highlights by identifying an action verb, what you did and the outcome or impact.
If a job ad requires project management skills, you might want to demonstrate your thesis or dissertation management skills
You may have planned experiments and executed them for a goal that you have determined
You may have had to manage a budget so that funds lasted the duration of the project
You may have delegated tasks to other students who were working on your project to ensure its success
If a job ad requires oral communication skills, you can demonstrate the high level of communication required of a masters or PhD student
Highlight times you have partnered or corresponded with other people in your group, your supervisory committee, or students you supervise
Highlight your oral presentation skills—have you had to communicate complex ideas in a way that can be easily understood?
For more transferable skills used by scientists in industry, check out this article from Cheeky Scientist—7 Transferable Skills That Recruiters Are Looking For.
Take the time to think about and break down your past experiences into transferable skills. You might be surprised at just how many transferable skills you have!