Skill Building


Planning my career Part II

This is my second installment in 2013 on this site – for a brief introduction and background, please see my initial entry. 



The Amount of Writing it Takes to Become a Writer

“I earned my PhD in drug discovery in 2011, and now I work as a curriculum writer.”  When I introduce myself this way, especially to other trainees who are interested in transitioning away from the bench, I always get asked, “How did you do that?”  I usually say that I wrote a lot,...



How to Stay on Top?

You got into science because you are passionate about understanding how things work or maybe because the white lab coat is totally your style. And so you went to grad school, chose a lab and started working on your super-exciting-this-is-going-to-be-a-Cell-paper project. Then, you get sucked in with...



Working as a Technology Licensing Intern

One of the important factors in my job hunt was that after my defense, my husband accepted a job in Seattle. Seattle is very far from Pittsburgh, where I graduated, but much closer to our friends and family. It was a great opportunity for his career, and of all the places we could end up, the Seattl...



When I Owned My Own Business

In the year after I earned my PhD, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out who I am as a professional. I would introduce myself as “Sandlin, I recently earned by Ph.D. in Molecular Virology,” to people at networking events and meet with something between silence and panic. Someone gave me the...



Start Recognizing Business Skills that you already have developed: Cross-Training

I’ll be providing a series of short blogs that are designed to acquaint you with business skills you may have already demonstrated or are developing.  You will want to reference these skills with quantitative examples on your resume AND have examples for interviews.  Start a simple docum...



Practice makes perfect: showcase your skills during interviews

All those hours spent researching for your thesis introduction…All the time it takes to prepare presentations for lab meetings…All the effort required just to summarize results and draft conference abstracts…Is it all worth it??


Thomas Patrick

Do things that are helpful, not this.

Hello Everyone!I recently received an email that was personally upsetting to me. It was a resume and cover letter that was generated by one of those resumes “build and blast” sites that are all over the internet.It was upsetting to me, because the job seeker wasn’t getting the value he thought...


Three Post-College Job Search Faux Pas You Should Never Commit

If you've recently graduated or are about to graduate with your advanced degree, chances are you're searching for a job. Ongoing media coverage of a tough economy and an even tougher job market can be extremely disheartening, but here's some good news to soak up: according to a report from the U.S. ...



Learning about the Disease you Study from a Different Angle

For the past 11 years I have studied cancer in one way or another.  I performed my Ph.D. research on the DNA repair mechanism Base Excision Repair.  I then performed research on Homologous Recombination, targeted radiopharmaceuticals and metastatic breast cancer (all were separate projects...