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motivation and "career counseling"

Jennifer Potter jras at post.its.mcw.edu
Mon Mar 25 20:31:25 EST 1996

The grad students here at the Medical College of Wisconsin also were 
raising some of the same concerns mentioned in the other posts regarding 
their career options and other concerns.  Our administration (with the 
help of the leaders of our Graduate Student Association) put together 
lunch hour seminars/discussion forums on many topics:  

-how to choose a post-doc (several departmental chairs moderated)
-how to write papers/get grants (again, one or two chairmen and/or 
faculty members)
-alternate career paths including patent law, and working at a large vs. 
small biotech company (moderated by people working in those areas from 
the general vicinity)
-others on misc topics like ethics, etc.

and, my favorite, of course,
-women in science (moderated by several women faculty members and open 
only to women)

This year this program is even being supported by a small grant from 

I guess I want to say that my impression is that these forums are widely 
attended by students, post-docs, and technicians, and are very useful.  I 
was able to ask many questions and received answers from several points 
of view.  

I really don't think _that_ much can be involved in organizing them 
(mostly coordinating schedules for the moderators) especially since our 
administration did this (go figure).  I would highly recommend these 
types of forums and would be glad to provide/find out more info on how 
they were actually organized.  One caveat, of course, is that we are on 
the smallish side, which may make things easier for us.  Regardless, I 
have found that these forums are really valuable for finding out general 
information and also for making contacts if your interests DO lie outside 
the traditional academic sphere. 

Jennifer Potter
jras at post.its.mcw.edu

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