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Success Stories

Customer Reviews of the Career Coach

Career Exploration

"I learned the plethora of tools available for networking, and improving my online presence. I also learned how to effectively find connections between the University and careers I am interested in  through services such as Linkedin and Handshake"

-Andrew, 2nd year MS in Microbiology

“Eric is always very helpful and enthusiastic. Even if he is not familiar with your career area, he will do his background research to help you!”

Megan, Postdoctoral Fellow

CV/Resume/Cover Letter

"Eric had specific recommendations for my CV and resume, and solid examples to assist with writing a cover letter. He was also quick and responsive with follow-up communication which allowed me to follow through with potential employers quickly on my end."

-Chelsea, Ph.D. in Health Services Research & Policy

"They really listened to what my goals were and spent our time really focusing on those goals; I felt like my time was well-utilized. On top of that, the advice I got was very good. I went in looking to spruce up my CV, and the improvements suggested by the CPD specialist helped me hear back from a recruiter very quickly about a job I want."

-Carolyn, 5th year PhD in Toxicology

"Development of my CV, and strengthening my statement of intent through the use of specific examples"

-Tyler, 3rd year PhD student in Toxicology

“Eric provided good templates for my CV and resume which helped secure job interviews.”

Tyler Beach, 5th Year Ph.D. Student in Toxicology

"I worked with the career specialist on my Curriculum Vitae. The specialist clarified differences between resume and CV and provided additional help with the structure and information to be included in my CV. I also gained assistance to structure and fine tune my cover letter, including a detailed proof read of my cover letter for clarity before submission to an employer."

-Mallory, 5th Year Ph.D. Student in Biophysics

"Offering useful solutions and ways to enhance my cover letter and resume to stand out among other applicants."

-Ngozika, Masters Student

"Eric provided a lot of input and repeated reviews to help me get my cover letter ready to apply for a job"

-Taylor, 6th Year PhD Student


"Eric was very knowledgeable about interviewing and gave me some great advice and tips. He was also very enthusiastic and devoted a great deal of time to helping me. He was attentive and focused on our conversation for the entire time. I felt well-prepared to go into my interviews after speaking with him and ultimately got one of the jobs for which I interviewed."

-Julianne, Alumni

"The Career coach really helped me prepare for and feel confident about a phone interview"

-Clair, 6th Year Ph.D. Student in Toxicology

Job Search Strategy

"My meetings with both Elaine and Eric have been very helpful. Both are delightful people in addition to knowledgeable and encouraging supports."

-Heather, 5th Year Ph.D. Student in Neuroscience

Customer Reviews of the Life Science Writing Specialist


"She helped me express my objectives more clearly and more professionally. She was quick to provide feedback and was very encouraging."

-Emily, 5th year PhD student

"The writing specialist was highly effective in improving the contents and format of my resume, cover letter and CV. The guidance was personalized to my needs so I could exactly see which areas of my writing need to be improved. The specialist also shared resources that I later used to hone my writing. Overall, I feel confident that my writing now has the elements that can deliver the required message."

-Sanjukta, Master’s alumna

"The specialist did a great job helping me reorganize my CV."

-Elizabeth, 2nd year PhD student

"Elaine was perfect. She knew exactly what I needed to do to improve my CV and our meeting was exactly what I needed."

-Andrew, 4th year MD/PhD student


"In my writing discussion, the specialist provided a worksheet that really helped in critical and creative thinking beyond what is expected."

-Bisi, 5th year MD/PhD student

"The CPD specialist very effectively took a large task that needed to be completed in a short period of time and broke it down into less intimated sections, while meeting my tight deadlines.  I usually came into the meeting stressed and frazzled but left optimistic.  Through assistance of the CPD specialist, I now have a better understanding of how to write and I have skill-sets that I am able to carry with me throughout my career."

-Letitia, 5th year Ph.D. Student in Immunology, Microbiology and Virology

"Elaine was very knowledgeable, approachable and accommodating for all my writing needs.  We were able to set a schedule to complete my thesis in a timely manner.  I highly recommend the writing center to students at any level of training!"

-Michael, 5th Year PhD Student

"Elaine was clear and concise in feedback and provided carefully prepared comments. This allowed easy review of her comments and reasons behind them. This allowed me to enhance my writing in other areas of the document. I cannot express how helpful it was having Elaine work with me on the document. Thank you!"

-Zachary, 5th Year PhD Student

Fellowship and Grants

"Was writing an F30.  Dr. Smolock gave excellent advice on how to write the application when was going through very tricky logistical transition involving program changes. Extremely helpful."

Samuel, 2nd Year Ph.D. Student in Translational Biomedical Science

"Dr. Smolock was very enthusiastic during the meetings. She was able to answer all my questions and give me her wise and objective writing recommendations; I definitely would recommend her services as a Scientific Writing Specialist in the CPD."

-Carlos, 2nd Year Ph.D. Student in Pathology

"The writing specialist is excellent at helping people to organize their time and effort for large projects! The CPD specialist helped me to maintain a positive attitude throughout a process a process that was otherwise quite draining."

-Scott, 2nd year Ph.D. Student in Genetics, Development, and Stem Cells

"The writing specialist was particularly effective in helping me find and cultivate my writing style. My writing confidence over the years has declined and the specialist helped by guiding me to find that I am indeed a good writer. I just needed to learn how to not become overwhelmed by the writing process and figure out an organizational way to express my thoughts and ideas."

-Crystal, Masters Student in Marriage and Family Therapy

"Dr. Smolock was extremely helpful in helping me improve my writing and expressing my thoughts and intentions for my fellowship essays. She answered any questions I had eloquently, thoroughly and quickly."

-Kimberly, Masters Student in Marriage and Family Therapy


"In understanding how I wanted to tell my story and modifying my writing so that it is better but still in my voice."

-Beresford, PREP trainee

Literature Review

"Elaine is very skilled in helping students develop their writing abilities and this was affirmed through her passion for writing. Elaine made herself very available through email and through appointments. With the help I received from her, my paper got the recognition it deserved."

-Gabrielle, Masters student


"She greatly helped me with editing for clarity, and I feel my manuscript is a much stronger document for having received her advice."

-John, 6th year PhD student

Meet & Greet

“Elaine was so nice to talk to! We didn't have major problems to work on so it was just helpful to get a boost of confidence and get to know her. She encouraged me to keep her involved with my writing as I continue through my program, which made me feel like she really cares!”

Emily, Masters Student in Marriage and Family Therapy


“Planning for writing with a practical timeline (formulating the idea and the organization of writing), grammatical corrections, and encouragement and moral support.”

-Chutikarn, 2nd year PhD student


“Elaine was extremely helpful in organization and overall workflow of my document (NIH grant style qualification proposal). In addition she was able to highlight areas that were not clear, not concise, or redundant to help direct where further editing should take place.”

-Zach, 2nd year PhD student

Qualifying/Preliminary Exam

"Elaine was very effective in coherency and structure of my qualifying exam document. She took time and explained why issues she found with my document. Instead of suggesting answers, she asked questions "what did you mean here", "can you walk me through your experiment?" and "without looking at your text, what is your rationale?". Elaine was also very positive and encouraging me throughout the writing process. Additionally, she showed me a side by side comparison of my first draft and final draft, showing me the drastic improvements to my document. Lastly, the writing center helped me better understand the writing process and become a better writing."

“Elaine was particular helpful making sure that my writing was clear and concise. She pointed out when I used passive voice and where my rationale was insufficient.” (2nd Meeting)

Ashley, 2nd Year Ph.D. Student in Toxicology

"Elaine is very enthusiastic about both the writing and science which was really encouraging for me in a stressful time."

-Yunpeng, 3rd year Ph.D. Student in Neuroscience

"Elaine is the best at providing true constructive criticism, giving great advice and enabling me to improve without making me feel self-conscious or incapable."

-Yuliya, 3rd Year PhD Student

"I met with Elaine while writing my proposal. She was very effective at helping me conveying my point across. She also had some very interesting questions.  She's an expert who cares about helping others. I'm very glad she worked with me during this process."

-Dorval, 3rd Year PhD Student

"I worked with CPD to write my qualifying examination document. Weekly meetings with the writing specialist helped me to plan deadlines for my work as well as meet the final deadlines for the exam. Over the course of a few weeks my document evolved from a vague specific aims page into a full cogent proposal."

-Matt, 3rd Year PhD Student

Review Article/Literature Review

"the CPD specialist was helpful in narrowing and providing a focus to my literature review. The research and writing process went off on a tangent for me and she helped me to get back to the topic and question I was trying to discuss."

-Cassandra, Masters Student

Rotation Report

"I think providing the information that was going to help me at that specific moment in time but also helped me plan ahead for the next several steps that I was going to need to take in order to complete my paper on time and thoroughly."

-Alexander, 1st Year PhD Student

“I went to see Elaine for assistance with writing.  I was able to make an appointment quickly and she was very responsive to my emails.  It was clear that she went through my document very thoroughly and she provided constructive, consistent feedback.  I am thrilled that Elaine is a resource that I have access to for the entirety of my graduate education.”

Ashley, 1st Year Ph.D. Student in Immunology, Microbiology & Virology