By Annabelle Kleist, PhD, Director of Teen Health and Success Partnership at the Center for Community Health & Prevention at the University of Rochester and Previous Science and Technology Policy Advisor at the California State Capitol
Nonlinear. Curiosity-driven. Opportunity-seeking in a tough economy. Hmmm… I’m still not sure how to best describe my unexpected and highly branching career path. I was in graduate school when the global recession hit, and our lab lost a lot of grant funding when the state abruptly stopped supporting several environmental grant programs due to the budget deficit. Although I was able to cobble some funding together to complete my research projects, continued low funding in my area of research led me to explore other career paths. My experience volunteering with the California Invasive Plant Council while in grad school inspired me to want to become a nonprofit leader, so I searched for opportunities that would help me gain skills and experience for this dream job.