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URMC / Education / Graduate Education / URBest Blog / November 2018 / 2018 Annual URBEST Retreat and Career Workshop

2018 Annual URBEST Retreat and Career Workshop

URBEST Retreat CollageNews Article by Tracey Baas, URBEST Executive Director

The Annual URBEST Retreat and Career Workshop is an event to gather URBEST trainees, those who would like to be trainees, and those who would just like to see what all the noise is about. This year, we had a number of URBEST alumni come back to tell us about their scientific next steps: Jon Baker from J. Craig Venter Institute, Claire McCarthy from the National Cancer Institute, Katie Smolnycki from Fred Hutch, Corey Hoffman from BARDA, and Virginia Glazier from Niagara University. Included in our speaker lineup was our very own UR Derek Crowe, who shared his insights on scientific communication, and UR Steve Dewhurst, who shared what his students have taught him as a mentor. We also had Randy Ribaudo from SciPhD come in for his fourth URBEST Career Workshop, invited back by popular demand from students and postdocs alike.

I think a lot of deep conversations were shared and -- based on the photographs -- some fun was had. Big thanks to the Advancement Team that organized our very own photographer Matt Wittmeyer for the Retreat and our URBEST sponsor and philanthropist Theresa Chen, who joined us all the way from Stanford, California. What are current graduate students and postdocs saying about the URBEST Program that provides scientists, workshops and activities all year long? 

  • I came into grad school knowing that I wasn't going into academia, but URBEST has showed me the wide spectrum of things I could actually do with my degree- some of which I had never even thought of. – Anonymous URBEST Trainee
  • The URBEST program has made me more aware of careers other than just academia or industry. As grad students, we often think that those are our only two options. The URBEST program does a nice job of highlighting nontraditional career paths. The program also does a nice job of showing us that there is more than one way to reach your goal. – Miriam Barnett
  • It has provided many opportunities to explore various career paths - both through the eyes of others as well as through personal experiences like workshops and internships. – Anonymous URBEST Trainee
  • URBEST has provided me with an excellent foundation from which I can connect with people from a variety of post-grad school tracks. While we get a sense of scientific and academic community in our own labs, URBEST provides students with a sense of community even if they decide to pursue other interests. – Jessie Hogestyn​
  • The URBEST program has exposed me to new career ideas and expanded my network in a way that is not possible from working in a lab or going to a conference. – Anonymous URBEST Trainee
  • The program has provided a platform to start discussions with faculty and other students about important aspects of career training that are typically not offered during graduate school. I love the open-mindedness that everyone who is aware of the URBEST program has about unique opportunities, such as internships or informational interviews. This I definitely a great program for the University of Rochester that separates graduate training here from the training environments at other schools across the country. – Ken Sims
  • I got an opportunity to do an internship with the Office of Regulatory Support and received invaluable advice with regards to networking, including how to write a cold email, and conduct an informational interview. – Anonymous URBEST Trainee
  • The program has really opened my eyes to the unorthodox routes people can take, yet still end up with interesting, challenging, and successful careers. Additionally, it has helped me build my network and realize the flaws I have in preparing for post grad life. These are things I would have likely realized while having to find a job, making fixing them impossible. Now, I am aware of what I need to focus on, way before I actually need to apply.  – Anonymous URBEST Trainee

*For those interested in more details of the photo collage, I'm planning on creating a poster to hang outside my office!

Tracey Baas | 10/23/2018

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