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URMC / Education / Graduate Education / URBest Blog / October 2017 / Letter from the Outside World

Letter from the Outside World

News Article by Anonymous URBEST Trainee Alumnus

I recently received an email from a URBEST trainee that had graduated and made their way out into the world. It surprises (and delights) me that people still like to share their success stories. I also wanted to communicate the email with you because I think it contains a lot of useful information for when you decide to make your way into the outside world. I got permission to share – I just had to remove identifying factors. Please enjoy this trainee’s experience. It might be similar to your own in the future?

Hi Tracey,

Thank you! Coffee/Dinner sounds great - let me know [what part of town] you'll be staying and we can work something out. 

I'm only on week two (finding a job took forever), but it looks like I'll be working on a project involved with [secret topic X]. Which I thought/think [is] cool, even though I didn't really know too much about [secret topic X] before I started. I guess I'm basically a subject matter expert, but it looks like I might end up doing a decent amount of coding/scripting, so maybe I'll be more like a bioinformatician. I'm excited about it - lots to learn. 

Some things you might be especially interested in: As a preface, I got a conditional job offer from a DoD agency, and an interview from another DoD agency, and a sort-of offer for a high-school teaching position (all around the same time; when it rains, it pours). I mention this because pretty much everyone made a comment to the effect that they didn't really care about the front of my resume (my research experiences) and that they liked me because of the back of my resume (my "leadership" experiences, random volunteer/extracurricular things I did). At one job fair I went to, a woman representing a contractor that does science policy work told me that I should've put those things on the front of my resume, because she didn't really think I was a strong candidate until I pointed them out. My current supervisor told me that part of why he felt comfortable hiring me despite not having done a post-doc (like everyone else in my group) was because of those things. So despite the fact that I felt like I was told to do outside/extracurricular things a billion times, it really didn't sink in how much of a difference they can make.


URBEST Trainee in The Outside World

Tracey Baas | 10/19/2017

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