With increasing emphasis on providing biomedical science graduate students preparation for the diverse careers many of them will pursue outside academia, national and institutional efforts are underway to supplement student experiences. One recent study at the University of California, San Francisco and University of California, Davis found that “internships, in particular, were perceived by students to increase their ability to discern a career area of choice and to increase confidence in pursuing that career.”
The Society of Toxicology (SOT) Graduate Education Subcommittee is hosting a webinar to bring together various stakeholders—graduate students, faculty, and those hosting interns—to discuss best practices for developing internships and strategies for increasing the number of available internships, as well as improving awareness and access to available internships. Internships within industry, government, and non-profit organizations can provide graduate students with a unique appreciation of the day-to-day activities of toxicologists and paths for success in these sectors. Such opportunities can help students foster a professional network, build confidence in career choices, and ultimately better prepare them to transition into these sectors upon graduation.
We invite graduate students, graduate student mentors, and potential intern hosts in various employment sectors to participate at 1:00 pm EDT on Thursday, November 1.
Natalie Johnson, Texas A&M, will provide an introduction, including examples of how internships can be integrated into graduate programs. Agnes Karmaus, Integrated Laboratory Systems, Inc., whose career path was enhanced by an internship with ILSI, North America during graduate school, will provide insight for students about identifying and pursuing opportunities. The perspectives of an academic advisor will be presented by Lauren Aleksunes of Rutgers. Background for those in industry who would like to host interns will be reviewed by Amy Roe, Procter & Gamble. Shelley DuTeaux, California Department of Pesticide Regulation, will discuss arranging for interns in government settings. Aaron Bowman, Purdue University and chair of the SOT Graduate Education Subcommittee, will announce the subcommittee’s new Graduate Intern Fellowship in Toxicology (GIFT) program that will facilitate the participation of students in internships. Time is reserved for questions and discussion with the webinar participants.
Another opportunity to explore these topics in depth will occur at the SOT Annual Meeting. The Education Career Session “Stepping Out of the Lab: Maximizing Access and Experience for Internships in Toxicology” will occur Wednesday, March 14, from 11:00 am–12:20 pm.