Trainee Leadership Opportunities
Trainees sometimes assume that starting a new organization on campus is the only way to make real connections and demonstrate leadership experience on a CV/resume. And, they also see it as easier than “cold email” connecting. However, many employers bemoan the fact that some of these initiatives look more like “padding” on a resume and, if the initiatives are short-term, they do not necessarily represent successful leadership. In fact, contributing to an already existing group provides a true team experience, established connections, and a community of peers.
Should you decide to create your own program/event or trainee organization, consider the following:
- Is this a completely new idea, or is there an opportunity for collaboration with already existing offerings?
- If nothing similar exists, are you sure there is a need among a majority of your peers for what you are offering? What have you done to thoroughly assess this need?
- What is your mission and/or what are your objectives? What assessment have you completed to determine the route you suggest is the best one?
- How much time exists for you to develop this idea? Do you have the time to see this through to fruition and, in the case of a new group, sustain it long term?
- Have you discussed this time constraint with your PI? What other support will you need–money, content knowledge, connections, administrative support, etc.?
- Have you reviewed the Student Activities and Leadership (SAL) policies to ensure your idea is in line with University expectations and recommendations?
- Take one of BioSci Careers’ Preparation and Practice or CEO courses, which provide you with sector-specific skills and alumni/employer connections.
- Complete an internship to learn more about your skills, interests, and values and to try these out within your career of choice.
- Collaborate with BioSci Careers to suggest, develop, and/or produce a new or existing program or event.
- Hold informational interviews with alumni and/or employers; keep in touch with them via social media outlets afterward.
- Attend professional, career development, and networking programs or events held by various departments across campus.
- Join and contribute to one of the Biosciences and Stanford organizations on campus.