Initiative for Maximizing Student Development

Beyond the BS Workshop Overview


In the 3rd Professional Development Workshop of the academic year, Charles Derby, PhD, led the discussion on career pathways, graduate school, and other options post-graduation. Options include 4+1yr BS/MS degree programs, MS/PhD/MD programs, Post-Bac programs, going straight into a research-based career in government or industry, and taking a gap year (i.e., work, travel, and/or time off until making a decision).

Next, students took turns practicing a 1-minute “elevator pitch” to Dr. Derby, who took on the role of a graduate school recruiter and prospective PI. Students briefly stated their names, their area of study and research background, what they are interested in studying/researching in the graduate program, and why it interests them. Dr. Derby also provided students with recent data on the whereabouts of Georgia State STEM alumni (graduate programs, industry, government, Teach for America, etc.).

Guest speaker Catherine Neiner, Director of Career Services at GSU, spoke about applying to graduate school and provided helpful information about the MCAT, GRE, personal statements, letters of recommendation, financial aid, and academic transcripts. She also emphasized the importance of location – make sure you can see yourself living in a specific city before applying to schools there. As for scholarships and stipends, make sure to inquire about finances with prospective mentors and the departments of programs to which you apply. See the Resources page for national scholarships and the Honors College has great resources for students, too.

Career Services provides students with free help and advice on personal statements, CVs, résumés, cover letters, and other preparatory materials and general advice for applications – walk-ins welcome at Student Center West, 270. See the IMSD Calendar page for the dates and times of workshops and Graduate and Professional School Fairs on campus!

The workshop concluded with Dr. Derby, Greg Suess (current neuroscience graduate student), Emily Hardy (graduate program coordinator for the neuroscience institute), and Alexandria White (IMSD program coordinator) discussing their chosen career paths, education backgrounds, and future plans to demonstrate the variety of options available after graduation.


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awhite84 • November 17, 2016

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