Info Session: Career Exploration Classes, 2021-2022

July 7, 2021
12 p.m. - 1 p.m.
Register for Zoom link


This info session is for current UCSF students and postdocs only. 

Are you a postdoc or PhD candidate looking for support and community, as you explore the many career paths available to you? If so, our career exploration classes may be for you. In this info session, we'll tell you how the courses work, what you can expect to learn, and how past students have benefitted. This event does not require any active participation. However, you are welcome to bring any questions you have -- we'll be happy to answer them!

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Our Career Exploration Classes

You can now apply for our Introduction to Career Exploration class, Grad 213: Making Informed Decisions (MIND)! Applications are open on a rolling basis, until July 23, 2021 or until the program is full. The class takes place in Fall 2021. 

Applications for our Intermediate Career Exploration class, Grad 285: Internships and Experiential Learning (GSICE), will open in December 2021. The class takes place in Spring 2022. 

More Information

Not sure how to move forward in your career exploration? We can help!

Evidence shows that making a career decision is a lot like buying a bike. If you’re not sure what you want, the answer is to read some reviews, get recommendations from friends, and go for some test rides. (We call this process “experiential learning.”)

We know that’s harder than it sounds. Here’s what else we know:

  • Your time is precious.
  • It’s hard to find the motivation to explore careers on your own.
  • Just the thought of exploring careers can be stressful, and can bring up all kinds of anxieties, mental health challenges, and questions about identity.
  • You don’t want to hear career advice from just anyone – you want to hear stories from people who have been where you are now.

That’s why we’ve designed these evidence-based courses to walk you through the process. Best of all, you don’t have to do it alone! Join us, and become part of a warm community of instructors, peers, and alums who will support you as you figure out where you want to go, and how to get there.

If you’ve been waiting for the right time to explore careers, why not start now? Take the first step and apply – we can help you through the rest.

Class Descriptions:

These classes are designed for UCSF PhD students and postdocs in any field. UCSF Masters students who think the class may be relevant to them are welcome to inquire about their eligibility by emailing [email protected]

Introduction to Career Exploration

Grad 213: Making Informed Decisions (MIND) in Fall 2021

  • Fridays, 12-2 p.m., August-December; 2 units, Pass/No Pass
  • Interactive, synchronous virtual course (via Zoom); optional in-person networking if COVID health and safety guidelines allow

If you feel like a complete beginner when it comes to career exploration, this is the place to start. We’ll walk you through self-assessments (how to identify your skills, interests, and values); discuss the full range of common career paths for UCSF alums (you know about research in academia and industry – but what about regulatory affairs, teaching, science communication, consulting, entrepreneurship, nonprofits?); and teach you how to start building your “working identity” by expanding your network. Don’t worry, we break down the intimidating concept of networking into something simple and, dare we say, even fun?

By the end of the class, you’ll have identified one to three career paths that you’re ready to investigate in greater depth, and have a plan for continuing to explore them.


Intermediate Career Exploration*  

Grad 285: Internships and Experiential Learning (GSICE) in Spring 2022

  • Alternate Fridays, 12-2 p.m., February 25-June 3; 1.5 units, Pass/No Pass
  • Interactive, synchronous virtual course (via Zoom); optional in-person networking if COVID health and safety guidelines allow

So you’ve identified a career that you think you might enjoy. What now? It’s time to try that career on for size with an experiment that requires a little more time and effort.** A weeklong consulting workshop, perhaps? A three-month industry internship? A lectureship? A part-time internship with a UCSF office? Or maybe you’re even ready to start applying for jobs? Join this class if you’re ready for a bootcamp that will give you the professional polish employers are looking for. You’ll get your LinkedIn house in order, create a résumé, practice interviewing and negotiating, and learn about those fabled “soft skills” (like navigating workplace politics).

By the end of the class, you’ll have applied for at least one experiential opportunity, and you’ll be prepared to hit the ground running.   

*Please note: Grad 213 is not a prerequisite for Grad 285. The only requirement is that you have one career path you feel ready to explore in greater depth.

**Choosing the right experiential learning opportunity requires you to consider many factors, which may include obligations in your lab, visa eligibility, intellectual property concerns, and more. This class will help you determine what kind of “experiment” is right for you.



    Linda Louie, Program Director for Career Exploration, Experiential Learning, and Employer Engagement

    Elissa Hamlat, Postdoctoral Scholar in Psychiatry and Career Exploration Class Coordinator

      July 7, 2021

      A note about our virtual events: We would like to welcome you, as and where you are, to our virtual events. If there are times you just don’t want to be on camera, feel free to attend this event with your camera and mic off. If you prefer to switch on your camera and participate that’s great too. And if this event just won’t work for you please remember you can always make an appointment with us at any time. 

      UCSF is committed to making its facilities, activities and events accessible. To request accommodations for this event, please contact Trish McGrath ([email protected]) at the Office of Career and Professional Development at least one week before the event.