In the first year of the Career Development Curriculum for Life Science Majors, great success was made possible through the affiliation with Partnership UCLA and the ability to hire a full-time Career Specialist. At the start of year 2 (summer session 2015), a career development course, “Career Exploration in the Life Sciences” (LS110), was implemented. It was designed for lower division LS students who arrive at UCLA with undefined career plans, as well as for the large number of pre-medical students who would like to consider alternative career paths. Students receive 2 units of upper-division credit for completing the course.
The summer course was made available to 25 students participating in UCLA’s Academic Advancement Program (AAP) summer program. AAP offers academic enrichment experiences to incoming students from historically underrepresented backgrounds. LS110 was offered again in Fall 2015 and Winter 2016, this time through the LS Core Department, accommodating an additional 67 students. Guests speakers were invited to the class to discuss their careers with students.
In year 2, several other co-curricular programs also were created for students. Each program runs for three weeks and includes speaker panels. One example is Bruin Development Academy, which spotlights specific industries: Pharmaceutical, Public Health, and Consulting. Altogether, these programs were attended by 111 students and 9 industry professionals. Another program created was the Health Career Networking Night, which engaged over 250 students and over 45 healthcare professionals. Continued in year 2 was College Fellows, a professional development and mentorship program designed to help LS students secure competitive internships. Efforts resulted in placements with Amgen, Genentech, FibroGen, US Green Building Council, Bodega Bay Laboratory, Triage Consulting, Adobe, Amgen Scholars Program (Cal Tech), and Summer Mathematics Research Experience for Undergraduates (UCLA).