Why does UCLA offer a career development course for Life Science majors?
UCLA attracts highly talented and qualified undergraduate students, many of them declaring a STEM major as first-year students. Unfortunately, we know that nationally about 60% of all STEM intended majors do not graduate with STEM degrees. At UCLA students across all demographics also leave STEM majors. There are many reasons for this, but one identified area of concern is lack of exposure to the diverse career options for life science majors. Many students focus on careers in medicine and academia, unaware of other public and private sector options (many of them quite lucrative) in so many other areas such as industry research, policy, regulation, public health pharmaceuticals, technology, and more.
This course is designed to provide students with a systematic approach to the career development process. This process helps students take into account their own interests, values, skills, and personality as guiding elements as they figure out the best career pathway. Simultaneously, students learn about diverse professional options and are better equipped to make decisions about their career path based on their self-assessment and resources provided in the course. Guest speakers will expose multiple pathways to STEM careers throughout the quarter.
What are course logistics?
LS 110 is a 2 unit P/NP course and will be offered winter and spring quarters on Wednesday evenings from 4 pm – 5:50 pm.
We plan on continuing to offer the course in the evenings to provide the least conflict with other academic, extracurricular and employment responsibilities.
What are some of the learning objectives for the course?
Learning objectives for the course include:
- Build a resume and cover letter
- Conduct an informational interview
- Perform labor market research on career options
- Effectively communicate results of career research
- Discover internship opportunities and how to access them
- Apply self-assessment feedback to clarify and confirm a career path
Who should enroll?
This course is ideal for any life science student, although we particularly encourage first, second year and transfer students to get started on their career planning early. All students are welcome to enroll especially if:
- You are pre-med, and want reassurance you are on the right path
- You have no idea what career is a match for you, and want exposure to diverse STEM careers.
- You want help planning for internship opportunities or post-undergraduate school applications.
- You want to practice skills to help with career planning and decision making
What are examples of the kind of speakers who come to class?
We work with UCLA alumni and current faculty and staff to bring in speakers from both within UCLA as well as from industries in the region.
Career pathways covered by guest speakers will vary by quarter. Past speakers have presented on careers in the following:
- Diverse Careers in Medicine
- Diverse Careers in Healthcare
- Environmental Health Sciences
- Clinical Laboratoty Science
- Forensic Science
- Epidemiology Health Policy and Management
- Nutrition Science
- Life Science Consulting
- Policy, NGOs, and other state and federal roles
What are the "self-assessments" mentioned above?
Students in the course will take the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI), an interest assessment, a skills inventory assessment, and a values assessment. This combination of validated tools will help students clarify their own personal preferences when exploring career options.
I’m pre-med. Should I take this course?
YES! If you want reassurance that medicine is the right track for you, or you are interested in keeping your options open by exploring diverse career options then this course will be valuable. However, if you are looking for a course that only focusses on preparing you for medical school, then this may not be the right fit.
If you have questions, please contact Dr. Rachel Kennison at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be happy to help you assess whether or not this course will be a good fit.
Who can I contact to learn more about this course?
Dr. Rachel Kennison is the course instructor, and she is happy to connect with students who are interested in learning more about the course. You can contact Dr. Kennison at email@example.com.
I want to take this course but evenings do not work for me. What can I do?
Please contact the course instructor, Dr. Rachel Kennison at firstname.lastname@example.org. We base the scheduling of future quarters on student feedback, and we appreciate your feedback on what times will work best.