Panel discussion – Opportunities in STEM

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How do you find your dream job? 

November 3rd, 2015

On November 3rd, 2015 SCWIST hosted a panel discussion about opportunities for young researchers and students in STEM fields. Four panelist from different job sectors, including software, biotech, and business marketing shared their experiences on how they transitioned from university to a professional life, and landed their current jobs. The discussion was moderated by Joan Shellard and our panelists were Grace Lee, Janny Marie L. Peterslund, Naomi Galinski and Virginia Woloshen (see bios below).

These were some of the top take-home messages from the night:

  • How to find your dream job? Do not look the job titles but look at the job description and roles.
  • Find a mentor.
  • Find your passion. Make a list of 10 things that you really enjoy doing.
  • Ask for informational interviews. Do not ask for a job – just explore options and learn about different positions.
  • Use career centres at your university or institution.
  • Timing is key. Job searching takes lots of time. Be patient and keep networking and making connections.
  • Even if you don’t meet all the qualifications for a job, apply! Enthusiasm could take you a long way
  • Have priorities. Find those things that are the most important for you and your career.
  • Adversity is your advantage. Use it!
  • Fail fast and learn from it.
  • Apply even when jobs are only part-time or short contracts. They may offer you a permanent position if you fit well.
  • You are not stupid! You have education and transferable skills.
  • Have fun to keep your energy up
  • Use LinkedIn to learn about companies and connect with people
  • If you get an interview, be prepared. Check their website, be ready to ask GOOD questions, Google the person who will be interviewing you.
  • Show how you can help them. It is not all about you.



  • Join SCWIST, SBN, etc
  • Versatile PhD
  • Individual development plan (IDP)
  • Opportunity
  • GPS UBC career Events
  • BCIT career services
  • Life science BC

You can find photos from the event here.


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