ANSWERING STUDENTS’ QUESTIONS

By Paul Gabrielsen, senior science writer, University Marketing and Communications

Science students looking to explore post-graduation career opportunities can meet with potential employers at the University of Utah College of Science’s Science Employer Panel. The panel discussion and subsequent networking session will be held February 23, 2017 from 3-5 p.m. in the Aline W. Skaggs Biology building auditorium and foyer.

The panel discussion, from 3-4 p.m., will feature representatives from Qualtrics, Zions Bank, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Myriad Genetics and the U’s College of Science in the ASB auditorium (room 220). Each employer will introduce themselves and their company, and the floor will then be open for students’ questions.

Following the panel, from 4-5 p.m. representatives from Goldman Sachs, Edwards Lifesciences, BioFire Defense and Utah State Parks, participants in last year’s panel, will be available to speak with students in the networking session in the ASB foyer. The five employers from the panel discussion will also be available, as will the U’s Center for Science, Mathematics and Education internship program and the U’s Technology & Venture Commercialization office.

“The landscape of higher education is changing,” says Justin Parnell, Corporate and Foundations Relations Officer for the College of Science. “More and more students, instead of going to graduate school, are going into the workforce directly. We want to support that.” The College of Science will be on hand to answer questions about an academic or research career path as well.

Now in its fourth year, the Science Employer Panel provides students an opportunity to hear directly from employers what they look for in potential employees, and to provide the information students need to make choices about their career path. “The employment market is complicated,” Parnell says. “Undergraduates don’t necessarily have all the information they need to make a smart, fulfilling choice. This is a chance to hear it from the horse’s mouth.”

How should students prepare? Think about the questions you’d like to ask the employers, Parnell says, such as “What classes should I take?” Also prepare for the networking session, in which students have a chance to speak one-on-one with employers. “Treat it like a career fair,” Parnell says. “Dress well. Bring a resume if the conversation progresses. Be prepared to put your best foot forward.”

While some employers look for certain technical backgrounds, Parnell says a scientific education is a valuable educational path, training students in critical thinking and learning how to learn. “That hits a lot of the things employers are looking for,” Parnell says. “Science students are already in good shape and if they attend the panel they’ll be in great shape.”

Listed below are the College of Science majors that panel attendees are looking for:

  • Biology – Myriad Genetics, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Edwards Lifesciences, BioFire Defense, Utah State Parks
  • Chemistry – Myriad Genetics, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Edwards Lifesciences, BioFire Defense
  • Mathematics – Qualtrics, Zions Bank, Goldman Sachs
  • Physics – Thermo Fisher Scientific, Edwards Lifesciences

For tips on networking, interviewing and resume writing, click here.