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Professional Skills Sessions

Being a Postdoc in Industry

Dr. Melinda Willard, Postdoctoral Fellow, Oncology & Translational Sciences, Eli Lilly & Company
Considering a postdoc in industry? Attend this session and learn first-hand what it is like to conduct postdoctoral research at a major pharma company.

Creative Job Searching (slides)

Brianna Blaser, PhD, Project Director for Outreach, AAAS/ScienceCareers
Being able to submit job applications online makes searching for jobs outside academia seem deceptively easy. In reality, finding a position, particularly in the current economic climate,may take more creativity. In this session, we'll talk about the importance of networking, how to market yourself properly, and other ways to get a leg up on the competition when applying for nonacademic jobs.

Branding & Marketing Yourself to Employers

Ms. Kimberly Pace, Clinical Professor of Communication, Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University
As job seekers, we are "products" that we want employers to "buy." This session will help participants learn to brand and market their unique accomplishments, skills, and experiences so employers will line up to hire you.

Recruiting from the Business' Perspective (slides, audio file)

Dan Ryan, Senior Consultant, Human Capital Group
Dan Ryan, a senior consultant at The Human Capital Group, will lead a discussion on how businesses seek out desired applicants when hiring. This will compliment the "Branding & Marketing Yourself to Employers" session by providing the other side to the application process. He will discuss what a business looks for from its applicants, and provide helpful tips that will aid in improving the marketing skills of oneself to hiring businesses.

General Interviewing Skills & Etiquette (slides)

Christy Waggoner, Assistant Director and Career Coach, Vanderbilt Career Center
A job interview can be nerve-wracking, but the better prepared you are, the better you will feel and perform. This session will review the basics of job interviews,from proper attire, to common interview questions, to etiquette for interview follow-up.

Behavioral Interviewing

Tammy Key, OET Consultant, Vanderbilt Human Resources Organizational Effectiveness
Behavioral-based interviewing aims to discover how a candidate acted in previous work-related situations. Behavioral interview questions are more pointed, more probing, and more specific than traditional interview questions. This session will outline the theory behind behavioral-based interview questions and help participants learn how to structure successful answers to behavioral interview questions.

Academic Interviews (slides)

Mary MacDougall, PhD, Associate Dean for Research and Director, Institute of Oral Health Research, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry
Academic interviews are vastly different from interviews in private industry. This interactive session will provide an overview of a typical academic interview and help participants understand what to expect.

Cracking Case Study Questions (audio file)

Ray Price, PhD, Principal, The Prices Write
Management consulting firms, investment banks, and other companies in industry use case study questions during job interviews. This interview framework evaluates the candidate's analytical skills, creativity, and ability to frame and structure solutions to problems with little time for preparation. This session will provide details on case study interviews and tips on how to conquer these questions in future interviews

Salary negotiation (slides, audio file)

Dayle Savage, Ed.D., Assistant Professor of Practice, Department of Leadership and Organizations and Co-Director of Peabody Career Development Office, Vanderbilt University Peabody College
Negotiating the right pay requires a job seeker to equip him or herself with some negotiation skills and knowledge of how to attract better offers from employers. This session will provide helpful tips for job seekers on negotiating fair salary from employers.