Opportunities at PENN

Career Paths, Professional Societies, Additional Readings

For most of us there was little time to do anything other than research or take classes throughout graduate/medical school.  With the focus for many of us being at the task at hand: completing the requirements for graduation, there was little thought given to adding extracurricular activities to our resume. Many of the places we are listing here highly value your science/medical degree; however, they want you to also show them some indication that you are committed to a career away from the bed/bench side. Penn offers a number of different options to become involved in extracurricular activities in addition to the above mentioned Professional Societies. The big bonus for such activities is that they offer a sneak peek into other career paths while offering real-life experiences to get a feel for what it could be like. While time and effort is needed to invest in these activities, the great thing is that these organizations know that the primary focus is our work and only then do the projects come in to play. Here we offer some suggestions to become involved in areas that might interest you. This list is by no means exhaustive because there are opportunities outside of Penn as well to get some experience. Consider it a place to start. Not only will these activities offer a great experience, you will also benefit through networking, learning in depth about various career paths, and get the necessary depth to make your resume look sharper.

Just to reiterate this point that may come to mind right again and again: the time commitment required for such activities. Already we dedicate 120 percent of our effort to our research, how can we manage to participate in such activities. The good news is that these organizations realize this and understand your situation. Consequently, these organizations have framed the projects and work to fit in around your work schedule with minimal interruption. The time and effort needed to put into these organizations is therefore dependent on your ability to participate.

Biomedical Postdoctoral Council

The Biomedical Postdoctoral Council consists of post-doc volunteers from the School of Medicine, the School of Veterinary Science, the School of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute, and the Monell Chemical Senses Center. The BPC seeks to foster a sense of community, provide resources for career and personal development, and provide a framework for representation on campus and in the local community for postdoctoral scholars. We also function as a liaison between the post-doc community and the Office of Biomedical Postdoctoral Programs (BPP).

Penn Biotech Group

Penn Biotech Group (PBG) is a cross-disciplinary student run organization at the University of Pennsylvania. We focus on addressing the challenges and obstacles facing the biotechnology industry today. To this end, we provide our members with education, real-world experience and networking opportunities to enrich their exposure within the biotechnology arena. Our Mission: Promote education and awareness regarding the many aspects of biotechnology, including science, business, law, and medicine. Provide students with real world consulting, entrepreneurship, and investing experience in life science industry. Help members develop strong leadership and teamwork skills, and improve business knowledge. Build life science network within Penn community and the Greater Philadelphia region. Help members find jobs in life science industry

Penn Graduate Consulting Group

The purpose of our group is to serve the members of the Penn graduate and post-doctoral community who share a common interest in learning about careers in management consulting. To this end, we host multiple events, including panel discussions, seminars, workshops, and lively networking receptions. We also create opportunities for our members to understand the perspectives of both experienced and freshly minted consultants. It is our goal to provide our 200+ members with an in-depth exposure to the consulting industry, and with ample support in preparing for case-based interviews.

Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society

The international honor society of science and engineering, Sigma ci has nearly 60,000 members who were elected to membership based on their research potential or achievements. More than 500 Sigma ci chapters in North America and around the world provide a supportive environment for interdisciplinary research at colleges and universities, industry research centers and government laboratories. More than 200 members have won the Nobel Prize.

Biological Science and Public Policy

Experience here at Penn is plentiful when looking to get some advice and first-hand views of how to apply your scientific background to important tasks. Dr. David Hewitt teaches a course on the importance of Science in Public Policy. More information can be found here. Included here is a syllabus of his 2010 class to get an idea of what fascinating topics he will be covering.


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