Experience Your Potential
The goal of the myCHOICE Experience programming is to provide real-world practical experience in a specific career field outside of academic research. At this time, myCHOICE has developed five Experiential opportunities: externships, internships, mentor groups, treks, and a travel award:
- Externships generally require a longer commitment (from 10 weeks up to a full year) and may be either part- or full-time.
- Treks are professional development trips thematically organized around a single career trajectory.
- Just-in-Time Mentor groups provide the opportunity for senior-stage grad students and postdocs to meet in a small group setting with professionals in their field of interest to discuss practical steps in preparing for a career transition into that field.
- myCHOICE Mentor Network is a searchable resource for myCHOICE Trainees who would like to identify and communicate with professionals who are working in a field that interests them. Are you a potential mentor? Visit our FAQs page for more information on how to join the Network.
- The Trainee Action Committee is group of graduate students and postdocs who help to guide our programming. Interested in joining the Committee? Contact us!
Over the summer of 2016, I took part in a myCHOICE internship working in a cancer genomics company as a data scientist. My project consisted of organizing the categorization of clinical trials based on the trial’s tumor genotype requirements. The project workload was approximately 8 hours a week and was easily balanced with my research duties. This invaluable opportunity allowed me to apply my graduate research experience to a tractable problem with real-world clinical relevance, and reshaped my understanding of the tangible value that my graduate education could have. At the same time, the position also offered me with excellent opportunities to expand my leadership abilities as well as my capacity to collaborate in a fast paced team.
Subsequent to the internship I sought out a data science fellowship through which I found my eventual postgraduate job as a data scientist at a company specializing in hereditary cancer genomics. Overall, the career opportunities presented to me through the myCHOICE internship helped to broaden my horizons and made me much more marketable after my graduation.