This fall, five student leaders from our Training Initiatives in Biological and Biomedical Sciences (TIBBS) Advisory Board gained insight into industry research and company organizations, in collaboration with our partner institution – the University of Georgia’s – first annual Life Science Industry Day.
Trainees reported highly valuable outcomes, such as learning what the economic ecosystem and major industry players were outside the rich resources right in our backdoor in the Research Triangle. In addition to different companies and new location to provide perspective and broadened horizons, students reported that speakers were willing to share “trade secrets” during small break-out sessions – e.g., salaries for specific positions, what gets you a job in their specific company/sector. Speakers also offered to serve as mentors when needed (mentioned both during the session as well as following up afterward), reinforcing the importance and value of networking opportunities and building an informal personal mentoring network. Finally, regional differences created an ability to provide exposure to avenues not always presented in the media or emphasized locally in NC (e.g., different regional opportunities such as the US Public Health Service in GA). Student-leaders who participated in this professional development offering hailed from the UNC School of Medicine (pharmacology, toxicology, microbiology & immunology) and UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy (pharmacotherapy and experimental therapeutics), creating a multidisciplinary team of TIBBS student-leaders representing a multitude of clubs including: Global Perspectives in Biomedicine (GPB), Science Policy and Advocacy Group (SPAG), Society for the Advancement of Native American and Chicano Scientists (SACNAS), STEM Pride, American Association for Pharmaceutical Sciences (AAPS), and the Graduate Professional Student Federation (GPSF). We are proud of the outstanding programming our trainees continue to build for their peers right here at UNC as student club leaders; by partnering with regional institutions both locally and throughout the Southeast Region, we plan to continue extending their experiences and opportunities to excel throughout the state of North Carolina and beyond.