Sara Wong is a graduate student at the University of Michigan in Cellular and Molecular Biology. She studies how myosin V-mediated cargo transport is regulated in space and time. Email: sawo@umich.edu. Twitter: @sarajwong


Informational interviews: Four ways to transform weak ties into a strong network

Early on in my graduate career, I did a few informational interviews to learn more about different career options. I also helped design a “protocol” for conducting informational interviews, which we published at Science Careers (check it out for sample emails and lists of questions).  … Read more

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Out and back: How searching for a non-academic career led me to academia

In college, I joined the cross country team. I wanted to try something new and they needed bodies. To get my baseline mileage up, I ran a lot of out and backs – going from point A to point B and then tracing the path  … Read more

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Pay to play: should trainees be compensated for extracurricular service?

Graduate students and postdocs participate in various service activities throughout their training. Service occurs in the form of outreach, teaching, advocacy, education, communication, professional development, community building, and administrative work. When I say service, I mean long-term commitments. We’re talking above and beyond, often dozens  … Read more

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Starting your professional development in graduate school

Now that I’m in my fifth year of graduate school, everyone asks: “What will you do after you graduate?” I know they’re expecting a confident, specific answer—I chaired my department’s career development committee, so of course, I know! But I don’t, at least not with  … Read more

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Four ways trainees can use leadership as self-care

What does your go-to example of a leader look like? Is it the president of your university? A camp counselor who took your group on an overnight hike? It might be easy to think of someone in a position that may seem unattainable to you  … Read more

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Four guideposts for navigating difficult conversations with your PI

No matter how well you get along with your mentor, there will likely come a time when you have to discuss something that is difficult to bring up. It could be anything from concerns about your progress and mentorship or asking for time off (especially  … Read more

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