[Career Navigator Workshop] Making the Most of Your Virtual Rotations (Dr. Taralyn Tan - HMS Department of Neurobiology, Dr. Jason Heustis - HMS Program in Graduate Education)


Thursday, October 1, 2020, 4:00pm to 5:15pm


Zoom - TBA

PART 1: Understanding the Value of Rotations and Setting Your Goals

A primary goal of the first year of graduate school is to identify a dissertation laboratory. Lab rotations are a major mechanism to guide students in this process. Students are currently having to navigate rotations that are partially or wholly virtual due to COVID-19 and restrictions on in-person laboratory activities. This interactive workshop will provide students strategies to maximally leverage both in-person and virtual lab rotation experiences to identify a training environment for their dissertation research that is aligned with students' professional and personal goals and priorities. This workshop will also emphasize that lab rotations themselves are only part of the decision-making process and that the work of identifying a lab that’s going to be a “good fit” for a student’s PhD research actually begins long before a student steps foot into a rotation lab (or signs into Zoom to begin a virtual rotation) and continues after the rotation ends. Accordingly, we will also discuss strategies and exercises to help students navigate the four stages of finding a thesis lab within this broader framework: articulating priorities and goals, identifying rotation labs, making the most of rotations, and reflecting on rotations to choose a thesis lab.

PART 2: What the Data Say and Setting the Stage for Decision-Making

Following the completion of rotations, first year students will be tasked with a big decision: choosing a lab.  In a brief presentation, we will discuss data from Harvard doctoral students:  how many rotations do students typically do?  Is it true that no one ever chooses their first rotation lab or that everyone always goes to the last lab?  We share some answers drawn from 100's of students.  This session sets the stage for our follow-up workshops in the Spring (Choosing a PI: Decision Time and Choosing a DAC).