Many Choices, Many Opportunities in Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

What do you want to be when you grow up?

It is one of the biggest questions in life. And, after 20 years of schooling, students pursuing a biomedical doctorate definitely want to get it right. Most students report their school career resources are lacking. However, at Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences a chance to receive more than just advice through a Career Development Internship is a deciding factor for many when choosing a graduate school.

The program is designed to get Ph.D. students out of the labs. These experiences provide an opportunity to explore interests, network with professionals and sample specific careers. For fifth-year student William Matchett, that meant testing out his love of teaching.

While in his third year of the Virology and Gene Therapy program, William balanced his classes and research lab time with teaching at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, for a full semester.

“I shadowed an amazing educator who taught using active learning,” William says. When it was William’s turn to teach, he was prepared. “The experience made me re-evaluate and think about how intentional you need to be in order to get students to learn the curriculum for each session and how to build from there.”

The internship was the second career confirmation William received from Mayo Clinic. As an undergraduate, William participated in a 10-week preview of a biomedical research career through Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences’ Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship. It was a determining factor in his choice to attend school at Mayo Clinic.

Today, William’s research is focused on the development of a vaccine for bacteria called Clostridium difficile, the top hospital-acquired infection in the United States. The internship helped William confirm his career ambitions, and now he plans to pursue a career as a professor at an undergraduate college and continue his important work in research. ■

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