Career Center and Biology Department Team Up for Events
St. John Fisher College’s Career Center and Biology Department recently teamed up to collaborate on two events aimed at putting students’ career knowledge into action.
Over the course of the fall semester, Dr. Ed Freeman’s Junior Seminar Course, a required course for Biology majors, challenged the students to explore their career options with a biology degree. In addition to looking at different occupations, they are required to dig deeper to identify required entrance exams, the cost of additional graduate and professional schooling, entry level salary information, employment trends, and a variety of other details to help the students make informed career decisions.
On Thursday, November 10, the students hosted a Biology Career Fair. They worked in groups based on their professional interest and created a poster presentation with details about a variety of career fields, including research, physical therapy, pharmacy, forensic science, and dentistry. Freshman biology students were encouraged to attend to learn about the many ways their degrees will be useful. The juniors served as the “experts,” explaining how their education and research into the careers has prepared them for life after Fisher.
The annual Biology Mock Interview Night took place on November 16, and 51 students from the Junior Seminar Course participated in mock interviews by a professional in their desired career field. This event was organized by Laurie Valentino, Assistant Director, Career Center, along with Dr. Freeman, and is in its sixth year. Students have the opportunity to go through a simulated interview experience, and talk with professionals from within the field, gaining valuable insight and guidance. This year, six of the 21 interviewers were Fisher alumni and included: Robert Parker, DDS ’76; Marie (Lynd) Murphy, MD, ’79; Kevin Wynne, OD, ’88; Brian Riesenberger’07, Physician Assistant; Jeff Reed ’09, a medical student; and Alexander DeLucenay, Pharm.D., ’06, ’10.
Interviewers were provided with sample questions in advance, and completed constructive evaluations on both the students and the event. One alumnus stated in his evaluation that the quality of the students he spoke with made him “proud to be a Fisher alum.” Other professionals encouraged students to gain additional experience through internships or volunteering. In addition, some alumni offered to have students shadow them to get a realistic view of the day-to-day operations in that specific field. Overall, students found the experience equally beneficial, noting that their career interests were reaffirmed and the discussions made them excited about their chosen career paths.