University of Chicago “Career Trek” students visit Palmer Lab

On a visit to San Diego led by David Lerner, Program Director of Careers in Biological Sciences at the University of Chicago, a group of twenty University of Chicago undergraduate students had the opportunity for some career exploration in biological sciences while meeting at Palmer Lab at UC San Diego.

In a lunchtime presentation, Dr. Palmer gave the students a practical understanding of daily life in their field of interest. The visit was also designed to build connections between students, alumni, and professionals. Dr. Palmer was joined by fellow lab members Thiago Sanches, PhD and Michelle Doyle, PhD, and graduate student Adam Klie from UC San Diego's BISB program, who shared their experiences and perspectives.

The following are impressions from University of Chicago students on their visit to San Diego:

“My favorite visit was with Dr. Palmer at UCSD. His research aligns with my academic and career interests quite well. I was excited to hear about his research and career path, even though I already knew there is no one way to earn a PhD and become a full-time researcher. I was able to reach out to him after our visit to UCSD over email, and we have already been corresponding about my research interests. My key takeaways from this trip are that most careers are not linear and that there are a lot of ways to do research. In a way, I knew both of those things going into the trek, however hearing from successful people in the field and the multitude of paths they took to achieve their goals was reassuring.”
“I also liked the visit to UCSD and talking to Professor Palmer on Tuesday. I have gone between wanting to get a PhD and not wanting a PhD for a while and although I’m still not entirely sure where I stand on that, I do feel like he provided a lot of good information to us, and I know a lot of  other students on the trek enjoyed speaking to him. I also appreciated that he brought in people from his department that were either in the process of working on their PhD or postdoc and could offer some more recent advice and expectations for future graduate students. I especially liked  hearing about Adam’s journey to getting his PhD because he took a couple years off between graduating from undergrad and going to graduate school, and if I end up going to grad school I will definitely have at least a couple years between leaving UChicago and then.”
“The UC San Diego visit also resonated with me because Dr. Palmer has his own lab and brought some of the graduate students that work in the lab with him. I got to learn about how he runs his lab and I got an idea of what I will be doing when I am in graduate school. I also liked this visit because I have not started doing research in college yet, so it prepared me a lot for what I will be doing next quarter.”
“Dr. Palmer and the other members of UCSD gave really helpful advice.”