Professional Development

This Page and Its content were created by Dr. Dominik Konkolewicz

Professional development may refer to any activities or resources which help an individual perform better in their career/career trajectory, or gain new skills to help the individual towards their ultimate career goals.  There are many resources or activities that can fall in the topic of professional development, many of these you may already have or be actively participating in. For instance attending conferences, watching webinars or local seminars, jumping into new research projects may all be considered professional development activities or resources.  At MACRO we encourage you all to jump into as many professional development opportunities as you can fit into your schedule, since these will tremendously help you in your career trajectory through new skills learned, tangible work or research experience and critical networking opportunities.

What of resources are available from MACRO?

Resources for Undergraduate Students.

MACRO provides resources for undergraduate students to seek internship opportunities both through academic mechanisms such as:

NSF research experiences for undergraduates (REU) program,

Internships through government and also industrial mechanisms.

Crafting a competitive graduate school application.

Resources for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows.

MACRO has a set of resources for graduate students and postdocs including:

Tips for how to write your first paper

Questions to Consider when selecting a graduate or post doctoral advisor

For graduate students who are considering a post-doc

Coming soon: for postdoctoral fellows who are seeking faculty positions. Specific focus will be on benefits and challenges to consider when deciding between research intensive faculty positions and teaching focused primarily undergraduate teaching positions.

Coming Soon: Resources for Early Career Faculty.

Advice on setting up a group, developing a mentoring style and philosophy, getting that first paper out, and obtaining external funding. These resources will be posted here as they become available.

Resources Available From Beyond MACRO

Chem IDP – This is a fantastic resource available from ACS where you can put in your interests, skills and motivations to evaluate career trajectories and develop a plan to build skills needed to reach your career goals.

NSF REU Sites – A comprehensive list of all active research experiences for undergraduates.

The Pitch, Why Professional Development Matters?

Professional development has benefits to both the employer (here at MACRO we define this broadly to include: undergraduate institution; graduate or postdoctoral institution and the graduate or postdoctoral mentor; and current employer for those already working in their independent career). Skills gained or new content mastered through professional development activities can increase the productivity of the employee or trainee as well as boosting morale. Additionally, professional development opportunities can help with employee retention. Regarding the employee or trainee there are numerous benefits, including an increase in confidence.  Professional development activities can also help advance the individual to new or targeted career goals through the new skills acquired in the activity. Finally, if the activity is a conference invaluable networking can result which can have profound impacts on the long term career trajectory of the individual as well as allowing possible synergies.