Career Day: An opportunity for research graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the Faculty of Medicine to connect and network with professionals working in a variety of different careers


On June 16th, students gathered in person and online to participate in the FoM career day. Panelists and speakers had a wide range of expertise.  Dr. Tony Yang, Manon Ranger, Shelly Au, Jasmin Ma, and Adrian Lai, opened up about the personal choices and triggers that led them to pick their career paths. They all promoted the idea that most careers aren’t linear and that it takes trials and errors to find the one that fits your personal and professional aspirations.


Passion, vision, inspiration, courage, authenticity, curiosity, and risk-taking are values that will help young professionals and researchers pick a fulfilling career path (within the industry or the academic field). 


Choosing a career path: At an early stage in your career, changing your mind and redirecting your interest to a different research topic or field is expected. Whatever year you are in (Master’s, Ph.D. or Postdoc). It is important to keep an open mind and explore other professional or academic opportunities by reflecting on the transferability of your skills, knowledge and experience. Your peers and professors can help you identify your strengths and navigate transitions and difficult decisions.

Panelists share their insights on how to find confidence now while looking ahead: Look for a mentor! A mentor will encourage you, and share the same interests as you. Mentorship is one of the most efficient ways to increase a sense of belonging and self-worth. Having an appreciation for your upbringing is essential. Be proud of who you are and where you come from. Self-confidence can be built over time throughout your academic accomplishments, networking, collaborations, and personal experiences with peers, mentors, and friends. With time you will learn how to trust your skills and believe in your abilities. In one of the breakout rooms, one speaker indicated that confidence does not necessarily mean being bold and loud. Confidence can also be expressed through authenticity. Think of the qualities that you want to show and promote. Stand up for your rights, set boundaries and dare to express the cultural values that matter to you.

You need to find a career path that will emulate the best version of yourself. One speaker suggested that one way to do that could be to write down your vision and your “must-have,” whatever this means to you (creativity, flexibility, collaboration etc.). And if fear of failure overwhelms you at the moment, know that “there is never a wrong step ” but always an opportunity to learn. Remember that you can’t regret exploring and trying. 

Finally, Kimberley Rawes and Armin Mortazavi introduced the importance of storytelling and marketing. Learning how to own and share your story can also be a precious tool for navigating job searches, applications and interviews. Learning how to tell your story will always be a work in progress but it will help you articulate your interests and experience with more clarity and confidence. Try creative ways to express who you are through digital media, art or any other channels that will help you represent your interests, skills, intentions, learning objectives etc.

You are at the beginning of an exciting journey. The world is filled with opportunities. Be curious, open-minded, patient and you will find a path that suits you.

Speakers’ bio and more info about the event can be found here