General Course Information

Science Career Preparation Seminar – SCDV 001

Instructor: Jon Bannon

Office: RB 446

Phone: 783-2394


Class: RB 340 Thursday 6:00pm-7:00pm

Office Hours: (M) 12:30-3:00 (Th) 4:00-6:00


Course Description

The purpose of this seminar is, just as it was last spring, to explore 10 career questions. You will be involved in finding answers to these questions, and telling us all about what you’ve found.  We hope that this seminar is an opportunity for you to crystallize your thoughts a bit, so that you can have a more fulfilling life and career. Each week, one group will be responsible for digging up some information on a question, researching it, and leading the discussion for the class. Each group should organize its findings in a short write-up, to be included on the webpage ( The idea is that each year we run the seminar, we’ll add to a great collection of articles by students detailing useful findings on career concerns.

One new thing this time around: We’re going to include a resume/interview day. This was fun and useful the last time we did it, but probably only needs a day. We’ll discuss details of this on the first day.

Spring 2011

 Science Career Preparation Seminar

(Tentative) Schedule


Introduction Exercise


Preliminary Findings Meeting





















Here are some sample questions (Compare these to the ones we answered last time around to try to get some new ideas):

What should I do to become most employable/get a good job right out of school?

Should I go to grad school? If so, should I go for a Master’s degree or a Ph.D.?

What makes up a good job?

How does one survive graduate school in my area?

Should I go for the big bucks, or do what I love?

How do I handle work/life balance?

How do I find the right grad school?

How do I find and apply for REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) programs ?

What should be on my resume that I don’t necessarily know about?

How do I write a good resume?

What about careers in Science Education?

Should I become a professor?

What does industry have to offer?

What happens during an academic job search?

Student Responsibilities/Grades

Over the semester, we will expect you to come to class prepared, as finding out what to do with your life is not a spectator sport! You will be expected to participate in various career exploration exercises that will include writing and speaking. You will be expected to attend the exploration excursions to outside institutions. If you are a thoughtful and active participant in the seminar and attend all seminars excepting documented absences (see below), then your grade will reflect this.

Regarding a grading scheme, since most of the students in this seminar are already serious students, we only need to protect against the possibility of “blowing the seminar off” when the work load from other courses gets heavy during the semester. We include the following grade rubric to make our expectations clear:

Grade Rubric:

(A) – Attends all seminars*, active in discussion, completes all exercises.

(A-) - Attends all but one of the seminars, active in discussion, completes all exercises.

(B+) – Attends all but one of the seminars, not active in discussion, completes all exercises

(B) - Attends all but one of the seminars, missing some exercises

(B-) - Attends all but two seminars

(C) – Misses three seminars

(D) – Misses four seminars

(F) – Misses more than four seminars

*-seminar here includes off-campus trip. The dinners are strongly suggested, but not required, since if getting a grade for free food is not double-dipping, then I don’t know what is!

Documented Absences

Documented absences don’t count as absences in this course. A documented absence is: an absence I or Dr. Quaal have excused, a documented illness, a documented athletic department trip, a documented field trip for another course, or a documented family emergency.


Course Resources: Look under “Career Resources” on my website: