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Program Manager-Career Development Specialist

University of Minnesota Medical School
Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Program Manager for Career Development Services works within the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies to create, evaluate, manage and implement program and operational elements to foster career development for graduate students, postdoctoral trainees and undergraduate researchers within the Medical School at the University of Minnesota. The position reports to the Medical School Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Associate Director of the GPS Office and works closely with a number of stakeholders that include: the Office of the Dean, Associate Dean of Research Operations, Vice Dean of Diversity Equity and Inclusion, extramural-funded summer undergraduate research program directors, grant management and finance teams, and the Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion, among others.


The position works to develop, manage and provide career development support, resources and counseling to trainees and learners. Position further plans, develops and implements programs, activities and services to foster career development. Educates trainees in self-reflection and in identifying their options for careers and to communicate skills and interests through written methods and interpersonally. The role also engaged in coaching learners individually and through group presentations on topics such as career practices, resources, and decision making processes. Produces career content to share with students via social media, websites, newsletters and technology platforms. Assists in planning career events, mentoring programs or other opportunities for students to interact with alumni and employers.

50% Effort: Design, develop and manage career exploration and services content

  • Provide broad guidance on career exploration, experiential learning (such as internships), job searching, and professional development in ways that are inclusive to the various identities, lived experiences, and career needs of trainees.
  • Create and facilitate presentations on topics such as resume building, job searching, interviewing, etc. to trainees
  • Develop and maintain expertise of career pathways related to portfolio of career fields for biomedical scientists. Find creative and streamlined ways to provide relevant occupational and industry information to students.
  • Create content for a portfolio of career fields (website content, handouts, monthly email updates, etc.)
  • Plan and execute programming to increase Medical School graduate students and postdoctoral trainees exposure to career fields.
  • Create and implement innovative programs and services that enhance student retention, degree progress, learning, and satisfaction
  • Lead on-going assessment and develop strategies (technology, communication, programming) to improve the delivery of career services, both in person and virtual/online technologies
  • Oversee internship programs with external business partners to the University and facilitate communication of career development achievements to collegiate and external constituents
  • Manage communication strategy for career readiness of medical school trainers
  • Track and summarize data to analyze career trends and make recommendations for improvement of office practices
  • Assist students in exploring career options and identifying sources of experiential education to further learn about their careers and industries of interest and to develop necessary skills/knowledge
  • Investigate use of and develop virtual/online technologies and resources in the delivery of content to students as appropriate (e.g., web sites, on-line surveys, blogs, podcasts, etc.)
  • Stay current on changing economic and labor conditions and industry trends and impact on curricular offerings
  • Research, develop and deliver industry-specific programming and invite relevant guest speakers based on academic and industry areas
  • Provide up-to-date information about openings for jobs and internships in industry, government and academia

25% Effort: Career Skills Building through direct one-on-one engagement with trainees

  • Conduct career coaching appointments, drop-in support, and group coaching for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
  • Provide immersive experiences, such as micro experiences and projects to help learners gain experience and increase their social capital.
  • Direct career readiness, which involves preparing students and postdocs for opportunities post-graduation with career competencies and transition skills, and overseeing career related programming
  • Innovate new approaches and develop best practices to support learners in their career management, such as through career programming, events, and resources.
  • Anticipate issues and research information needed to champion the development of the total person
  • Perform resume reviews to target trainees skills and interests and provide guidance on creating a social media profiles that employers will notice
  • Provide direct strategies to enhance the strengths and rigor if trainee applications for job placements and provide advice on how to translate the skills and experiences learners garnered during training to real-world opportunities

25% Effort: Serve as the program coordinator of the Life Sciences Summer Undergraduate Research Program (LSSURP).

  • Organize recruiting and career development activities for the 10-week long summer LSSURP program participants
  • Develop and employ practices to increase numbers of women and underrepresented minorities’ participation and career development in LSSURP through innovative recruitment practices, career panel sessions and professional skill building activities.
  • Oversee the process of the review of applications, selection of graduate student seminar coordinator(s) and active mentorship of students by faculty research mentors.
  • Design, write and present academic and career development seminars and workshops for LSSURP participants and for University of Minnesota undergraduates: Preparing for the GRE, writing personal statements, getting strong letters of recommendation, how to have an effective interview experience, crafting an “elevator talk”, developing an individual development plan, understanding and developing a mentor network
  • Maintain communications with LSSURP alumni to track their career development and to recruit them to apply to Minnesota programs where appropriate. Manage LSSURP year-round operations.
  • Provide reporting to PIs of federal grants supporting the summer research programs.
  • Oversee the management of program statistics: applicant data, application decisions, participant data, and participant outcomes (alumni database)

Required Qualifications:

  • BA/BS degree plus at least five years of relevant experience, or Master’s degree plus at least three years of relevant experience
  • A minimum of 3 years of relevant work experience in program coordinator role(s)

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in higher education environment involving students, faculty and administration
  • Event and program management experience
  • Understanding of leadership principles either through application or training
  • Demonstrable experience in one or more areas of career development.

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