Samantha Sutton, Ph.D. Life Engineering
Professional success in the modern world requires strong communication skills, creativity, self-awareness, confidence, and vision.
Students don't learn these in the lab alone.
It's time to rethink graduate education.
Many of the brightest minds in the world pursue a Ph.D. Their training in cutting-edge thought and analysis make them a tremendous resource for the future of our society and planet. With only 10% of students becoming faculty members, we need to teach our students how to discover and navigate "alternative careers in science." In fact, these careers are actually the norm, and not the alternative anymore. In order to realize their potential in a variety of career paths, our Ph.D. students and post-doctoral fellows need training in more than just laboratory skills and analytical thought. They need to learn how to:
Explore where their true talents and passions lie.
Engineer a career path that suits them.
Build strong relationships with their PI and colleagues.
Overcome self-critical beliefs and feelings.
Cultivate the skills that will make them successful at their chosen careers.
We have developed a set of tools based on rigorous engineering design principles that has helped hundreds of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows to engineer careers that allow them to truly take on the world... in the role that is exactly right for them.
We have worked with these pioneers
Innovate a career you love
Graduate students invest several years of their lives into their graduate studies. But what do they want to gain from them? What career path are they preparing themselves for? Given that a vast minority of students will end up becoming academics, graduate school is all about BYOB: Building Your Own Brand. What do students need to learn, experience, and develop in order to be the professionals they want to be?
Many graduate students have difficulties answering these questions because they don’t know exactly what they are passionate about or where their true talents lie; or maybe they suffer from forms of the “Impostor Syndrome:” self-doubt, self-sabotage, anxiety, or a lack of confidence. This interactive seminar gives participants the tools to pick a career that is right for them, and to best tailor their graduate years to get it.
Participants will leave the workshop with the tools to:
learn a step-by-step approach to explore and evaluate career options.
articulate a big-picture vision of what an inspiring career looks like to them.
identify their unique skills, talents, and character traits that will make them succeed at that career.
discover how to hear their inner voice of passion, and use it as a compass.
draft a blueprint for a successful graduate education, by their own definition.
This workshop gives participants the ability to systematically identify and pursue a career that ignites their passions and talents, whether that is in academia or beyond. Participants leave the workshop with a sense of confidence that they can and will find a career that is right for them.
Managing Up: Navigating your Relationship with your PI or Advisor
The advisor-advisee relationship is arguably the most important in academia. Under the guidance of their PIs, graduate students and post-docs grow into strong, successful professionals. In exchange, these advisees perform the research that builds their PI’s reputation and scientific body of work. Despite the importance of the advisor-advisee relationship, relatively little instruction is given to either party in how to build a great relationship. This interactive workshop provides that instruction. Participants will leave the workshop with:
a more productive way of relating to your PI/advisor.
the tools to resolve issues with grace.
a method to design “difficult” conversations to be positive, productive experiences.
The second hour of the workshop will consist of role-plays to practice these tools.
Personal Branding, from the Inside Out
Each person has a certain “way of being” that is well known by everyone around them. That is their personal brand. In this interactive seminar, Dr. Sutton leads participants on an intriguing and insightful journey to identify their innate personal brands, and hone them to reflect the most powerful and compelling version of themselves.
Participants leave the seminar with:
a definition of their personal brand
confidence in themselves and less fear of "looking bad,”
the courage to take the risks that align with their brand.
This seminar shows participants how to live their daily lives from the most exquisite version of themselves, and have that reflected back in the results they get.
Train Your Brain to Work FOR your Goals, Not AGAINST Them
Although the solutions to their problems may seem obvious, many individuals still feel stuck in one or more areas of their lives. The reason is that the human mind is a complicated, emotional, associative place that produces staggering works of genius and also staggering amounts of self-sabotage. In this seminar, we teach participants:
how to use their most precious asset, their brains, to work FOR their goals instead of AGAINST them.
an understanding the mental processes underlying their daily decisions, stressors, and thoughts
a set of exercises to leverage their minds in constructive ways.
Participants leave with a greater mastery of their most valuable asset: their mind.