CURE: Beyond Academia

On Wednesday, July 12, students and Boston-area health and life science professionals gathered at Dana-Farber for a night of learning and networking. 165 students participating in Harvard-affiliated summer programs participated in informal, small group informational interviews with professionals from a wide variety of institutions, including pharmaceutical companies, publishing houses, and government agencies. 22 Boston area companies and agencies were in attendance.

“Beyond Academia creates a wonderful bi-directional networking opportunity. Students are able to gain first-hand knowledge about a variety of STEM related careers, and career representatives are able to personally experience the diversity of interests and active engagement of the next generation. We are thrilled to have Beyond Academia be a center piece of our summer program” says CURE deputy associate director Karen Burns White.

The organizers of the Beyond Academia event sought to expose students to a broad spectrum of careers available to STEM and public health majors outside of academia. “As a researcher turned educational administrator and the first science PhD in my family, I know that charting a rewarding and enduring professional path in STEM can at times be challenging.” explains CURE coordinator Dr. Emily McMains. “I want our students, many from backgrounds historically underrepresented in STEM, to have access to career information and professional networks early and often so that they can make informed and impactful decisions about their futures.”

Most Harvard summer research programs are centered around exposing students to scientific research, preparing them for further academic training in the sciences and eventual  careers in academia.  Through the Beyond Academia program, students supplemented their summer research experience with real-world information about how STEM training may be translated into a wide variety of exciting careers. Participants were able to hear what each ”career representative’s” position entails and how they are using their degrees, allowing these students to learn firsthand that job progression is not always linear but that there are many options for STEM majors.

The Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (CURE) Program is very grateful for the planning and material assistance of the Harvard Medical School (HMS) Immunology Summer Program, the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health Biostatistics and Computational Biology Program, the HMS Cell Biology Research Scholars Program, the Summer Honors Undergraduate Research Program at HMS, the HMS Summer Clinical and Translational Research Program, the Biological Sciences in Public Health Summer Intern Program at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center UMass Boston U54 Partnership, the Program for Research in Science and Engineering at Harvard University, and the Summer Research Opportunities at Harvard Program.


Thank you to the career representatives and institutions who made themselves available to our community: