How the Virtual ASHG Career Fair Helped Me: Interview with Kritika Shankar

Posted by: Katy Brown, ASHG Career and Workforce Development Coordinator

(Photo Courtesy of Kritika Shankar)
(Photo Courtesy of Kritika Shankar)

ASHG: I understand you had a follow-up interview with an employer because of the Career Fair. Can you tell me more about how that came about?

Kritika Shankar: Cleveland Clinic was one of the exhibits at the ASHG virtual career fair this year. I have known about Cleveland Clinic and their research for many years so I was hoping to learn of potential opportunities from the representatives at the booth. Dr. Bekris (CC representative) spoke about the research her lab does with Alzheimer’s biomarkers and informed me that she was specifically looking for post-docs to fill positions in her lab. While I am not a post-doc we still discussed my background and what types of opportunities I was looking for. I explained that I completed my MPH in 2020 and was looking for a position in which I could apply what I had learned through my prior internships and learn new skills directly in the industry. Dr. Bekris was kind enough to take my resume and forward it to other PI’s at the clinic and I was contacted a week later for an interview!

ASHG: How did you find the Career Fair helpful in a virtual setting?

KS: There were a few things I found helpful both with the actual set-up of the fair and the materials the representatives had with them. In terms of set-up, the virtual seats at each booth set a good cap so that the ratio of people visiting the booths vs the representatives never got too overwhelming and I was able to speak with at least one person from each exhibit I attended. Along with this, being able to see how many people were at a booth was helpful in determining which booths to visit next. Within each booth, the employers had some unique tools like the whiteboard that allowed us to see their highlights (research, videos, tours, etc.) along with links. This made it very easy for me to visualize what they were talking about and be truly interactive, for example, I could click into an abstract or go to the career site and immediately ask about a potential opportunity.

ASHG: Would you attend an ASHG Career Fair again? If so, why?

KS: Yes, I would definitely attend again. While the employers were mainly looking for postdocs it was a great networking opportunity both with representatives and other attendees of the career fair. I was able to learn about many different educational experiences and how they led to a variety of careers and gain insight into where the healthcare industry is heading based on the kind of research and what skills/background the employers were looking for. As an example, I met a fellow attendee who told me about her Ph.D. in statistical genetics and potential career paths tied to the field. Without the fair, I would not have even known to consider that as a possible path for my future career.

ASHG: Were you successful in finding a job after the Career Fair or was it simply not the right fit?

KS: Yes, I was offered a position at Cleveland Clinic.

Visit the ASHG Career Center for current job openings.

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