January 10, 2019 at 2:41 pm

Career Week | Alum Brings Tips for Finding First Science Jobs

Pam Groen, portrait

Pam Groen

Ohio University alum Pam Groen says many science graduates miss first job opportunities because they don’t see how entry-level jobs will lead them up the career ladder. And they don’t know how to navigate job-posting websites and promote their acquired skills.

Groen, who hires science graduates for many start-up companies, is attending the College of Arts & Sciences Alumni-Student Networking Reception to review science resumes and talk to students about opportunities they may be missing. She majored in Biological Science, pre-med, and Chemistry with a Mathematics minor.

At her science resume review station, she will have examples of resumes—both of successful hires and those not hired.

Groen says positions for students to consider when looking for their first jobs can include manufacturing, quality control, procurement and purchasing, laboratory technician, laboratory operations, and more.

“I would be happy to help anyone navigate all the job posting websites, including the ones that are under membership organizations, that might be missed,” she says. “Joining a career-specific society is very important to make more connections.”

Tips for Finding First Jobs

“Be yourself, be genuine,” Groen advises those seeking a first job. “An employer can recognize a genuine passion and interest a mile away. Be honest if you do not understand something. An employer will be more supportive of your success if you are open and honest.”

Groen has a personal example of the value of being honest.

“Being a true science-based person, I cannot spell. In the beginning, I did everything I could not show my deficient. Until a few years later I met one of the most brilliant professionals, and he carried a small dictionary in his front shirt pocket. It was tattered and worn, obviously excessively used with no shame or embarrassment. That gave me the courage to then say. ‘I am not a good speller.’ I then noticed three-fourths of the science community was exactly like me.”

Groen also tells students to research the company they are interested in.

“I mean really research the company! How many employees? What is their employee retention, and something as simple as where did the company’s name originate from.”

And she advises students to make a personal website—which could be a LinkedIn page—to highlight more about yourself.

“DO NOT put anything on social media that would be questionable,” she says. “It is becoming standard hiring practice that you give consent to having your social media reviewed.”

“I am passionate for the hiring of entrance employees,” she says. “It is true, many missed opportunities for entrance employment are generally due to the lack of awareness of all the needed parts of the profession.”


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