For the first time in my four years at Fordham I set foot in Larkin hall, home of the biology department, to hear Dr. James Boyer address graduate students regarding his professional experiences. Dr. Boyer is Vice President of The Stavros Niarchos Foundation for Children’s Education at the New York Botanical Gardens. His lecture was designed to provide biology students with first-hand information regarding job opportunities outside the traditional paths of teaching in classrooms or working in labs. Due to the fact that I’m not a biology student but, have cultivated a deep love for the Botanical Gardens through the many runs and exhibits during my time at Fordham, I wondered what I would take away from the lecture.
Dr. Boyer mainly catered to the specific needs of biology students; however, managed to effectively impart knowledge that would be valuable to any graduate student. He reminded attendees that all research and academic endeavors are important – even if they do not pursue a career in academia. This is a relief to those who fear all the hard work they have done during their time in academia will be overlooked. In fact, he reminded students to remain up-to-date on advances in their field, continue to seek new knowledge, and always strive to improve.
He urged us to remember that graduate students are masters of learning who have been conditioned to be flexible and highly adaptable. We have been ingrained to be independent thinkers and leaders, and have obtained the ability to speak both eloquently and technically on a matter. It is with these skills, applicable to a variety of job opportunities, that graduate students enter the workforce.
Lastly, Dr. Boyer successfully dispelled the common misconception that graduate school limits students to careers in academia. Instead, it has prepared us to excel in a variety of career opportunities both within and beyond education.
Applied Psychological Methods