When I’m introducing the idea of job sims to grad students or postdocs, I share stories about different ways grad students or postdocs have used and benefitted from the experience. One of my favorite stories is about a postdoc who completed a job simulation and found it useful, so she developed one for this online collection. To develop the sim, she talked with industry professionals, synthesized the informational interviews and wrote a draft. We worked with her to edit the final version, and published it on the website. She had a product to share, a concrete example to add to her resume, and co-copyright for her contribution. She updated us later that she talked about the experience in an interview to demonstrate how she can quickly gather knowledge in a new field, and explained that she is confident she can pivot in her career from an academic postdoc to an industry position. She got the job. I love this story because it demonstrates how InterSECT job sims can be a place to explore career options, and also a place to gain experience to in preparation for your career transition.
To read more stories from graduate students, a postdoc, and a research associate, check out the Science article about InterSECT: “Like virtual reality for careers: A new online resource helps scientists explore job options.”