Program Description

The MIND Program at UCSF
The MIND program is divided roughly into two phases: a catalytic course, and career exploration. The goal of the program is to teach biomedical trainees how to explore careers effectively. Please note that if you are in job-search mode, you should NOT apply to the MIND Program, and instead access the Office of Career and Professional Development's services for job-seekers.

Phase 1: Catalytic Course

Trainees will develop the skills and knowledge to effectively explore possible career pathways. Participants will learn about the theory of working identity, will use the UCSF-authored myIDP tool, and will apply an iterative approach to career exploration. Course content is designed to be "catalytic", rather than comprehensive, and will prepare students for the second phase of the program.

The catalytic course will take place over three Saturdays in January and February. See the course dates, and a brief summary of the course contents.

Phase 2: Career Exploration with Peer Teams

Trainees will explore careers of interest by meeting in small peer teams, and by connecting with professionals (MIND partners) who have offered to share their skills and experiences with participants of the MIND program. Trainees will find partners through many channels, including a UCSF-developed database called MINDbank. They will contact these partners, and meet with them to learn more about their career trajectories and jobs. Participants will then summarize what they learned in a brief write-up, and share it with fellow MIND participants. The Peer Teams will meet every other week.

Description of Peer Teams

You will meet every other week with your peer team. In these groups of 5-7 peers you’ll be setting career exploration goals, and holding one another accountable to those goals. The peers in your team will challenge and support you as you structure your time, brainstorm how to overcome obstacles, meet your deadlines, and find confidence in your career direction. In return, you will support and challenge your team members in the same way.  

Each team will be assigned 1-2 MIND Program facilitators. These facilitators will help teams establish effective meeting structure and norms, keep the focus on problem-solving, and watch the time to make sure that everyone receives attention from the group.

Goals of Peer Teams

  • To motivate you and hold you accountable for exploring career paths of interest
  • To provide support through the challenges of career exploration
  • To boost confidence in your career choice
  • To improve your teamwork and communication skills, since employers report these are critical for success in most careers
  • To develop career exploration skills that you can use as needed in the future!

The Peer Team phase will conclude with the development of a career plan at the end of the academic year.