Dancer Wants to Transfer Skills to Biology


Heather writes:
I have a BFA in dance performance and a good bit of professional/semi-professional
dance experience. However I have chosen to go back to school for my other passion:
conservation biology. I am taking the required science and math courses at a college
now to gain acceptance into a graduate program (without getting a second degree)
but realize I will be competing with students who have not only a BS but also lots
more experience in the field. I am trying to gain some of that experience next summer by applying to internships or volunteering. I have read lots about
“transferable skills” but the two careers are so different that only one comes to
mind — dedication! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.



The Career Doctor responds:
Wow. You are truly making a dramatic career change and kudos to you for
taking the leap (if you forgive the pun) to follow your passion. And you also
deserve credit for realizing that you need to get started now on gaining valuable
experience in your new field so that by the time you are finished with your
graduate degree you will be an attractive candidate to employers.
Transferable skills are an essential job-hunting concept to master for all
job-seekers but especially for recent college graduates and career-changers.
What are transferable skills? Simply put they are skills you have acquired
during any activity in your life — jobs classes projects parenting hobbies sports virtually anything — that are transferable and applicable to what you
want to do in your next job or career.
Your first step is identifying the set of skills that employers in conservation
biology seek. You can do so by compiling a collection of job postings from various
employers — and making a list of the key skills they seek.
Your next step is then looking into your past and present for any experiences
where you may have used or mastered those skills.
Your final step is then carefully showcasing those transferable skills in your
cover letters resumes and interviews.
I think volunteering is a much more likely option for you next summer than
internships — because you are still catching up on those core science
classes but don’t rule anything out until you try. I have found that employers
often interview (especially for internships and volunteer positions) candidates
with diverse backgrounds because they seek a well-rounded staff.
Read more about transferable skills in this section of Quintessential Careers:
Transferable
Job Skills
.

;

Heather writes:
I have a BFA in dance performance and a good bit of professional/semi-professional
dance experience. However I have chosen to go back to school for my other passion:
conservation biology. I am taking the required science and math courses at a college
now to gain acceptance into a graduate program (without getting a second degree)
but realize I will be competing with students who have not only a BS but also lots
more experience in the field. I am trying to gain some of that experience next summer by applying to internships or volunteering. I have read lots about
“transferable skills” but the two careers are so different that only one comes to
mind — dedication! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.



The Career Doctor responds:
Wow. You are truly making a dramatic career change and kudos to you for
taking the leap (if you forgive the pun) to follow your passion. And you also
deserve credit for realizing that you need to get started now on gaining valuable
experience in your new field so that by the time you are finished with your
graduate degree you will be an attractive candidate to employers.
Transferable skills are an essential job-hunting concept to master for all
job-seekers but especially for recent college graduates and career-changers.
What are transferable skills? Simply put they are skills you have acquired
during any activity in your life — jobs classes projects parenting hobbies sports virtually anything — that are transferable and applicable to what you
want to do in your next job or career.
Your first step is identifying the set of skills that employers in conservation
biology seek. You can do so by compiling a collection of job postings from various
employers — and making a list of the key skills they seek.
Your next step is then looking into your past and present for any experiences
where you may have used or mastered those skills.
Your final step is then carefully showcasing those transferable skills in your
cover letters resumes and interviews.
I think volunteering is a much more likely option for you next summer than
internships — because you are still catching up on those core science
classes but don’t rule anything out until you try. I have found that employers
often interview (especially for internships and volunteer positions) candidates
with diverse backgrounds because they seek a well-rounded staff.
Read more about transferable skills in this section of Quintessential Careers:
Transferable
Job Skills
.