School of
Integrative Biology

IB Alumni Mentoring Program

IB 292: Translating your IB Degree into Career Success

IB292 Banner

"Because of this class, I went after an internship I probably wouldn’t have even known about otherwise, and gave me the tools I needed to get it. I now have a job this summer” - IB292 Student
"I discovered a direction in which I want my career to follow after graduation” - IB292 Student

One credit course | Spring | Tuesdays 4PM | In-Person

Planning your future was already tough, but with COVID-19 has come new and unpredictable challenges. It is more important than ever to understand how to be successful on the job market, how to market your skill sets, and what your career options are. It will be essential to gain connections and allies in your fields of interest. We can help with all of that in IB292. IB alumni who are professionals in 20+ fields plus recruiters and industry experts will walk you through career options and how to stand out as an applicant, break into competitive fields, & navigate tough job markets.

If you have questions about logistics, or how the class can work in your busy schedule, reach out to Christina Swanson at

Course Overview

In this one credit course, we will explore together what jobs and industries are available to IB grads, and how your unique set of skills makes you qualified for these positions. You will explore your own skill set and values to determine what careers and industries are right for you, and how to decide if you're a good match for a job. This will also help you plan for what experiences and skills you need to include in your final semester(s) here at UIUC!

Once you have a few career paths in mind, we'll talk about how to communicate your unique skill set to employers (your "brand"), to showcase why you are a good match for the position.

We'll have experts along the way to serve as resources, including UIUC biology alumni that have been in your shoes and are now professionals in a range of fields. They are ready to share their experiences, wisdom, and insider information from their time on the job market. You will get invaluable connections to IB fields, and advice from individuals at different points in their careers.

Why should I take this course?

There are SO many things you can do with an IB degree, even if you know you love science or medicine, it is hard to find a career that is "right" for you. If you are lucky enough to know what you want to do, it's not so simple to figure out what you need to do to be successful in that career, or what experiences you need on your resume.

This course is meant to be for you to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life, and to learn what it takes to be successful in whatever career you choose. Take this course if you want to explore your options after college, or if you want to know how to set yourself up for success in the job market.

What should I expect in this course?

I will provide every opportunity for success, because that is my number one course objective. In return, I ask you to reflect, and to think critically both during and outside of class.
There are no pop quizzes, memorization, or rigorous exams. Instead, you are in charge of your own learning process, and we are focused on real-life application. You will have input on how you spend your out-of-class time and what projects would benefit you the most. Our final project will be a real-life application of the course material, and is meant to further your career goals.

Who will be joining us?

We will have several experienced alums joining us from a range of careers and industries such as:

  • Genetic Counseling
  • Forensic Pathology
  • Conservation and Environment
  • Biotechnology
  • Public Health
  • Non-Academic Research
  • Environmental Education
  • Neonatology / Primary Care
  • and more!

  • And from places such as:
  • National Institute of Health
  • Department of Natural Resources
  • Illumina
  • Mote Marine Lab and Aquarium
  • Prairie Research Institute
  • Siemens Healthineers
  • Amgen
  • Indiana University School of Medicine
  • and more!
  • Check out the alumni profiles for more information about each alum!

    If you have questions contact Christina Swanson at

    Everyone is welcome, and heartily encouraged to participate in this safe space.

    Hate has no home here.